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Skills in golf, there are some essential golf skills that you should learn, know, and be aware of. Look at the good golfers, you’ll pretty much know one when you see them or even play golf with them. Their setup which is their pre-shot routine is consistently the same.
Their swing and tempo are precisely the same for every shot and their shot game… is amazing. Don’t get me started on their putting it is dynamic, good golfers make birdies and save pars with their putting skill. They have outstanding skills in golf.
Whether they are on the course or practicing, good golfers move with confidence and precision. You will rarely see them make major mistakes. Because of this, they subconsciously gain the confidence to commit to the shot with less effort, resulting in more consistency.
Skills In Golf The Most Important 5 You Should Learn
Golf is a sport that requires a lot of skills, in this article we’re going to look at the 5 most important skills in golf. To become a consistent golfer you’ll need to master one or even two of these golf skills.
There are a number of different skills that you will need to learn in order to be a good consistent golfer. As I’ve said you should master one or even two of these skills. It will go a long way to achieving your goal of becoming a good golfer.
#1. Good Swing Technique Effortless Power
Good swing technique is not about how hard you can hit the ball. It is more about making solid positive contact with the ball, Trying to smash the skin off the ball will have a negative impact resulting in loss of power and control, speed kills the power.
Ask yourself and be honest, how many times have tried to muscle the ball, smash it, and it all goes wrong? You’ve hooked it (an uncontrolled shot where the ball curves away sharply from right to left) or hit it fat or thin. Whatever it was it was ugly.
Trying to smash the ball in the hope that it will fly straight down the middle of the fairway 320 yards or 292.6 meters, never works. It might work at the driving range where you’re pounding ball after ball with your driver, however, this isn’t golf.
Having a good golf swing technique that you can trust is one of the most important skills in golf. This is one of the foundations of playing good consistent golf. Without good swing technique, you will have inconsistent ball striking, which will lead to frustration and impact the enjoyment of your golf game.
To start building a good swing technique go to the range or the practice area of your golf club. Take your phone or a video camera if you have one. Set it up and start filming while you’re hitting golf balls, be natural with your swing as if you were playing 18 holes. Go through all the clubs in your bag.
Take note of the good shots and bad shots you hit, and look over the video footage, look closely at the good shots you hit and what your body was doing, the same with the bad shots. You will quickly develop an intuitive understanding of your swing technique and what you need to work on and what you’ve got to work with.
This will help you to develop a heightened awareness of your club and your body and can help to put you back in charge of your swing. By being able to make finer distinctions between your good and bad swings, it makes ingrained technical improvements a genuine possibility.
Good swing technique is not about how hard you can hit the ball, It is about consistent ball striking. Film yourself hitting golf balls, and take note of the good and bad shots. You will quickly develop an intuitive understanding of your swing technique.
How Are Golf Skills Measured?
First, we need to define what is considered a golf skill. Golf skills are a set of techniques or actions that help you to play good consistent golf. Driving, chipping, putting, course management, and your pre-shot routine are all golf skills.
Golf skills are measured by how proficient you are at these particular skills, this can be easily measured by how well you perform these skills. Did you get the desired outcome? Or close to what you were wanting to achieve? This is how you would measure your golf skill, with the outcome of the action you’re performing.
If you can consistently repeat the same golf skill, and achieve the desired outcome you are good at that particular skill. If you consistently chip onto the green, close to the pin, your skill in chipping would be considered good.
#2. Pre-Shot Routine Your Setup
So many golfers don’t have a pre-shot routine. A set of repeatable actions that you go through in order before you take your shot. The pre-shot routine is one of the most underrated skills in golf, having a routine will help to put you in the right head space before each shot.
Look at your grip, where you’re aiming, and your overall setup. All of these will affect the outcome of your shot, your grip is too tense this can be a swing killer. If your aim is off you’ll be hitting the ball in the wrong direction which can have devastating consequences.
Not having a pre-shot routine you’ll be missing out on one of the greatest advantages in golf. It allows you to keep your head in the right space and have a sense of clarity. Staying in the right frame of mind for 18 holes can be a challenge especially if things aren’t going right.
Building a pre-shot routine isn’t hard, the hard thing is being consistent about it. Chances are you’ll already have the framework of a pre-shot routine, there might be a few steps you’ll need to add, so it shouldn’t be too hard to create that pre-shot routine that works for you.
