Ten Ways to Get Better at Golf in 2024
By Ryan Adams, PGA
Happy New Year! Now is a great time to map out a game plan for the year ahead, especially if you’re looking to play better golf in 2024.
And we’re here to help you.
Use this first week of the year to create some goals that are attainable — they’ll be your foundation for a year of improvement. In addition, it’s always good to have easy tips to remember when you’re working on getting better.
That’s what the list below is for. Feel free to print it out, throw it in your golf bag or save the list in your phone. To improve, sometimes it takes small steps to get started and this “cheat sheet” is the perfect recipe to do just that.
1. Look at getting lessons with a PGA Coach. This one is a no-brainer for improvement and it’s super easy to find a PGA of America Golf Professional near you who can help you get better. Click here to get started.
2. Get new grips for your clubs. Nothing beats a fresh set of grips and your grips from last year are likely worn down. A new set will give you better control of your club, leading to straighter shots and more yards instantly.
3. Practice short putts. Three to six-footers being made more often really can lower your scores. Work on gaining confidence by trying to make five three-footers in a row when you’re practicing.
4. Get A+ alignment. Buy yourself two alignment sticks — one for your feet and one for your shoulders. Practice setting up to swing then check where you’re pointed. It’s great feedback.
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5. Simplify your chipping. Use this checklist: play the ball in the middle or just back of middle in your stance; lean a little into your front side so weight is 60/40, put the handle of your club in line with the middle of your chest. This sets you up for a descending blow.
6. Hit shots with your feet together. This is a great drill to master balance and proper sequence. Keep your feet together and start with a wedge, then a 7-iron. Focus on driving the back of the ball into the ground.
7. Launch your driver. Set up for a drive, with your feet together. Tilt your shoulders so your back shoulder is lower than the front. Spread your feet apart with the ball in line with your front foot’s big toe. This is an ideal launch stance.
8. Splash the sand. In greenside bunkers, imagine a line drawn a couple of inches behind your ball. Dig into the sand, lower your hands to open the face, and splash through that line with the club. Don’t forget to accelerate “through” the ball.
9. Add stretches to your warm-up routine. Use this site as a fitness resource as there’s plenty of articles with great stretches. PGA Coach Thor Parrish has four stretches you can do with your driver while PGA Coach Pablo del Olmo from the PGA Coaching Center in Frisco, Texas, has a great five-minute warmup to try in the video below:
10. Test your improvement. The best way to know if you’re getting better is by playing. It doesn’t have to be a full round. Try nine holes or a par-3 course. Remember, small steps equal big gains — by playing more, you’re one step closer to being better!