If you’re like most golfers, you want to shoot better consistently. In fact, it’s probably you’re number one goal in golf. Consistency (and a consistent golf swing) seems to be desired by every golfer, whether you’re an amateur or Tour player.
After good rounds and bad rounds, the number one question is almost always “How do I become more consistent in golf?”
Think back… I’m sure you’ve gone on a streak of a few weeks or few months where you felt consistent. And there isn’t a much better feeling than walking on the first tee confident about how you’re going to play.
But in the world of golf, consistency is like the fountain of youth for the rest of society. It’s the thing that changes your world and everyone is searching for it.
But because golf has so many different types of shots and conditions, consistency isn’t easy. If it were, way more people would play golf on a regular basis.
Here are some easy to follow tips that will help you swing and score more consistently this year.
First off, what is consistency anyway? Is it a consistent golf swing making solid contact on a regular basis or is it more about scoring well?
It’s a subtle difference but it’s important to understand. You need to know what you’re trying to achieve so you can spend time working on the right stuff. It will make your quest to greatness that much easier.
Here are some of the biggest factors that lead to a consistent golf swing and scoring consistently well on the links.
So much of your game happens before you ever hit a shot. And I’m not talking about warming up on the range or doing putting drills before the round. I’m talking about your address position.
Setting up consistently is half the battle to swinging well on a repeated basis. Because let’s get real, if your aim is off every time you stand over a shot, it’s nearly impossible to make consistent contact.
While there is no one correct grip, you need to make sure your hand positions are the same each time. Grip pressure is equally important so make sure you aren’t gripping too soft or have the death grip which adds tension.
Balance and posture are also keys to being more consistent. Your knees should have a gentle amount of flex, light knee bend, and arms hanging straight down.
Lastly, your weight should feel as if it’s over the balls of your feet. If it is too much on your toes or heels it is hard to get a full shoulder turn and proper weight rotation.
If you’re aimed right or left of the target, you will have to make some type of correction on your backswing or downswing. And if you’re manipulating the club because of bad aim, you’re going to have very few “consistent” days on the course.
The first step is to make sure your clubface is square to the target. I’ve found that even if your aim and stance are great, the clubface can be way off. To help with this, I recommend using a magnetic lie angle tool. This makes it easy to see if you’re clubface isn’t square to the target when you’re practicing.
Once your clubface is square, make sure to focus on your feet, hips, and shoulder alignment. A lot of golfers get into the habit of having their feet aimed right, shoulders aimed left and it usually produces a huge pull cut.
To double check your aim and setup, have a friend video your swing so you can learn what to improve. And if you’re practicing on the range, make sure to use an alignment rod when so you’re always setting up square to the target.
Once you’re setting up properly, now it’s time to look at how you can focus on the right areas of your swing for consistency. One of the biggest areas isn’t so much takeaway or downswing but instead your tempo and rhythm. If you take the club back too fast or rush your transition, you’re going to spray it all over the course.
Watch the best players in the world and you can notice they have a few things in common. One of them is that they are always accelerating through the swing. They are constantly accelerating and gaining speed from the moment they take the club back.
If you jerk the club back in an aggressive manner on the backswing, you’re actually going to decelerate on the downswing. And the same goes for the downswing. You need to take the club back slower, have a slight pause, and then begin to swing the club with power.
To generate the most power at impact, you have to start the downswing with ease. Too many golfers try to kill it at the top of their swing. Instead, start down with ease and once the club is nearly parallel to the ground then accelerate.
Speaking of impact position, this is another thing that all good players have in common. Regardless of swing, each of them gets the club square at impact and their swings bottom out at the same place each time. Because no matter what you do on the backswing, it doesn’t really matter as long as the club is square at impact.
Here’s what a great impact position looks like. Typically, you’ll see players have the club lined up with their left arm. This creates a power triangle between your two arms and the ball. Yet most amateurs have a sort of chicken wing at impact resulting in a lot of thin and fat shots.
The next thing they have in common is their head is behind the ball. This allows them to get their weight to their forward foot and extend fully past the ball. Lastly, the wrist is slightly bowed to compress the ball and deloft the club.
A great drill to help get your wrist in place is the tee drill by Me and My Golf. As they point out in the video, getting your left wrist in the right position at impact is key to consistent golf.
Step 1: Insert a tee in between your thumb and pointer finger
Step 2: With one hand on the club, see where the tee is pointing. If it’s left of the grip, that means you’re going to take the club back incorrectly.
Step 3: Repeat 10-15x with one hand to get the feel and then add on your second hand.
These things will help consistency but let’s get real, no one has their swing every single round. Even the best players in the world hit it poorly and spray it all over on bad days. But you don’t seem to notice this nearly as much because of world-class short games.
A great short game can disguise a bad ball striking round! Tiger has talked about this himself and said how grateful he is that his dad taught him golf from the green back to the tee. While you should practice on making your swing more consistent, don’t neglect short game.
According to Golf Digest, “We use the putter 41.3 percent of the time (including from the fringe). As for the rest of the short game, from 100 yards and in, that number balloons to 60 percent.”
If you’re like most amateurs, you’re only practicing a few months per month at best. Instead of mindlessly hitting golf balls on the range, make sure to spend time on the shots 100 yards and in, especially putting.
Consistency on the big day comes from putting in work on the range but it also comes from the right habits on the course. Here are three that will make sure you’re setting yourself up for success.
In my experience, playing consistent golf comes from having confidence when you arrive on the course. For me, I like to arrive 60-minutes early to get properly warmed up. After checking in I always hit range, chip, pitch, and putt. I’ve found this routine of about 15 minutes on each area of the game really helps when I’m on the course and helps me to avoid any first tee jitters.
Sometimes if you’re not scoring consistently well is because of a lack of focus. I’ve found that a consistent pre-shot routine can help alleviate this and help you stay focused. Try to keep it simple, avoid too many swing thoughts and create a routine that empowers your game.
Don’t try to play like your competitors or the person you think you should be on the golf course. Play your game and stick to the plan you create before the round and each hole. Consistency comes from playing your game and not trying to do too much.
I’m confident these five tips will help you play more consistent golf no matter what level you’re at. Start by focusing on the fundamental swing issues like setup and impact. These are the two biggest keys to hitting it pure on a regular basis.
Next, make sure you’re practicing your short game so you can have a crutch if your swing isn’t there.
Lastly, use routines to stay focused and play consistently throughout the round.