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OTHER ITA SITES:
Developing Your Own Golf Style
You really do need to develop your own golf style. Now, that may seem like an obvious statement, but some beginners think that all they have to do is imitate Tiger Woods' every move and they'll become an instant golf success.
Unfortunately, it's just not that easy. There are no shortcuts to becoming a good golfer.
To begin with, no two people ever swing at a golf ball in exactly the same way. Next time you're at the driving range, stand and watch the rows of people slapping away and you'll quickly see this is absolutely true. Each person has their own unique body build and develops their own individual set of muscles. Therefore, the style of golf played by a person who is large and lanky and swings the club like a hockey player taking a slap shot has a whole different set of muscles than a person who is small and wiry.
Golf will always be an individual sport and finding a style of playing that produces the best results for you will go a long way in determining how much you enjoy playing the game.
With golf, imitation is not necessarily the best form of flattery. If you find yourself trying to copy someone else's style, and you're not having much success, perhaps hiring a professional coach for a few lessons will help you find your own groove and help you make corrections to your swing. Try to hire someone who works with the natural swing that you already have rather than a teacher who tries to teach you general rules that don't necessarily apply to every type of golfer.
It's also a good idea, if you do hire a pro, to make sure that he or she is a top notch player and teacher as well. If they just stand there and watch you swing without actually showing you how to get out of a sand trap, or hit a fade, or the proper way to putt from the fringe, then you're really not getting your money's worth. The best teachers will try to understand your natural abilities first and then adjust their advice to suit your specific needs.
Once you're ready to play a game, it's important not to think too much before taking your shot. I've played with people who stood so long over the ball trying to remember everything their coach taught them, you wondered how they ever got through 18 holes. It's impossible to make a shot while trying to think of a dozen things like your grip, where your feet are, where the ball is, keeping your eye on the ball, keeping your head straight, and so on. If you make a bad shot, don't fret. You'll get another chance to take that shot again, so get on with it an always try to use your natural way of doing things. The worst thing you can do is to keep changing your style just because you had a bad game.
As you're learning the game, however, there are some fundamental principles that need to be observed.
Here are two basic tips to help you improve your personal game.
An important foundation you need no matter what shot you're making, no matter what club you're using, is balance. You must keep your balance when you strike the ball.
And remember, of course, to always keep your eye on the ball. Make sure your stance allows you to see the ball from every point of the stroke.
Take your time and develop your own methods that work best for you. Unless you're playing golf for a living, you have all the time in the world to get it right.
Like everything else in life, golf takes time and practice and if you're patient and try doing everything as natural as possible, in no time you'll get your first birdie, and then your first chip in for par, and before you know it, you'll be breaking 80 on a regular basis.
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