Walking up to your ball, choose a club for that particular shot, and analyze the area around you, if there are hazards take note. My pre-shot routine consists of:
- Assessing the situation
- Choosing a club
- Relaxed practice swing
- Address the ball
- Checking my alignment and stance
- Check my grip
- Removing any access tension from my body, especially my hands, arms, and shoulders
- Quick flex of my knees
- 1-2 second pause and pull the trigger
All this takes me 15-20 seconds, you wouldn’t what it any longer than that, also you don’t want to rush the process either.
The pre-shot routine is one of the most underrated skills in golf. Building a repeatable pre-shot routine isn’t hard, the hard thing is being consistent about it. Chances are you’ll already have the framework of a pre-shot routine, there might be a few steps you’ll need to add. Remember to stop, assess, and think.
What Are The Most Important Skills In Golf?
This can be a loaded question as what I consider to be the most important golf skills you might disagree. In saying that what I consider to be the most important skills in golf are
1. Having a good swing technique.
2. Building a repeatable pre-shot routine.
3. Course strategy and course management.
4. Consistent chipping and putting.
5. Knowing when to attack or lay up.
Having a good swing technique is one of the foundations for playing good consistent golf. Having a trustworthy swing isn’t about raw power, It is about effortless power. Building a repeatable pre-shot routine is an underrated golf skill and will help you focus.
Course strategy and course management come with experience and will teach you to find the easiest way around. Consistent chipping and putting are fundamental to playing good golf. This can help you to score well and save pars. Knowing when to attack the green or layup is a skill that shouldn’t be underestimated and has the potential to help you limit the damage.
#3. Consistent Putting And Chipping Skills
Having good chipping and putting technique is one of the key aliments to carding goods scores. Especially with putting you can bleed so many shots if your putting skill is not up to par.
How many times have you worked hard to get to a par 4 green in 2 or 3 shots? Only to throw it all away by 3 putting for a bogey or double bogey? I know it can be frustrating.
Your golf short game which consists of chipping and putting are skills in golf that pay off big time if you’re proficient. Being able to chip the ball consistently well combined with solid putting will lower your scores and your handicap.
Putting is where you can incur shots if your reading of the green and aim is off. However, if your putting is online you can save pars and sink putts for birdie. No more 3 putts, how would that feel 18 holes with no 3 or 4 putts?
The same goes for chipping, being able to chip the ball close to the pin will give you an even better chance of 1 putt to hole out. Putting and chipping is your shot game, without a solid consistent short game you’ll be struggling to get pars. It will become frustrating which could make it even worse.
There are some fantastic golf training aids out there to help you to become a better chipper and putter. One of the best and easiest ways to practice your chipping is to grab your pitching wedge or 9-iron.
- Start practicing your chipping swing with a good tempo, you should do this without hitting a ball.
- Just get used to practicing back-and-forth pendulum-like swing think of it as an overemphasized putting stroke.
- While swinging your club “1”, “2”, think of it as “1” back and “2” forth.
- Do this first without hitting balls; make sure to swing smoothly through all numbers before trying again in a live-fire situation.
- Then when you’ve done that, and it is starting to feel natural put a ball in the way of your swing. I know that when you put a ball in the firing line of your swing, your mindset changes…
- I gotta hit it, I gotta hit it! Forget that just follow the “1”, and “2” tempo you’ve been practicing, making sure that you don’t change your tempo.
- Important to focus on your “1”, and “2” tempo and let the ball get in the firing line. If you do this, you’ll start to see your chip shots making solid consistent contact.
This is an awesome way to start perfecting your chipping, it’s easy to do at home. Even better you don’t need any expensive golf accessories just your club, a couple of balls, and find some space.
Putting and chipping are fundamental to playing good golf, these golf skills if performed well can have a positive impact on your game. Think of chipping as an overemphasized putting stroke or a back-and-forth pendulum-like swing. Hone your chipping skill by focusing on your tempo using a “1”, and “2”, think of it as “1” back and “2” forth.
What Is The Hardest Shot In Golf?
The hardest shot in golf is the next shot after a confidence-shattering bad shot. Sure it will be frustrating hitting a bad shot, what you need to do is leave it behind, and let it go. Bad golf shots happen.
It’s how you move forward after a confidence-shattering bad shot. That is why the next shot after a bad shot is the hardest, most important, and the most critical. Your confidence depends on it.
#4. Course Strategy And Course Management Skills
Course strategy and course management are handy skills in golf to have. I see so many golfers on the fairway take their biggest club and try and hit it as far as they possibly can. Not thinking about where they want it to land, where should their next shot be played from.
Course strategy and management are about solving problems. Finding the solution to get to the green in the least amount of strokes. This will come with experience, trial, and error.
