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Learn the Rules and Etiquette
Whether you are a newbie or a pro, every golfer on the course should have a good grasp of the rules of the game as well as golf course etiquette. The United States Golf Association has plenty of golf tips for beginners, as well as the complete set of rules and a detailed Golf Etiquette 101, to help golfers fully understand the game.
Violation of some of golf’s rules and etiquette can get you kicked off a course quickly, like playing too slow or not letting other groups play through. Others, like not fixing your divots or dropping your golf bag on the putting green, may make more experienced players think twice about playing with you again.
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Do Not Muscle the Ball
Many novice players believe that they need to swing the club with all of their strength in order to hit the ball long distances. This could not be further from the truth. In order to get the maximum distance out of your swing, be sure to make solid contact between your clubface and the ball, while achieving a faster club speed. Save your energy for other pursuits, and concentrate on a more focused swing that finesses, rather than powers, the club.
Be careful about how and when you create club speed. Your speed should come from the downswing, and not the backswing. Too much speed on the downswing usually results in poor shots.
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Work On Your Short Game
No matter how far and straight you can drive the ball down the fairway, you have no hope of winning a game of golf unless your short game is at least adequate. This means splitting your practice time between the driving range and the practice green, but the benefits will begin to show immediately. Learn the proper putting stance and swing, as well as how to read the breaks in the green properly.
To practice the perfect putt, place two tees in the ground just far enough apart to allow the head of your putter through. Place another tee roughly 12 inches away, centered between the two tees. Place your ball between the two tees and practice putting the ball to hit the single tee without hitting the two tees with your club.
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Practice, Practice, Practice
Although there are basic principles to a good golf swing, like setup, grip and aim, each person’s swing is as individual as they are. A good swing is one that is consistent time after time, and that consistency only comes from practice. Once you have that consistency in your swing, confidence will naturally follow.
Begin by investing in professional golf lessons to learn the proper rhythm and motion in your swing and develop good golf swing habits. Although you may think that you have the right stance or the proper body movement, it helps to have an experienced third party critique your movements. Then spend as much time as you can each week practicing, either at the driving range or in your backyard, until you have the same consistency that more experienced players have.
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United States Golf Association: http://www.usga.org/etiquette/tips/Golf-Etiquette-101/
Golf Channel-Putting Drills: http://www.thegolfchannel.com/golf-lessons/putting-practice-drills/3/
Golflink-The Perfect Swing: http://www.golflink.com/golf-tips/tips/tetrault001.aspx