How to Play Golf Consistently

By Robert Lee
Improve your golf game with regular sessions at the driving range.
Improve your golf game with regular sessions at the driving range.

Every golfer loves playing consistently well. Even the best golfers, such as Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, start tournaments hoping to achieve consistency. When their play is consistent they're capable of winning major championships because of their superior talent. Weekend players can't rise to that level, but you can significantly increase your enjoyment of the game and perhaps challenge for your club championship by becoming a more consistent player. Doing so takes training, hard work and lots of patience.

Swing your driver with control and balance to avoid errant drives. Golf instructor Dave Pelz notes that professional golfers don't lose their balance while swinging the driver. They usually finish with perfect form. But Pelz notes that weekend players often swing the driver so hard that they make poor contact, resulting in drives that miss the fairway. Swing the club at about 85 percent of your full power for better control. Hitting the fairway improves your chance of reaching the green on your second or third shot and having a chance at a par.

Use a 3-wood or hybrid off the tee, if necessary. Pelz notes that you may lose around 10 percent of your distance, but the trade-off is worth it. Gaining 10 percent greater accuracy off the tee can lead to lower scores and more consistent play overall.

Improve your short game. In his book "From 60 Yards In," golfing great Raymond Floyd notes that improving your short game is the quickest path to lowering your scores. That's because the majority of an amateur's shots come from inside 150 yards. It isn't unusual for a weekend player to attempt more than 30 putts in a round. That means a high handicapper shooting 100 for a round may take nearly a third of his shots just on the putting green. Working with a PGA-certified instructor to get better at chipping, pitching and putting will lead to more consistent play.

Accept nervousness and bad shots. Floyd, who won 22 times on the PGA Tour and 14 times on the Champions Tour, advises that improving your mental game is vital for playing consistently. Becoming unnerved by a poor shot can lead to several more errant shots. Nervousness is a part of golf and affects even the best players. As a weekend player you can learn to handle nervousness by practicing as much as possible, competing in tournaments and playing with better golfers.

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