Practice makes perfect: but here are some quick tips that might help

There's no instant gratification in golf

by Trevor Moore
If the ball doesn't hit the hole, it's not going to fall in. — iStockphoto

We live in a day and age where people are less patient than they’ve ever has been when it comes to change; demand for instant results and gratification are high. As an extension of societal trends, golf is by no means immune to this way of thinking.

Whether it is get-rich-quick schemes, fad diets, higher internet speeds, effortless exercise equipment or your golf game, you must accept the reality of the situation. Nothing worth achieving ever comes quickly or without some effort.

I am not about to tell you small quick pieces of advice won't improve your play, but it is important that you keep them in perspective. Always remember, small tips will only serve as helpful cues. No single thought or quick fix will ever leave such a dramatic imprint on your game that you will turn things around 180 degrees and never look back.

With all that being said, here are a few small helpful cues for you to consider with regards to your play.

If you slice your driver on the tee, you are not alone; the latest studies have shown 87 per cent of golfers struggle in this department. One thing to check is the position of the golf ball in your stance. Many players do not have it far enough forward and this makes it difficult to square the clubface up quickly enough.

The next time you find yourself on the driving range, monitor your ball placement. When using your driver, the ball should be positioned in line with the heel of your front foot. The front foot is the one closest to the target, that would be the left foot for a right-handed player.

Shifting focus to the short side of the game, a small change in mindset and focus can go a long way. When putting we must establish completely different mindsets for both long and short putts. There are two factors in a putt, with the first being distance control and the second being direction control.

Short putts are all about finding a target line and controlling direction. Spend more time on the green reading the breaks and committing to your target line. In practice sessions, check your alignment and ensure you are aiming properly. Bottom line, if the ball does not hit the hole it will not fall in.

Long putts are all about finding the feel you need to effectively control your distance. The primary goal of any putt is to make it; however, we must keep our secondary goal firmly in mind. On long putts you want to make sure you finish close enough to the hole to guarantee yourself a makeable second putt.

It is not uncommon to see players leave longer putts eight to 10 feet long or short of the hole, but rarely do we see them miss the hole by eight to 10 feet left or right. Place a strong emphasis on feel and distance control; this should be your primary concern on any long putt.

Remember, these are only cues and will not serve as a substitute for good old-fashioned hard work and practice. Keep them in perspective and use them wisely.

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