HOW TO PREPARE MENTALLY FOR A GAME OF GOLF
Get yourself relaxed. Remember golf is a lot slower than most things, including turtles. Expect to spend the day on the course in a tranquil mood. Once all tension leaves your bones, focus on thoughts of golfing success. Keep your eyes closed and imagine that same sea of green with you getting that key shot correctly.
Picture yourself hitting the ball in a gracious arc and the ball plopping with ease into the hole at the centre of the green.
Repeat this exercise until you are soothed, smoothed and so ready to go grab your clubs.
Take a moment to repeat this meditative sequence if you begin to get frustrated on the course, such as when your ball goes into a hazard.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR SHORTGAME
Practise your chip shot from various distances. Select the right club for you. When you are close to the green, use a pitching wedge. As you get farther away from the greens, alternate with your irons. Start with a 7 and then work your way down. Use arm strength only, don’t utilize the full force of your hips to produce the swing. Make sure your hands are in the right position during impact with the ball. They should be leading the club face though contact. The key to a good pitching shot lies in the correct stance and form. Begin with a narrow stance and keep most of your weight on your front foot. Shift your weight when striking the ball by moving your back knee toward your front knee when pitching the ball. When taking your swing, make sure to keep your left arm straight.
Practice drills. The “stork drill” is a good exercise. Hit chips, pitches and wedges by raising your back heel off the ground, thus placing the majority of the weight on your front leg. This changes the angle of your shot and produces a more solid attack stroke.
Use a club with lots of loft. They are easier to hit, because the sidespin element is reduced which is not the case as the clubs get longer. Maximum club to use would be a 9 iron unless you want to hit full short irons.
Use an “Open-Stance” to hit your pitches and short shots. You’ll find that with the body being a little more “open” you can swing your arms more towards the target. Simply pull the left foot a little way back from the normal “square-stance” and if you just open the toe of your shoe a little to the left as well, you may find your follow through is easier and you can stay in balance better. The reason for this is because with the toe of your left shoe turned out slightly, your left knee can catch your body weight easier than if you had both toes at right angles to your “ball-to-target-line”.
Create good posture before you begin – stand upright, then stick your bottom straight back so that your legs straighten automatically. You will notice as you do this that you have created a good back-angle. Maintain this back-angle and then release the knees. You will notice that your arms hang nicely downwards out of the shoulders.
Depending on which grip you use, make sure that the left thumb is favouring the right side of the grip – just right of centre.
Remember the logo on the grip is positioned in the middle or you may find an arrow at the end of the grip.
Regarding the position where the base of your left thumb and index finger come in contact with each other, make sure that the line they create points past your right shoulder.
Don’t forget to hit down on the ball, if you want it to go up in the air!
If you try to hit the ball up in the air, it will do the opposite and go down along the floor! Don’t lift or scoop, just hit down with the shaft leaning towards the target!
Shift your weight over onto the inside of your right foot on the backswing and then as the arms swing down to the ball, let the weight go over onto the left leg. If it straightens at impact, that’s fine.