I didn’t start out to write this many golf tips but it just sorta happened, once I got started I couldn’t stop. It’s a long list, some are little tidbits that will challenge and inspire you to take action. Others will require deeper thought and contemplation. And some are golfers, books and other things which have inspired me.
There’s some repetitiveness here. This highlights the importance of the concepts. Enjoy,
Stop thinking so much.
Practice like you play.
Be clear with your intention.
Golf is about hitting the ball to a predefined target.
The walk to the ball is more important (maybe more important than the swing).
The practice fairway is for warming up.
Practice nets are underused by most golfers.
Learn about course design.
Teaching others is the best way to learn.
Your grip should allow you to swing the club with speed.
Look with soft eyes.
Play the game.
Visualisation just prior to hitting the ball is not a good thing.
Play the shot you know you can hit.
Write about your experiences.
Feel the wind in your face.
Smell the roses.
Don’t obsess about the result.
A bad shot doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.
A good shot doesn’t mean you’re a good person.
Why do you play?
Watch a young kid play the game.
Fear is when your brain stops working.
Choking is over thinking.
Ignore your playing partners if they offer too much swing advice.
The swing is not the game.
Your subconscious is king.
If you can throw a ball and ride a bike you should be playing better golf.
Your handicap is a stupid number.
Don’t be defined by your handicap.
Play how you want to.
The short game really is important.
Swinging slower doesn’t really help.
Can you feel your swing from start to finish?
Focus on the weight of the club head.
Don’t hit the ball unless you have a target.
Hit the ball first – worry later.
If in doubt, take a conservative approach.
Keep the ball between the trees.
Chip with a 6 iron.
Write down your thoughts.
Create your own par.
Make practice fun.
Try new shots.
Stop reading magazines for the quick tips.
Play from the back tees.
Leave your ego in the car.
If you coach, keep the rules simple.
More swing instruction rarely helps.
Learn to hit a bunker shot.
Practice short shots from tough lies.
A small slice is ok.
The want for longer shots is your ego talking.
New clubs probably won’t help your score.
Course strategy is more important than your swing.
Everyone should be a good putter. There’s no excuse.
Practice your chipping. Often.
Almost Golf Balls are better than good.
You can learn a better game in your backyard.
Don’t work on your swing at the course.
Practice swings are overrated.
Breaking the swing down into many parts is making golf hard.
Are you aware of your thoughts?
Don’t waste energy on your alignment – your subconscious knows what’s best.
If you’re going to get mad, be quick.
Slow play is a problem. Do your best to play more quickly and encourage others.
Reading greens isn’t a science, it’s an art.
Look and shoot.
You miss small putts because you’re trying too hard.
It’s a silly game.
Short and sharp practice sessions are best.
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Playing safe is the worst thing you can do.
Play different courses.
Focus on what you want.
Give every shot your full attention.
Most swing theories are a distraction.
Watch the golf telecasts with the sound off.
Learning to control distractions is more important than your swing.
Play golf your way. (also the name of my first book)
Don’t forget it’s about hitting the ball.
Children are the best coaches.
Let them play.
Stats are important for golf commentators.
Stats are not important for players.
Become a player.
Stop thinking so much.
Your golf coach doesn’t know your swing as well as you do (or should).
Awareness makes the pain go away.
What are you feeling now?
Analytical golfers are boring.
Stay in the moment.
Don’t stress about what could happen.
If short on time, chip rather than putt.
Golf carts are not a good thing.
Play more than you practice.
Playing is practicing.
Can you hit a draw?
Can you hit it low?
Can you hit it high?
If not, why not?
Everyone gets nervous.
It’s easier to run your chip shots.
Good golfer: “Where do I want the ball to go?”
Bad golfer: “What’s wrong with my swing?”
Golf coaching needs to be made more enjoyable.
Video is not always an effective learning tool.
Rangefinders (lasers) are an awesome asset.
More golfers should carry their bag.
Go to Scotland.
Play with your heart.
The golf swing is a throwing motion.
Technical instruction doesn’t help you play the game.
