Cheat Sheet

Golf All-in-One For Dummies

From Golf All-in-One For Dummies by Consumer Dummies

The best way to improve your golf game is to practice. Two common obstacles to practicing golf are finding the time to take some golf swings and overcoming the boredom of repetition. Never fear. A few simple strategies can help you carve out a few minutes each day to work on your golf game and make practice more interesting.

A Sample Practice Schedule for Golfers

A practice schedule can help motivate golfers to adhere to practice—and thereby improve their golf games. Golf practice is important because the sport requires skills that don't come naturally to most people. Here's a sample practice schedule to guide you in crafting one that fits into your own busy life:

  • Monday: Health-club workout (1 hour); putt on rug (15 minutes).

  • Tuesday: Swing a club in front of a mirror or window (30 minutes).

  • Wednesday: Health-club workout (1 hour); read a golf magazine or golf book or watch a golf DVD (30 minutes).

  • Thursday: Swing a club or chip (1 hour).

  • Friday: Health-club workout (1 hour); practice range, including golf drills (1 hour).

  • Saturday: Practice range (1 hour); play 18 holes.

  • Sunday: Watch golf on TV; practice range (30 minutes); play 9 holes.

Warming Up before Hitting the Golf Course

A warm-up up at the golf course isn't the same as a golf practice session. Warming up includes stretching, getting a feel for the golf club, making ball contact, and building confidence; it takes place 30 to 40 minutes before you hit the first tee. Here's a sample warm-up plan.

Preferred Preround Warm-Up (40 Minutes)
Time (Minutes) Location Activity
5 Putting/chipping green Brief stretching/putts
5 Putting/chipping green chipping
5 Driving range Warm-up stretching
5 Driving range Wedge shots
5 Driving range Hitting with your favorite club
5 Driving range Hitting the driver
5 Putting/chipping green Putts
1st tee Swing away!

A Trio of Golf Games to Practice Putting

Putting practice certainly sharpens a golfer's skills, but all that practice can become boring. Incorporate skill games into putting practice to keep it fresh. Golfers can fine-tune their skills alone or with another player during these practice drills, which are disguised as challenge games:

Horse-ing around

Saddle up for a game of Horse by following these steps to practice putting:

  1. You and an opponent take one golf ball each to the practice green.

  2. One player picks a spot around the hole and attempts to sink a putt from there.

    If player one sinks it: His opponent must sink it too. If the opponent fails to duplicate the putt, he picks up an H, the first letter of H-o-r-s-e. If player two sinks it, player one conjures up another challenge. You can shorten the game to "Pig" (or any word) if you're short on time.

    If player one misses it: Player two chooses a putt of his own design and attempts to make it.

  3. The first player to get stuck with all five letters spelling "Horse" loses.

Snake

Snake sharpens your putting by forcing you to pay closer attention to your first putt. Follow these steps, and the game of Snake is on:

  1. Purchase a rubber snake at any toy store — the uglier the snake, the better.

  2. As soon as the round of golf begins, pull the reptile from your golf bag.

  3. The first player to 3-putt takes possession of the snake, and the other players hang it from his golf bag or cart.

    Be sure to putt in turn based on who's away — more than one player may 3-putt on a given green.

  4. The 3-putter suffers the indignity of carrying the snake until another player 3-putts.

  5. The player who carries the snake when the round ends loses the match.

Eight in a Row

Eight in a Row is a fantastic putting game that you can play all by yourself. Take these steps toward putting success:

  1. Pull eight balls from your golf bag.

  2. Find a fairly flat hole on a practice green and pull the flag from the hole.

  3. Set yourself up two feet from the hole, and try to make all eight putts consecutively.

    If you miss a putt, you have to start over until you make all eight putts.

  4. Back up one foot and try to make all the three-foot putts consecutively.

    If you miss one, begin again until you make all eight putts consecutively. If you fail to make all the three-footers again, go back to two feet and start over.

  5. Repeat the process, moving back one foot every time you make eight consecutive putts.

  6. Keep going until you stand eight feet from the hole.

    Don't be startled when you find yourself repeatedly draining eight-footers.

  7. After you master the flat putt, try the same game on a side-hill, uphill, or downhill putt.

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