As a beginning golfer, you already know that you have a lot to learn. This is a difficult game, and even the best players in the world had to start from humble beginnings. There are no shortcuts to progress in the game of golf, as hard work is the only way you are going to get from where you are now to where you would like to be. With that said, as long as you are willing to put in the necessary practice time, it is possible to progress quickly from rank beginner on up to an accomplished, confident golfer.
One of the best ways to improve in this challenging game is through the use of drills. Practice drills are great because they help you to feel many of the key fundamentals that you are trying to learn. It is one thing to have a golf instructor tell you what you need to be doing, but it is another thing entirely to feel that sensation through the use of a drill.
In this article, we are going to cover five of the best drills beginning golfers can use to take their games in the right direction. If you are able to spend some time during upcoming practice sessions working on these drills, there is little doubt you will be a better golfer the next time you step up to the first tee.
Drill #1 – Upside Down Swings
A good drill needs to be simple, and that is exactly the case with this swing drill. To get started, simply take your driver from the bag and find a place that you can make swings safely. You aren’t going to be hitting any actual shots during this drill, so you can even perform it at home (as long as you have enough room to swing). Rather than holding on to the grip of the club as you would usually, you are going to turn the club over and hold it just below the club head. Take your normal grip, get into a stance, and make a swing.
So what is the point of swinging the club upside down? This unusual drill is going to help you learn how to accelerate the club through the hitting area. As you swing down, your goal is to produce a ‘swooshing’ noise with the grip end of the club at the bottom of the swing. To do so, you are going to have to save up your acceleration and then release it at the last possible moment. When you hear the grip cutting through the wind loudly at the bottom, you will know you are releasing the club just right. Once you have success with this drill, turn the club back over and swing it conventionally. You should find that you have instantly added speed to your swing by using this simple but effective practice drill.
Drill #2 – Putting Ladder
It is common for beginning golfers to obsess over the full swing, but it is actually just as important to learn the ins and outs of the short game when getting started. The short game is where you are going to find your biggest improvement in the shortest amount of time – as long as you are willing to put in some effort.
The putting ladder drill is a great one for mastering those tricky short putts that can easily add strokes to your score. For this drill, you are going to need five golf balls, three tees, your putter, and a flat place on the putting green to practice. Once you find a flat section with a hole that you can use, place the three tees into the green at one-foot intervals. The first tee should be three feet from the cup, the second should be at four feet, and the last tee should be five feet from the hole.
To start, set all five golf balls down next to the tee you have placed three feet from the hole. The goal here is simple – to make all five putts in a row without a miss. Should you happen to miss, you will need to start the entire set of five putts over again. Only when you make five straight do you get to move back to the next tee. Your goal is to hole a total of 15 putts in a row – five from each of the three distances. If you add this drill to your regular practice routine, you should see your short putting out on the course improve in no time at all.
Drill #3 – Three Wedges, One Shot
Putting is not the only area of the short game that you need to improve on in order to lower your scores. As a beginning golfer, chipping is another part of the game that requires serious attention. With this drill, you are going to learn how to use three different wedges to hit the same shot. The best golfers have plenty of options available to them in the short game, which is what you are going to be developing in this drill.
Head to the practice chipping green at your local course and take three golf balls from your bag. At the same time, take three wedges – your pitching wedge, your sand wedge, and your lob wedge. Pick out a target hole somewhere on the green, and drop the three golf balls down on the ground. From that one spot, you are going to chip the three balls all to the same hole, but each will be hit with a different club. When all three have been chipped up toward the hole, retrieve them and repeat. Spending time with this basic chipping drill is going to expand the options you have around the greens, meaning you should be able to improve your chipping performance during your very next round.
Learning to play golf can be a daunting task, but a few quality drills can set you on the right path. Give each of these drills a try during your next practice session – good luck, and have fun!