Hitting a golf ball is one of the most challenging things to do in sports. It seems simple because the ball is stationary, but it’s incredible how badly even decent players hit it. 

But when you learn the essential skills that make a good golfer, those bad hits can be a thing of the past. 

Establish a Routine

Every solid golf swing begins with a pre-shot routine to get everything set. You want to lock in three things before you strike the ball: aim, setup, and grip. 

It’s common for inexperienced golfers to struggle with their aim. Since your target is either a spot you pick out or the flagstick, it’s hard to ascertain where you want to hit the ball. 

Even if it looks like you’re standing in the right direction, you probably aren’t, creating a wicked swing path. You can learn to aim using alignment sticks or other golf clubs to ensure it’s right at the target. 

Your setup should loosen your body. Addressing the ball with a rigid or imbalanced stance is a recipe for disaster because you’ll overcorrect yourself during the swing. 

Lastly, the way you grip the club is vital. You want to try and grip the club in your fingers instead of your palms. A vice, baseball-style grip will cause you to lose the feel of your swing. 

Know Where to Stand for Each Shot

While distance in your shots matters, you’re not going to have those positive results if you don’t keep your distance between you and the ball airtight. Where and how you stand while addressing your shot will make or break you before you even swing. 

Different clubs require you to stand in a specific position. For example, you will want your front foot slightly forward when using your driver. 

Yet, you will want feet equidistant when using an iron, and you should align your back foot with the ball for any chips or pitches. Add your stance into your pre-shot routine to ensure you don’t forget it.

Strike the Ball Instead of Scooping It

Novice golfers try to lift the ball in the air by scooping it rather than hitting it. Because a well-struck ball soars through the sky, we subconsciously swing the wrong way, considering our fear is that we’ll hit a dribbler 20 yards. 

Elite golfers strike the ball precisely, creating a powerful shot with distance and loft. Your hands are integral for this to go smoothly, considering you want them in front of the club head through impact. 

Recording yourself or watching yourself on a golf simulator should give you a good idea of where your hands are and how to correct them. 

Effortless Power

Another bad habit many golfers have is swinging hard to hit the ball far. In theory, more velocity behind the swing should result in greater distances. However, swinging with extreme force will cause you to mishit the ball, ruining any chance at solid contact. 

Let your club do the work for you, and ensure you’re hitting the ball in the center of the club face. If it hits square on the club face, the ball will fly regardless of how hard you swing. 


Harnessing these essential skills that make a good golfer can make this fun—albeit frustrating—game more enjoyable. 

Putting for birdie or par is a wonderful feeling, so incorporate these tips into your game, to make those plentiful as opposed to any snowmen on the scorecard.


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