Did you know that an 18-hole round of golf can burn nearly 2,000 calories? That’s because walking around the course equates to about 5 miles, and if you carry your own clubs, you’re burning even more because of the resistance. If it’s a hot day and you’d prefer to stick to a cart or a caddy, you’re still burning nearly 1,300. In other words, learn how to play golf! It’s good for your health.
Of course, a lot of golfers spend most of their time on the green frustrated about their swing or their putting performance. The trick is not to over-analyze every little detail of the game, though of course that’s easier said than done. But it also helps to know what not to do when you’re getting ready for your first drive. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of three driving myths to help you face the facts.
Myth #1: “Keep your head down.”
The Misnomer: It’s important to keep your head locked into position so you can keep an eye on the ball at all times. This helps your eyes coordinate with your arms and shoulders, meaning when you follow through on the swing, you’ll always make contact and send the ball where you want it to go.
The Real Deal: By focusing too much on your head’s position, you’re actually taking away the concentration on other crucial things — namely, the fluid motion of your body during its swing. When you don’t allow your head to move naturally, you’re actually slashing your chances of contact because you’re stifling your body’s full range of motion. And when you’re trying to play golf, that’s never a good idea.
Myth #2: “Swing harder for more power.”
The Misnomer: You see this all the time when you set up at a new driving green: golfers who mistook “solid contact” for “complete annihilation.” It’s an easy trap to fall into, of course — you notice you’re swinging too slowly so you overcompensate by swinging harder but not necessarily faster.
The Real Deal: Ask any professional, the key is just making contact, not crushing the ball with everything you’ve got. If you’re trying to hit as far as you can by winding up further to get more power, you’re actually throwing off your body’s natural rhythm and therefore, the entire swing in general.
Myth #3: “Your left arm should be straight.”
The Misnomer: Certain pros have played their best golf games ever by keeping their left arms locked in place during their swings. While this might work for them — and for countless others at public golf tournaments and local golf club events across the nation — it might not work for everyone. The left-arm lock is a preference, not a rule.
The Real Deal: It’s a bit like the fixed-head problem we mentioned above. Plenty of golfers over-think their swings, causing them to lose focus and ultimately shank or slice their drives and chips. In order to find your swing, spend some serious time practicing and getting comfortable in your own skin. Try to make it as natural as taking a step or paddling into water.
For more times on how to play golf like a pro, talk to an actual pro. He or she might just have a few secret tips to show you.