1. How far should you stand from the ball?
This is one of the most common questions that golfers ask professionals. While there may be differences in body type, height and comfort, there is a good place to start. Take a good posture by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and bend from the hips so that your back is straight, and your knees are just flexed a little. Let your arms hang down straight from your shoulders or just an inch or two out from your body. Place a 5 iron in your hands and have the butt end point to your belt. This would be an ideal position. See how it feels for you.
2. Speed kills
If you hit most of your shots well but continually top, slice or pull your three wood, chances are it is not the club. Most golfers feel as if they must swing hard once they get a three wood in their hands. You have a long shot ahead of you and it is natural to think you must generate extra speed to get the ball to the target. You should realise that the three wood is built for speed and that a normal smooth swing will get the job done nicely. Hold the club lightly in your hands and swing at 80% of a full effort and you will make a solid contact. That swing will hit the ball as far as you should hit a three wood because you will be maximizing impact.
3. Make those short putts
Missing three-foot putts can be demoralising when you want to score well. On the putting green practice by slowing down your putting stroke so that you develop a slow motion. Slow back and then slow through on all your putts from three feet. On the course take one practice stroke from behind the ball and visualise it going into the middle of the cup. Step up to the ball, look at the hole, and draw your eyes along a line back to your ball. Once your eyes reach your ball, send it back down the line you just traced with your eyes. This will take the anxiety out of the putt as you have a specific plan of what to do. You are not focussed on possibly missing the putt but simply need to follow a simple plan for success.
4. Here is a great short game formula for success
Try these three pre-shot elements when you are hitting a pitch or chip shot and you results will improve immediately. First visualise the shot. See the ball land on your chosen spot that will allow the ball to hit and role to the hole. Rehearse the swing needed in your practice swings. Feel how the club interacts with the grass and ground to get a good idea as to how the shot will feel. Finally, make up your mind to commit to the shot so that you have no doubts or fears and are totally confident in hitting a good shot. This formula will ensure that you have done everything possible to hit the shot that you want. In practice, use this formula every time instead of just hitting one ball after another. This will really work wonders for your short game.
5. Break out of a slump
When you have a period where your golf game goes bad and cannot find the reason why, make some basic changes. Often golfers will experience a period of playing poorly because some bad habits have slipped into their game. On the practice range, try standing a little closer or a little further from the ball at setup. Over time, we tend to drift away or get sloppy in our setups. Try strengthening or weakening your grip by turning your hands slightly left or right on your grip.This subtle change may allow you to square up the club better at impact. Finally, ask a friend to see where your ball position is, as it may have crept forward or back to far in your stance.