Five Ways To Get Ready For Golf Season

It’s pretty much accepted in the larger world that the Masters marks the unofficial start to the golf year. The weather in the northern reaches of the U.S. is finally trending toward the friendly side, the first men’s major on the calendar gets folks fired up (especially when a Tiger Woods wins), the days are long enough to knock out nine after work and, well, it’s just TIME to get ready for golf season.

It’s certainly time for me. After just two outings so far this year, I’ve identified more than a few gaping holes in my game that left me way beyond my comfort zone in terms of double bogeys, triple bogeys and dreaded “others.”

That said, a couple welcome holdovers from last year — a rejiggered putting stroke and a continuing love affair with my Indi Golf wedges — helped me find my way to some satisfying pars and even a couple birdies.

Not bad, but not enough. It’s never enough.

Sound familiar? If course it does.

After nearly 50 years of playing golf, I finally recognized the unrelenting folly of just loading up on range balls and beating them, one after the other, with no plan or purpose. Such mindless mashing will get you nowhere but deeper into a hole of frustration.

The old saw “perfect practice makes perfect” holds true, and we’ve got the goods to prove it.

If you need a comprehensive road map for molding a practice routine that makes sense and reaps big benefits every time out, look no further than Top 25 Instructor John Hughes’ feature, How to Practice To Play Golf.

Meanwhile, frequent Golf Tips contributor and PGA instructor Scott Yurgalevicz shows how to Practice With True Purpose so not a moment of your precious time is wasted.

Already have a solid plan dialed but need a couple specific tips to spice things up and test yourself a little? Another Top 25 instructor and LPGA Teacher of the Year, Alison Curdt, has a couple cool ideas — one involving obstacles, another a simple alignment stick.

Finally, longtime PGA Tour standout Kevin Streelman gives Golf Tips readers (and editors) his time-tested recipe for practicing like a pro.

After all the emphasis on professional club fitting that’s come our way over the past decade or so, most of us still hang our hopes on off-the-rack sticks that, truth to tell, outlived their “use by” date about five years ago.

That won’t fly these days. Time to invest in weapons that’ll result in friendlier fire than ever. No excuses!

I’m certainly woke in this department. Start with my driver: I journeyed a few hours down the road to a Club Champion outlet to research this How To Build Your New Driver piece and came away with a world-beating beast.

Can’t leave the irons out, which is why I headed to my local GolfTec outlet, where a great gearhead named Justin took me through my launch monitor paces to get a read on spin rate, launch angle, club head speed — all that jazz — and dialed in several head-and-shaft combo options. The result, GolfTec Clubfitting Hits the Mark, was a blast to write.

Low-tech, high-tech, somewhere in between … doesn’t matter. The array of game-changing swing and putting aids has never been bigger or better, and the gadgets you can tote with you to the range or the course — whether to be your own numbers geek or just get the right distance to every pin and tree and bunker — are positively stunning in their capabilities. Golf Tips has a few favorites from the 2019 crop, and I’d like to share them with you.

This might seem obvious, but then again, maybe not. We are committed to bring you the best in golf instruction and work hard to cover every part of the game through our words and images, but let’s face it: There’s nothing better than a face-to-face session with a seasoned, knowledgeable, and observant teaching professional. They are truly the backbone of the game and are worthy of your support.

Every lesson I’ve ever had has revealed things about my game that I just couldn’t see in my head or feel in my muscles. The latest sessions, both via V1 Golf’s impressive video app with Top 25 Instructor Tom Patri, and in person with folks like Casa de Campo’s Eric Lillibridge and Nemacolin Resort’s Eric Johnson, helped me immensely with a lifeling takeaway flaw, which led to all sorts of problems. I’m now striking the ball as well as I ever have.

A pro’s practiced and polished eye for detail is invaluable if we ever want to get better for the long haul. If you’re near one of our Top 25 Instructors, start there, or just seek out a local teacher and get to work.


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