Start on the Practice Range
While heading over to play 18 holes may be incredibly tempting, it is always best to start on the practice range to get a feel for holding a golf club, hopefully eliminating all those bad shots, and simply relaxing in a low-pressure environment. You don’t need to worry about a stray golf ball because you can always hit another one. Don’t worry about anyone else at the practice range as everyone was once a beginner, and it’s common knowledge among golfers that this game is difficult!
Visitors to Gulf Shores can head over to the Orange Beach Golf Center to hit a couple of buckets of balls before heading to one of the awesome courses in the region. The beauty of this location is that it’s a self-pay service, meaning that visitors can enjoy range balls at any time of the day without worrying about heading inside a pro shop to purchase them.
Golfers of all standards should follow the same philosophy of frequently visiting the driving range. Whether during the week after work or before a round at the course, the range should be your go-to spot to work on your game and practice various shots. Perfect these on the range, and your chances of success on the course itself have increased substantially!
Work with a PGA Professional
Golfers of all abilities should learn the foundations of the golf swing from a fully trained PGA professional. Organize a private session with the local pro at one of the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach golf courses and listen to the fundamentals and head back to the practice range to master those core components that will allow you to succeed on the course.
As you venture onto the course with friends and family, you will likely start hearing tips and tricks from fellow golfers that think they are the next best teaching professional. Be sure to ignore their advice and only listen to those qualified to share expertise on perfecting the golf swing. It is often a recipe for disaster if you listen to a spouse or friend who thinks they are ready to head over to the PGA Tour!
Get Fitted for the Perfect Clubs
Many amateur golfers frequently believe that they are not good enough to be fitted for golf clubs. Instead, they simply head to the local golf store and purchase a set of standard clubs without thinking about customization. Regardless of your golfing ability, it is critical that you take the time to visit a golf store and ask the local professional to fit the clubs to your height, swing, and posture to maximize your opportunities to be successful on the course.
If a club is too short or too long, or the lie angle is entirely wrong, you could be setting yourself up for failure. It is important to remember that you do not have to purchase the latest and greatest equipment for it to be a good fit, and golfers of all standards can find clubs to satisfy their budget.
Drive for Show, Putt for Dough!
Golf can be both exhilarating and highly frustrating…a 300-yard drive down the middle of the fairway, followed by a missed putt from less than two feet! On the scorecard, they are both the same number of strokes, and while the frustration of missing a short putt is understandable, the short game is where amateurs should focus much of their attention.
The statement that golfers “drive for show and putt for dough” is 100% accurate, so don’t hesitate to spend time on the practice putting green and master the touch and tempo needed to be successful on all putting surfaces.
One tip that many PGA professionals offer amateurs is to listen to the ball going into the hole rather than watching it fall. Doing so enables golfers to get into the habit of keeping their head still throughout the stroke, and while the technique is essential in all aspects of the golf swing, touch and feel is undoubtedly the most important aspect when faced with a tricky downhill, undulating putt!
Aim for the Center of the Green
It can be all too tempting to start attacking pins on every green. Still, the reality is, if you are looking to maximize your potential and achieve the best score possible, you would greatly benefit from always aiming for the center of the green.
Golfers of all abilities frequently suffer the consequences of getting a little too greedy and “pin seeking” when they would be better suited just to take a safer approach and hitting the heart of the green. If you hit every green in the heart of the putting surface, the likelihood is that your score will dramatically improve.
With 15 courses in and around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, why not include a round or two on your next trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast?