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Golf is one of the world’s biggest sports and is a great way to stay healthy and keep fit. It is also an amazingly competitive sport that lets you compete with yourself as you try to get a lower and lower score on your local courses. Here we have five strategies that should help a golfer of any level of ability to improve their golf game.

Know Your Clubs

The chances are you have the right club in your bag for every shot you need to make. Many golfers, even semi-professionals, don’t know enough about their clubs and the distances they are capable of reaching. Practice with your clubs at the driving range to get a better idea of the distances and shots you can make with your clubs, so you are better informed when you are on the course.

Know Your Hazards

The biggest challenge on the golf course for many golfers is getting past the hazards like sand bunkers and lakes and streams.

Hazards like bunkers are usually man-made and have been put there intentionally to make a hole more difficult to play. These bunkers are usually placed before the green to make your approach more challenging, so a good technique is to over hit your shot to fly over the hazard and work back to the green from the far side.

Be careful with water hazards. Many golfers will plan an overhit shot to make sure they land comfortably clear of the water, but then have to hit back towards to get back on the fairway or green. Don’t go with too much club when you are near water; give yourself enough range to get to the other side, just. The worst thing about facing a water hazard is hitting so hard you have to face the same hazard twice to stay on the course.

Practice Makes Perfect

Getting out to the course can be difficult. Weather and family commitments can often prevent you from practicing your shots and getting the extra time you need to improve your game. A golf launch monitor lets you practice at home and provides very precise ball data that can help you correct mistakes and develop your shots.

The Most Important Yard is in Your Head

If you don’t have your head in the right place when you golf, you are going to have a bad day on the course. Golf should be relaxing and fun, and a place you can go to get away from the stresses and strains of life. Taking your trouble to the golf course will cause you trouble while you play.

Don’t play angry is great advice. Use golf as a way to clear your mind and concentrate on one thing – and do that thing well. Your greatest competitor on the course is yourself, so get your head in the right place to play. You will see your game improve and reduce the number of strokes it takes you to get around the course.

Analyze Your Game

The biggest mistake most golfers make is not analyzing their game, replaying their best and worst shots in their head, and looking for places they can improve their technique.

Think about your best shots and what made them work. Posture and swing are important in every golf shot, so you need to know what you did right so you can bring those elements to other areas of your golf game. Know your weaknesses too. You could spend hours practicing your drive, but if your putting lets you down, you are not going to improve. Take some time to strengthen the weaker aspects of your game to reduce the number of shots you have to take.

With these five tips, you should be able to knock some strokes off your game and sink your balls in fewer strokes when you go out on the course.