Work on your swing at home.
The Inner Game of Golf.
Pesky is a little turd.
Your playing partner doesn’t know what’s wrong with you.
There’s more to golf than your score.
Good golfer: “I’m gunna go play”
Bad golfer: “I need to go practice”
The pros know how far they’ve got to hit each shot. Do you?
Automatic is the secret to better golf.
Ball first then divot. (except from a bunker).
A long putt is better than a chip shot.
Coach: “how would you like to play?” Teacher: “do this”.
Good club management: “go play our course and have fun”.
Bad club management: “back tees closed”.
Any thought on follow-through is a waste of energy.
Play in a way that is meaningful to you.
If you’re playing poorly, ask “what’s the simplest and easiest shot I can hit right now?”.
Focus is power.
Control of your swing only happens when you let go.
Don’t tell stories.
Take a deep breath, relax. Now go hit that ball.
“Trust your swing” – this can only happen when you understand automatic.
Child-likeness is on the right path to better golf.
Be aware of your thoughts.
Mind Swings. (worth tracking a copy down)
It’s ok to show emotion.
Ask, “how do I really want to play today?”. Then do it.
You can play great golf when you’re not feeling great.
Sing when you play.
Ask, “is how I’ve been playing all this time been worth it?”
Don’t forget to breath.
Nervous? Slow your mind down, this is the quickest way to start feeling better.
Realise you’re always improving.
You are more than your golf swing.
The more you enjoy the course the better you’ll play.
Give 1% attention to your swing and 99% sustained attention on playing the game and you’ll play way better than you thought possible.
Learn something about your playing partners. (their name is a good place to start)
Learn to hit a high pitch from a tight lie (this will save you lots of strokes).
Go with the flow – don’t fight your swing or the conditions.
Ask, “how can I play more naturally”.
If a swing theory doesn’t sound right or feel good it’s probably worth leaving alone.
The golf of your dreams is a journey, not a destination.
It’s better to be in the arena and playing poorly than be sitting on the sidelines and being critical.
Love to learn new shots, courses and playing partners.
It’s not always about the score.
Ask, “how would I play if I new I wasn’t going to fail?”.
Then ask, “why aren’t I playing like that right now?”.
Mistakes are good.
Nobody ever learned a better game without making lots of mistakes.
Successful golfers focus on changing their attitude, average golfers focus too much on their technique.
It’s never too late to start playing the game.
Find a mentor who understands learning and performance.
Play an entire round with your 5 iron.
Success is walking off the course with more energy than when you started.
You’ll hit the ball further if you stop analysing and controlling.
Ask, “can I really hit this shot?”
Good golfer when asked how he played: “I shot 79″.
Poor golfer when asked how he played: “My swing was off and I putted terribly. Made double on 11 after a 3-putt. If only I wasn’t so unlucky….”.
It really is too late to fix a shot after you’ve hit the ball.
Your golf swing should must flow.
The best player in your club probably has more fear than you realise.
Focus on what you want – not on what you don’t.
Realise that we all have bad days. A poor score is part of the game and there’s no need to rebuild your game.
Laughter is the best medicine.
Your current golf ability is not your future.
Good golfer’s mindset after 3 bad holes in a row: “Where do I want this shot to go?”
Poor golfer’s mindset after 3 bad holes in a row: “Shit, I hate this hole. Why did I stuff up the last hole?”
Worry about what has happened or what could happen is a waste of time.
Stay in the moment.
Three-putting is costing you more shots than bad driving.
Learn to love the game.
Playing good golf requires you to own your routine.
And then do it over and over and over.
There are no miracles.
Let your clubs do the talking.
Good golfer after missing an important putt: “It missed”
Bad golfer after missing an important putt: “I lifted my head” “The green is bumpy” “I’m a bad putter”.
Laugh at your mistakes.
Help your opponent look for his ball.
It’s ok to lose.
Poor coach after seeing his pupil hit a good shot: “that’s better, you’re doing it right now”.
Great coach after seeing his pupil hit a good shot: “(says nothing)”.
