Starting out in golf is challenging, and it is during this beginner stage that most people give up entirely on the sport, as they expected to be immediately able to play the game properly. It takes time to improve, but using the drills below, you won’t be frustrated for long, and you will soon reach the standard you desire to be at.
1. 10 Consecutive putts
Putting is the most important part of any golfer’s game, because it is on the green where one must finally place the ball in the hole. Beginner golfers often find putting difficult, as it is not easy to judge putts at first, which is why they usually send the ball miles long of the hole, or far too short. A simple but extremely effective drill to improve one’s putting is to line up ten golf balls side-by-side, all the same distance from the hole. Then proceed to go from left-to-right, putting one ball after another. If you continue to repeat this drill, your feel for your putter will improve, and you will gradually become more consistent on the green.
2. Closing right-eye
A bad habit of many beginner golfers is over-swinging the club. Players believe that the more they swing, the further they will hit the ball, which to an extent is true, however if you lose control of your club during your swing, then your shot will be wild also. Aside from hindering your game, over-swinging also looks technically poor. There is a straightforward drill for resolving this issue. Firstly, hit a ball with an iron using your full swing. If you can see your club in the corner of your left-eye when you complete your backswing, then you know that you are over-swinging. To stop this from occurring again, close your left-eye and hit five more shots with an iron. Then, open your left-eye and play another shot – miraculously, you will no longer over-swing.
Note: Close your right-eye if you are left-handed
3. Half-Swing Drill
The half-swing drill will greatly enhance your ball-striking which is an area where many beginners struggle. Whether you slice, hook, fat, thin or just don’t make clean contact with the ball, following this drill will work wonders for your game. As the name of this drill suggests, all you need to do is swing the club half as far as your usually would; this means swinging back half as much as your normal swing, and following through half as much as well. Continue to strike balls for five minutes in this way, and you should find that every time you play a shot, you get the same impact, distance, trajectory and accuracy on the ball. It is important to focus on hitting the ball in the middle of the face of the club, and keeping the club face neutral by not allowing it to open or close. You can change the clubs you use for this drill, but the end results will be the same – you will hit more fairways, you will strike the ball sweeter and cleaner, and your all-round consistency with your irons and woods will dramatically improve.
4. Bunker Repetition
Bunkers are every beginner golfer’s nightmare. All golfers can recall the dreaded day when they were trapped in the sand and could find no way of escaping. It is a horrible and frustrating experience, but with this drill it can be avoided. If you can access a bunker to practice in, then take five balls and place them in various different places (for example put some deep in the bunker, others on the edge etc.) Then, focus on getting under the ball as much as you can without touching the sand with your club before you play your shot. Don’t forget to bend your knees and dig your feet firmly into the sand. Distance and placement doesn’t matter, your target is just to hit all five balls out of the bunker. You cannot stop this drill until you succeed in getting all five balls out of the bunker in five shots. Achieving this will give you great confidence should you ever encounter a bunker during a round, and it will accustom you to the vital technique required to free yourself from a bunker.
5. Feet Together Drill
The feet together drill can have many positive effects on a beginners golf. Quite obviously, all one is required to do for this drill is to strike the ball with their feet touching together or centimetres apart. Keeping your feet together restricts you, and ensures that you concentrate on hitting the ball. For many players, this is not their main focus, as they try to incorporate body movement into their swing to obtain more power, and beginner players are culpable of swaying and taking their eyes off the ball too. If you try to move your body at all (other than your arms) when you have your feet together, you will completely lose your balance each time you try to play a shot. Therefore, this drill encourages you to maintain a tidy and efficient swing and improves your timing and ball striking.
6. Coin Drill
The coin drill suits many beginner golfers, and it is a fun and easy way to assist you in getting air on the ball. When you just start out in golf, you long to see the ball soar high and far in the air. Annoyingly, it can take time before you learn to strike under the ball, and a common mistake is that many players top the ball and watch it roll yards in front of them rather than fly into the distant sky. The coin drill entails placing a coin or a penny on a practice mat. As you can imagine, it is massively more difficult to get air on a coin than it is a golf ball, but by continually trying to loft the penny with as many different clubs as you can, your topping will be cured. When you feel you have tried hitting the coin enough times, switch back to playing with a golf ball, and you should find it far easier to send the ball sailing high.
7. Half-Speed Drill
The half-speed drill is a favourite of legendary golf coach Butch Harmon, and it can be of great benefit to beginner golfers. This drill fights against hooks and slices in particular; two things which can seriously hamper beginners. As you would expect, this drill involves swinging the club at half your usual speed before hitting the ball. This intentionally slows down your arms and makes sure that upon contact, the club face is entirely straight, which in turn prevents slices and hooks. This is another drill aimed at helping beginners to hit precise, correct shots on a consistent basis.
8. One-Handed Putt
Lastly, the one-handed putt is the perfect antidote for any troubles on the green. If you are right-handed, use your right arm only for this drill, and vice verse if you are left-handed. You should perform this drill no more than six feet away from the hole. It will teach you to properly release the putter head, because with one-hand, you are forced to let go of the stroke much sooner. In addition to this, you will learn to handle your putter much more lightly which is significant, because many beginners squeeze their putter tight and force the ball rather than stroke it. Finally, your hand-eye coordination is brought into play with this drill as your concentration must be at its peak to putt the ball home with just one hand. Evidently this drill has numerous advantages for your putting.