Golf originated in the UK, more precisely in Scotland, around the turn of the 19th century. Back in the day, the whole point was to hit a pebble over dunes of sand and around the field with a stick or club.
Not much has changed over time, except that now golf is a sport played by many around the world, and many, although not professional players, prefer it over other sports as it allows them to spend quality time with friends while being active.
Other advantages of the sport are a reduced level of stress and anxiety and a chance to improve your focus and motor skills. If you happen to be an enthusiastic player or are thinking of starting, in the text below you’ll find some easy-to-follow advice on how to step up your game and make it even more pleasurable.
Although some regard it as a “mild" sport, injuries such as muscle strains are more common. The swift yet ferocious strikes players make with the club can cause damage to the upper arm muscles, and without proper stretching, your game will take a toll.
Professional athletes do stretching exercises before every game and even simple training. Therefore, golf should be no exception to this rule. Even more, stretching allows for a higher rate of blood flow and circulation prior to the actual game, making the muscles prepared for the upcoming quick yet powerful strikes. They make you more agile and better prepared, and your body becomes more resilient to movements and change. There are some exercises in particular which you can practice regularly. However, most are basic and well known. It’s not rocket science; simple movements and a bit of patience while doing them will guarantee you better performance and an overall better game.
Also, an interesting and innovative way to prepare the muscles is the use of sports gel with a soothing and warming effect. Professional athletes sometimes use these gels to increase blood flow prior to exercise. It is a nice addition but look for the natural ones based on chilly peppers and other spices.
Mental stability and peace of mind
Contrary to popular belief, sport is all about mental stability and peace of mind while playing. During sudden and often energy-exhausting games, the player must keep a high level of focus and sheer willpower to overcome possible obstacles. This requires complete dedication during the play and a state of mind rid of unnecessary distractions which can obstruct your gameplay.
With this in mind, most players tend to meditate before a game and clear their minds of any negative thoughts that could interrupt them. Many studies have shown the immense effect this has on our overall mental well-being and productivity levels. A sense of clarity is often achieved with a better understanding of problems and their solutions. As explained by golf experts at golfergeeks.com, developing a routine can help you achieve this state of mind and level of confidence prior to the game. Routines are powerful tools for achieving tranquillity and stability during and before play. Our brains are simply wired in such a manner that practicing a regular routine puts us in a state of peace and gives the impression of having control over the whole situation.
A routine becomes a sort of ritual over time, and before every game, it prepares you mentally for the upcoming play. Some people tend to do breathing exercises to lower their blood pressure and reduce their stress levels. Others, after stretching, make sure to take a good look at the court and think of strategies in advance, while some simply have a cup of coffee to ease the nerves. It’s an interesting technique and can be a great way to relax and enjoy your time.
Old habits never die
Similar to having a routine to ease the nerves prior to playing, training regularly should be a part of your life if you want to achieve better results. Once the training becomes more of a habit than a responsibility, your muscles start learning and memorizing the movements, and you become better and better over time. Also, the advantages of training regularly as opposed to once a month are many.
Regular training causes more muscle mass, better body health, more stamina and agility, bone health, and enhanced senses. It puts your body in a state of positive stress, which consequently allows you to deal better with everyday stress at work and in life in general.
In particular for sports, training regularly helps you work and improve until perfection. Yet, even with training, you can overdo it. Yes, even professional athletes take some time off and make sure to have regular rest between each training session. Resting is the phase that allows your body and muscles to recover from the pressure and gives your body a chance to heal itself, making your next performance even better. Similar to putting extra gas in a car, taking some rest will give you that extra boost during the next game. With a regular training schedule, quality sleeping patterns, a good diet, and a lot of productive rest, you’ll become better with each day.
The swing is performed with a single continuous movement:
1. The upper part of the body rotates while the arms are raised backward.
2. As the stick descends, the weight of the body is transferred from the back leg to the front.
3. The weight is completely on the left leg.
4. The head is down at the moment the stick touches the ball.
5. The body is turned towards the target, and the stick reaches behind the left shoulder.
Also, working on your grip is essential for better performance. Make sure to take into account whether you are left or right-handed, and take care of the way you hold the club. There are numerous articles on the proper putter grip and how to make it perfect.
You'll also have to work on your posture and make sure to stand properly before taking a swing. It is said a good swing comes from the hip, or in other words, a good player knows how to stand.
Posture, in every sport, not only golf, determines the success of your game and whether your swings will have the needed power. Make sure to establish balance first, bend your knees, make sure your shoulders and feet are aligned well and take your time to establish a proper balance. With these tips and by following the above-mentioned steps, you’ll amaze your colleagues during the next game.
Make sure your hands are dry and calm
Another major problem can be slippery and shaky hands. Slippery hands are easily dealt with, and some old-school powder or a set of high-quality gloves will solve the issue.
Shaky hands are something you should pay attention to. Make sure to have a solid and nice grip, firm yet flexible. You don’t want to overdo it with the grip and the firmness, as sometimes even holding the club too strong can take a toll on your performance. Something in between these two extremes is the perfect swing.
Get the right gear
Or, in other words, the right equipment. Golf is one of the sports where your equipment is part of your body and affects your performance drastically. Though other athletes might rely on their bodies, golfers take great pride in their clubs, and each has a specific and unique application.
Wooden clubs are mostly meant for greater distances, and the shape is well-adjusted for this particular purpose as they have large heads and long shafts for achieving maximum distance after the hit. Don’t let the name confuse you as most modern “wooden” clubs are generally made from metal or graphite, yet the name is used to denote their specific purpose and use shape.
The iron clubs are flat-headed with a much longer charter shaft, making them perfect for all sorts of shots. Then there are hybrids, putters, and wedge golf clubs, each perfect for a specific shot. With so much variety, you can imagine the range of applications, meaning you’ll need to equip yourself for a better game.
Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that setting specific goals allows you to focus more on what is important and make sure to set your priorities straight. With specific goals in mind - performance-wise- you’ll dedicate more time to perfecting your swing, technique, posture, or any other aspect of your gameplay in need of serious improvement. Set a schedule, make sure to train regularly, and be prepared for possible setbacks.
Keep to the set goals and train hard to achieve them. We also recommend paying a professional to help you achieve maximum performance—someone well-trained and well-experienced. With a trainer by your side, you’ll have constructive feedback after each session, and you’ll know exactly what to work on. It also gives you a chance to be persistent, as you’ll have a constant motivational reminder to help you become better and better.
Remember, you’ll have to give it a lot of time and patience before achieving your desired goals, but the most important part is to stay consistent.