Use these three tips to improve your golf game.

Golf is tough – one of the toughest sports of all. Although there are no magic keys that will turn you into Jordan Spieth overnight, there are some simple things that every golfer can improve upon which will have an instant impact.

While most golfers obsess over their backswing or follow-through, the most important part in a golf swing is the way in which the club impacts the golf ball. With that in mind, what should you be doing, and how do you know if you are doing it?

Sweet spot

This is the one that every golfer does know — we have to strike the sweet spot of the club. Doing so will increase distance, consistency and accuracy (especially with a driver). The main issue a golfer has is knowing if they are doing it or not.

In my lessons, I use a dry erase marker pen and simply draw a dot on the ball. 

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Then it leaves a nice imprint on the clubface for you to check your result. 

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I have found that golfers automatically improve where they strike on the face when they have this increased awareness.

Tee off on your health

  • Burn 721 calories walking 9 holes and carrying your bag.
  • Burn 411 calories using a cart.
  • Walking 18 holes is the equivalent of a 5-mile walk.
  • Depending on how your game goes, golf can also improve your mood.
  • Those same aspects also improve your heart rate and help lower cholesterol.
  • A study from the Swedish Medical University the Karolinska Institute, found that golfers had a 40% lower death rate.
  • The physical aspects of carrying your bag, walking and swinging lead to a good night’s sleep.
  • Avid golfers (four times a week) will burn 8,000 more calories a week walking than those used carts.

Ground contact

This one is big — and not many golfers know this. With any shot taken from the ground, our club should first strike the ball, and then brush/cut the grass or even make a divot after the ball. The first point of contact that the club should make with the ground is typically where the ball is resting, or the red zone (as the graphic shows).

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In order to know if you are doing this or not, create a line on the turf. Place the ball on top, hit your shot, and then check that there is a divot after the ball (with an iron, not a driver). 

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Clubface control

Overall direction is a combination of the swing path (direction the club is swinging through impact) and the clubface direction.

The clubface is 75 percent responsible for the start line of the golf ball, and opening it (right) or closing it (left) at impact will move the result more right or left respectively. So, if you are suffering with a slice, you can turn it into a power fade that lands on target by getting the clubface more left at impact.

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Practice hitting some half shots at a slower speed. Experiment with trying to get the clubface to look more left or right at impact. When you can achieve both directions with some success, keep calibrating the clubface position based on what the ball flight tells you.

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Hit the links

While most golfers are trying to copy the swing motions of their favorite professional, little do they realize that the true success of a golfer is determined by the above three principles. Working more diligently on improving ground strike, face strike and clubface control will really pay off for your game and your handicap.

Also, try to improve these skills instinctively. So many golfers get wrapped up in an “ideal” way to do things, when the reality is that there are many different styles on tour which work well. Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson both have their own unique ways of getting the three principles done, even though their grips and swing styles vary dramatically.

Adam Young is Director of Instruction at La Manga Club in Spain. He is author of The Practice Manual – The Ultimate Guide for Golfers, which has been a bestseller in the USA, UK, Canada and Germany. Adam also regularly updates his website with useful tips and information at AdamYoungGolf.com.