How to Become a Better Golfer in 2023
Take less shots than you did this year. There. Simple!
But seriously, how can you go about shaving some strokes off your game next year? Unfortunately, there’s no quick secret to lower scoring, despite what the Instagram adverts might tell you! However, there are some proven methods that’ll see you drop some shots off your handicap and hopefully lift a trophy or two in 2023.
How to Become a Better Golfer in 2023
We’re going to start with something that you can (and probably should) implement straight away. The importance of stretching and staying limber cannot be overstated when it comes to the game we love. In addition to helping you to position the club in a more athletic position throughout the swing, stretching can also help to prevent injury, and leave you feeling less tired following your time on the course.
If you’re looking for somewhere to start, there’s plenty of options on YouTube for golf-specific routines; whether you want to venture into yoga and Pilates, or simply implement a few casual stretches in the morning. Do it. Your body will thank you, both on and off the course.
Our next suggestion will come as no surprise, but if you’re serious about getting better in 2023, it’s much easier to do this with a helping hand. A course of lessons through the winter can set you up for real success come the spring time, no matter your current level of play. We’d strongly recommend a check in on your fundamentals, as a whole host of issue can arise from poor stance, grip, and alignment. But no matter what you choose to work on, make sure you work on something; and preferably with a structured routine to ensure monitored improvement.
Keep an Eye on The Stats
And if you are going to improve in 2023, you need to have some measure of your strengths and weaknesses. Golf stat tracking has come on leaps and bounds over recent years, allowing you to keep an eye on every aspect of your game. *ahem* there’s even a handy Golfshake platform.
Strokes-gained analysis in particular can highlight the areas of your game to keep an eye on, pointing out some easy wins, and perhaps giving you some much-needed confidence with other aspects of your play. Consider whether you want to keep your data throughout the round, or whether you’d prefer to input your information from the comfort of your home - as this will dictate the platform that’s best suited to you. After all, as important as keeping your statistics can be, it shouldn’t hinder your actual ability to perform on the course.
Speaking of performing, what’s the point of improving if you’ve nothing to show for it. The best way to put your swing under an element of pressure is in a competitive tournament. This may be the weekly medal, the club championship or even an open competition at a different course. You need to be able to take your game from the range to the course, and so regularly playing with card and pencil in tow will ensure you have a true reflection of where you’re at.
We’ve talked elsewhere on the site about how great open golf competitions can be. Heading to a new course, competing against strangers, all whilst trying to claim some silverware. These are also fantastic places to aid with your own improvement; after all, just being able to play to your handicap around your home course can make you a pretty one-dimensional golfer. Take your game on the road, and put yourself to the test!
The Need For Speed
One of the biggest things that has come to light since the introduction of more detailed statistics is the importance of distance when it comes to scoring. The old adage of ‘putting for dough, driving for show’ has been somewhat disproven, as golfers are proven to score better the closer they hit their drive to the green - even if the ball ends up in the rough. Matt Fitzpatrick put much of his US Open win down to his increase in length from the tee, largely down to his speed training in the early part of the season. Matt utilised the ‘Stack System’ to improve his own swing speed - and if it’s good enough for him …
Short Game Dependability
However, there’s a reason that old adage rose to popularity in the first place. At the end of the day, the game is still about getting the ball into the hole, and the majority of club golfers could still shave a shot or two from their scores around the green. Having a reliable short game can take a lot of the strain off your approach play, and so it’s definitely worth investing some of your off season into developing your chipping and putting. In fact, if you’re stuck for a Christmas present, your family could do much worse than a new putting mat for you! It beats socks and aftershave!
New Clubs? Maybe…
Ok, a last resort, and a gratuitous one at that - but maybe, just maybe, you should have a look at some new clubs. This is most relevant for those who haven’t changed their setups for several years, as driver technology in particular has come a long way in the last decade. But, don’t do this haphazardly. There’s no point jumping on eBay to buy a club at random if it’s going to take you months to get familiar with its quirks. If you think that you could benefit from some new sticks, go and do it properly - with a custom fitting from a local professional.
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