The game of golf is one of the most challenging games out today. So many people are giving the game a try that it’s improving the sport. It’s interesting that so many amateurs, when they think of improving their games, they think of only one thing: improving their golf swing. Sure, it’s great to develop a technically sound golf swing and to hit the ball higher, longer, and straighter than before. However, the golfer who accomplishes this has improved only one out of four areas needed in order to become a complete player. The four key points that make up the game of golf are as follows:
Ball Striking
Short Game
Mental Side/ Course Management
Physical Conditioning
Good ball striking makes the game more predictable. Still, striking the ball does not make you a complete golfer, nor does good ball striking guarantee that you’ll shoot a low score. Yes, good ball striking, combined with a well-developed short game combined with a great mental approach to the game and fine course management skills, and combined with improved physical conditioning, will make you the best player you can be. Keep this in mind as you plan your practice time in the future. Working on your ball striking is important, but it should only take up a certain percentage of your practice time. The rest of your practice time should be spent on developing your short game, your mental side and course management skills, and your physical conditioning.

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If you play golf and you think about it, you’ll realize that you hit more shots in a round of golf from within 75 yards of the hole than you do from outside 75 yards. The short game is cut into two basic shots: chipping and putting. With chipping, your main goal is to always contact the ball before the turf. When chipping around the green, you want to the ball to role more to the hole rather then have it fly in the air to the hole. To make sure you execute this shot, make sure you play the ball in the back of your stance. This will keep the ball lower to the ground making sure you role the ball towards the hole. Putting can either make or break your score in the game of golf. Putting with confidence is a large factor because when you don’t believe you can make the putt 9 times out of 10 you won’t. When preparing to putt, set the putter down as squarely as possible to the line you’ve chosen. Always strive to keep your head perfectly still throughout the stroke. Putting is entirely a matter of precision. Keeping your head steady is the best thing you can do to guarantee that you will putt the ball on the line you’ve chosen.
The mental side of golf doesn’t say you can make the ball move with your mind. The basic concept of the mental side is to have some sort of imagination. Before actually hitting your shot, you must have a plan of attack. It may sound corny, but visualizing your shot will improve your game with confidence. Along with having an imagination you must also be reasonable. When you get into trouble situations, like having a bush or tree in front of you, play conservative. Instead of trying to hit the ball through the tree and possibly giving you more trouble, take a stroke and hit the ball in the fairway with the no obstacles. When you take these things into consideration your confidence will improve and with that you are a couple steps closer to being a complete player.
Last physical conditioning, and this has been proven time and again by medical research, your mental approach is definitely affected by your physical conditioning. Stretching and strengthening of the muscles are very important keys to your physical condition. When stretching, make sure you focus on stretching your upper body. Your shoulders and back muscles are the main ingredients to your swing and when they are stretched, you won’t have to worry about injuries. If you can become physically stronger, the greatest advantage is that you’ll be able to play shots from trouble much more effectively. These shots are out of deep rough, having the ability to hit the ball low from under trees, yet make it carry a good distance.
Now golf is no simple game and it could take years to actually get good. The main goal is to practice, practice, practice and find your authentic swing. The most important thing is to be comfortable playing golf and the 4 key points of winning golf will help you do that.
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