Golf With Confidence

By Steve Silverman

You've learned the basics of the game, and you have gotten comfortable with your ability to drive the ball off the tee, hit accurate long iron shots and make successful shots in the short game. It's no longer a matter of guesswork, because you know how to play the game. It's time to take it up a level and play the game with confidence.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Step 1
Stride up to the first tee with you driver in hand. You know how to hit this club because you have done it successfully dozens of times before. Some golfers get nervous teeing off on the first hole because a lot of golfers are watching. But you are not nervous. You view this as an opportunity because you know that you are about to put a good swing on the ball. You're smiling, and everyone notices that you hit the ball well and got the desired result.
Step 2
Walk up to your ball in the fairway and take your 4-iron when you are 160 yards away. It's a big green, and you have a flat lie on the fairway. You couldn't ask for a better opportunity. Check your stance to make sure you are square to the target, and make it a point to take your time. Your swing is fine-turned, and the only thing that you could do to unhinge that swing is to rush it. You won't fall into that trap, and your smooth swing produces another fine shot.
Step 3
Take your pitching wedge when you are 75 yards from the green. Play the ball in the middle of your stance, and concentrate on putting a full swing on the ball so that it flies high and lands within 8 feet of the hole. You don't have to overpower the ball or rush your swing. You know enough to let the club do the work. You breathe normally, take one practice swing and then hit the ball. It ends up 5 feet from the hole, and you have a great shot at a birdie.
Step 4
Putt the ball with a firm stroke when you have an uphill shot on the green. This is exactly what you want, because uphill putts tend not to break. It's just a matter of getting the ball to the hole. You're smiling because the 4 1/4-inch hole looks more like an NBA basket to you. The ball goes in the hole because it was struck with supreme know-how and confidence.
Step 5
Go to the driving range, and work on your fundamentals. It isn't enough to know how to swing your driver, your 3-iron, your 5-iron and your short irons. You have to keep working at it to remain a confident and competent golfer.

Tips & Warnings

Concentrate on the fundamentals of the game, and you will enjoy your round. If you have a good time while you are playing you are much more likely to develop real confidence in your skills.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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