Don’t be scared to try something new.
You’ve got to play the hole, not the course designer, so don’t be afraid to play the hole the way you want.
Rule #1: Be clear of your intention and accepting of the result.
Rule #2: Repeat.
Set small achievable goals.
Aim to be freer with each shot you play.
Talent is a myth.
Learn from the masters but don’t be afraid to add your own style.
Consistent golf is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Feeling like you’re getting worse is a sign you’re improving.
Avoid hitting two bad shots in a row.
Improvement is not always obvious – just keep moving.
Short game will always be important.
Ask lots of questions.
Playing in the zone only happens when you stop thinking/analysing/worrying/panicking.
Good golfer’s mindset on way to course: “Let’s go play and have some fun”.
Bad golfer’s mindset on way to course: “Hope I don’t hit it out of bounds on the 1st”.
Hitting downwind is easy. Into the wind is where it matters.
Invest in good clubs but don’t tinker. Set and forget.
Walk your course every now and then. Walk it backwards too.
Play a course within the course. Can you make up a new hole?
Leave your lob wedge in the car once in a while.
Ask, “how would you play today if it was your last?”.
Play with the best player in your club.
Ask the pro to a chipping competition. The results may surprise you.
A great player attitude: Will play anywhere with anyone.
A poor player attitude: Only play the courses he likes.
Don’t put your ball in your mouth. Ever.
Don’t be slow.
Donate your old clubs to a junior program.
Leave your mobile phone in your bag.
Don’t wear headphones when you play or practice.
If you’re struggling then keep going.
Par is a stupid number. Would golf be better without par?
Learn to swing the other way.
The best golf drill is hitting the ball.
The next best might be throwing the club to the target.
The best players live, breath, eat, sleep and dream about the game. This is the kind of commitment required to be really good. Point? Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t play to par and only can play once a week.
Playing without expectations is more fun.
Golf is just like any other skill. Most of us make it way harder than it needs to be.
An open club face is essential out of the sand.
Exaggerating your mistakes is a great way to learn. i.e. hit a hook if you’re slicing the ball.
A dead straight shot is almost impossible to hit.
You’re always learning.
Never give up.
Play with half of your clubs to improve your shot making.
The best club for a beginner to learn is a 7 iron.
Forget fairways – between the trees is good enough.
Good golfer: “I love playing on slow greens”
Bad golfer: “I always play badly on slow greens”
Husbands should never coach their wives.
Walking while bouncing a tennis ball will teach you a lot about playing golf.
Learn to swing a full, half and quarter speed.
Pre-setting is a masterful technique for combating pressure.
It would be good if you could mark your score at the end of the day.
A rangefinder is better than a GPS.
Play your way first – worry about what others think later. In fact, never worry about what others think.
When in doubt swing more freely.
Learn a basic chip/pitch shot you can hit with your eyes closed.
From Greg Norman: think >> choose >> do
Learn to occupy your conscious mind for the duration of the shot and you’ll be dangerous.
It’s only a game.
Nerves are a sign you’re ready to play. Learn to embrace this feeling.
Luck always evens out.
Good golfer after a lucky round: “I need to work on my game”.
Poor golfer after a lucky round: “I played well today”.
The drive home is perfect for reflection.
Pesky is always there to challenge and stop you from success.
You’ll never ever feel 100% confident all of the time.
Play first, worry about confidence later.
Confidence comes when you are free from expectations.
Confidence comes when you realise your subconscious can hit the ball for you.
Don’t be too precise.
Practice your 3 foot and 30 foot putts and the rest will take care of themselves.
Long practice sessions are overrated.
General exercise is better than golf specific ones. (have you heard of kettlebells?)
Awareness is better than any video camera.
Don’t only count your shots – be sure to add the number of “fear free” swings you made.
Ask, “what did I learn today?”
Ask, “what would I do differently next time?”
Make all those 3 footers in practice rounds. No gimmes.
How would you play if score didn’t matter?
Ask, “what’s my ultimate golfing goal?”
Get outside and go play!