Ten Good Golfing Habits

Make these ten ideas your habits and you will cut down on the number of poorly-hit shots and increase the number of well-struck shots.

1. Take a careful look at your lie. It defines your shot choices.

2. Swing the club so it, not you, does the work it was designed to do.

3. Before you swing at the ball, take a practice swing and hold your finish. Where you end up looking is where you are aimed.

4. Every shot into the green, or from on the green to the hole, should be hit hard enough to pass the hole.

5. Use as light a grip pressure as you can, especially in the short game.

6. Swing with a tempo that keeps everything under control.

7. Look at every putt from behind, even the shortest ones.

8. Before you take the club away, draw an imaginary line straight through the ball to the target. Tell your unconscious mind to send the clubhead along that path through impact. Every stoke, drive to putt.

9. Do not hit shots you haven’t practiced. Remember that situation and save it for a trip to the range after the round.

10. Always take two practice strokes before any short game shot.

There are many more. Your job as a golfer is to find them.

2 thoughts on “Ten Good Golfing Habits”

  1. Really good advice, Bob. I hadn’t ever thought about point 3; “…where you end up looking is where you are aimed.” I note that points 3 and 8 are related. A golfer can draw the imaginary line, then take a “practice swing” above the ball on the intended target line, holding the finish — to see if he or she is looking where he or she intended to be aimed.

    Next time, you might advise on whether you think it’s helpful to put the club down directly behind the ball, on the target line, before the shot (iron or wood) or stroke (putt). I’ve found this is quite easy to do, though the golfer has to take care not to move the club head “off line” as he or she gets into strike/putt position.

    I’ve seen no pros do this for their iron or wood shots. They pick out a point in front of the ball, on the intended target line, and address the ball accordingly.

    And they line up for a putt with a “line” on the ball of some sort; pointing to the intended target line.

    However, they’re PROs! I think it can be helpful to us amateurs to do what I’m asking about, because it takes the worry out of lining up to the target.

    The only caveat is that, when the golfer moves around to the address position, if anything changes in the “eye line” that ultimately affects where the shot goes (with a properly executed, center-of-the-clubface strike or stroke, of course!). Thanks!


  2. Craig,
    The imaginary line on the ground is not to align your stance. It is to align your swing by telling your unconscious mind the direction of the path you want to club to follow as it goes through the ball.

    For swings, the pros find their stance line from standing behind the ball, and then just walk into their stance. This is from a teaching pro whom I respect. Watch it on TV. It’s exactly what they do.

    As for putting, I find aligning the aim mark on the ball to my starting line horribly distracting. Dave Stockton tells us to align our stroke to a spot on the ground one inch in front of the ball. If you make that one-inch putt, you’ll make the full putt (if your read and speed are right).

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