We’re approaching spring, and that can mean many things, only one of which really means anything to anyone worth anything: golf season. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, if you live anywhere east of drought-stricken California, you’re probably experiencing some form of a snowpocalpyse. But soon spring will make its re-entrance and brush away the feet of snow from your beloved golf course. If your clubs are stowed in the attic or crawl space, it’s time to start dusting them off. If you don’t have a set just yet, visit Golf Galaxy to equip yourself with some. And because you and your game have been in storage for the winter, here are 10 tips to help thaw your stroke.
1. Swing with the flow: Whether you’re playing in a tournament or just an easygoing Sunday match, you’ll never make it off the tee if you’re tense. Relax your muscles, and you can hit that ball straight as an arrow to the green. If you’re breaking out a new set, you might be less hesitant to make contact if you know you didn’t spend a fortune on it. So use a Golf Galaxy coupon code on your quiver.
2. Keep a balanced diet: That means keep your knees bent, your center of gravity lower than normal, and also restrain your swing so you stay at about 70% of your maximum potential energy.
3. Direction over distance: If the ball is slicing, hooking, popping too high, or running into the ground, that’s an indication that your club face is not making clean contact with the ball. Slow down your swing, and lay off some of the power, and adjust yourself however you need until you can make a solid hit.
4. Put away the short putt: If you’re lining up for a short putt, keep your putter in line with the cup. To practice this to proficiency, try one-footed putts to get your aim on target.
5. Remember your rhythm: Be mindful of the speed of every phase of your shot: did you swing back too fast? Did you add an extra beat to your backswing? Did you redistribute weight mid-shot to throw you off balance? If you’re moving too fast through the swing or oblivious while you’re hitting, you might overlook an error in it, so slow it down and self-reflect.
6. Stand tall, putt far: Conversely, for longer putts, stand at your tallest to achieve the best vantage of the hole from where you’re standing.
7. Breaking the wrist: On impact, you want to let your hands lead your club head, so that means you’ll have to break your wrists back a little. This will ensure your club face impacts the ball squarely.
8. The long drive into the distance: a couple things to remember when setting up for your drive: keep a looser grip, and one that makes only two or three knuckles visible, accelerate through impact, and follow through completely. Even if you’re swinging the new Big Bertha from Golf Galaxy, you’ll still need to focus on the mechanics of your stroke.
9. Leave chopping in the kitchen: When you’re on the fairway, avoid chopping or hacking at the ball. A smooth and consistent swing is the best way to get out of the rough or the sand, and it is also the easiest on your joints.
10. Don’t beat yourself up: So you’re five over par. So what? The important thing is not to fall to pieces or berate yourself until you’re dispirited and discouraged from playing the next hole. Excessive self-reproach contributes to stress and anxiety, and will only crimp your game.
So remember, golf is a gentleman’s game, and tempers should be kept at a simmer at maximum. The putt and your fellow players will respect you for it.