I think back to when I first started playing golf I had no concept of course strategy. My course management was haphazard. I made the fatal mistake of overestimating my own ability with disastrous results.
The secret to course strategy and management is to keep things simple. Read that again, by the way, it’s not really a secret.
Keeping things simple your drive finishes under a tree, and you have to chip out onto the fairway. The only person that cared about having to play that chip was you, yes you. Remember it’s not how it’s how many.
If you get into trouble, stand back and access the situation. Get back on track as quickly as possible with the least amount of shots. Don’t make the same mistakes as I did. Overestimating your golfing abilities and trying to play a career record-breaking shot, once in a lifetime to get to the green, trust me this never ends well.
Course strategy and management are about solving problems. Look at a golf course as an obstacle course, where there are easier ways and more difficult routes. Remember it’s not how it’s how many. If you get into trouble, stand back and access the situation. Get back on track as quickly as possible with the least amount of shots.
What Is The Best Golf Advice
Some of the best golf advice I’ve got is to keep it simple and keep an even tempo with my swing. Don’t jerk and speed up your swing at the last second to get more power. Having an even rhythm and tempo will increase your club-to-ball connection and ball speed.
Some of the best golf advice I can give you is don’t rush into your swing, assess the situation. Trust yourself and your swing, stop overthinking and second-guessing everything you do. Remember golf is a thinking game, before you play your next shot think, relax and have some fun.
This would be a typical round for some golfers. Now start implementing some strict course management and strategy coupled with your golf skills you could easily shave 8 strokes off your score. potentially the difference between a score of 90 and 82!
#5. Knowing When To Attack The Green Or Lay Up
So much of our success is based on damage limitation. It doesn’t matter how well we play for 14 holes if the other 4 we inflict so much damage upon our score that it isn’t impossible to recover.
Knowing when to attack the green or lay up can be the difference between a par, double bogey, or worse. You’re looking at the hazard in front of the green, which could be a creek, stream, or green side bunker. You’re 155 yards or 141.7 meters out, do you attack the green or lay up?
I would lay up knowing that I can play a chip or pitch shot onto the green for 3. If I had been faced with this situation when I first started playing I would have gone for the green. The possibility of hitting the hazard would have been around 85.5% the odds of hitting the green and pulling off the shot were too low.
As I have said course management comes with experience it’s better to lay up than put yourself under unnecessary pressure by landing in a hazard.
- Landing in a deep green side bunker, can you get out in one shot? Maybe, well maybe isn’t good enough, why risk it?
- You land in a creek or stream, if you can find your ball, can you play it out of the water onto the green? No way, your success rate would be less than 0.5%.
Taking this unnecessary risk for a vanity shot is madness. Lay up chip or pitch on and hole out for par or bogey at the worst. Or stress yourself out hitting out of the bunker and risk tanking the shot or lose your ball in the creek or stream and drop out for a 1 stroke plenty. I know what I’m doing.
An immediate and very often dramatic improvement in your score will result in avoiding disasters ahead. Every round we play has shots that are critical to the overall outcome, and it is how we assess them. Avoiding the problems will make the difference between success and failure.
Knowing when to attack the green or lay up can be the difference between a par, or double bogey. Laying up and holing out with 2 putts is better than inflicting so much damage that it blows out your score. Take the easy way don’t go for those vanity shots that will have a very small success rate.
Skills In Golf Final Words
Skills in golf are earned by physical experience, not by transfer of information. As golfers we learn from trial and error, what works for me might not work for you and vice versa. There would be golf skills you have learned through trial and error that have become part of your foundation for playing good consistent golf.
Learning to develop an intuitive understanding of what your body and the club need to do to hit the shot that you want. This in turn will help you see the game more simply, just like another bat and ball sport.
Practicing your golf skills and taking those skills to the golf course is how you will grow to become a better golfer. Few golfers have unlimited time to practice so it is essential that you create a golf practice plan and stick to it.
Also, put yourself through a golf skills test to find what is consistently working for you and what you need to improve. From this, you can create a checklist to help with your development.
However, it’s not just about good shots, if you engage the problem-solving part of your brain you’ll be amazed that how efficient your technique can become in solving power problems, accuracy problems, or discovering the true source of consistency.
So, there you have it, a valuable insight into the world of golf skills. Looking at ways on how you can improve your golf game. If you’re wanting to incorporate these skills into your game don’t try and do everything at once.
Work on one that you feel would benefit you the most, that way you’re not going into information overload. My 5 most important skills in golf, they’ve improved my golf, and they can improve yours.