Many of us have had March 29th pencilled in the diary for some time. Here's how to play your best when you finally get back out on the course
How To Play Your Best Golf On March 29th
For many of us in the UK, it’s been a long few months with no golf of any kind – no golf club, no driving range and no practice areas.
The net in the garden has been useful, as has the putting mat you purchased as soon as lockdown 3.0 was announced.
Related: Driving Range Tips
However, most of us aren’t going to be match sharp when we tee it up for the first time in what will seem like an eternity on March 29th.
We’re going to be rusty; we’re going to be wayward; and we’re going to lose a ball or two… right?
Well, not necessarily, you can still go out a shoot a good score.
Here’s how to play your best golf on March 29th.
Getting The Basics Right
Things may feel a little alien when you address the ball again for the first time, so use this drill to nail some of the basics.
Place two sticks on the ground a foot apart, with the third between your legs to highlight the ball position.
Then, get the sole of the golf club pointing towards the sky, take your grip, and lower the club until it runs parallel to the ground.
Next, keeping your legs straight, tip forwards like a crane until the club touches the ground.
At this point, bend your knees slightly and take your stance making sure your feet are slightly flared outwards, which helps with rotation.
With a good setup, the middle of your hips should go through the middle of your feet, with the armpits over the toes.
Finally, focus on the correct ball position. If the pitching wedge is right in the middle, the rule of thumb is to move half a ball width forward for each club in the bag.
You can watch the full video, below, plus there are a number of other fantastic drills to help you hit the ground running on March 29th.
Maintain Your RhythmSo, you’ve not hit a drive for the best part of three months, and you can’t wait to open your shoulders and launch one 300 yards straight down the middle.
The danger, having not played for a while, and with the adrenaline pumping, is that you lose your rhythm.
To help, when you are having a good practice session, give the tempo of your swing a rating out of 10 – 1 being the slowest you can swing the club, 10 being the fastest.
Most players find that when they are at their best, they swing at around 6 or 7 on this scale. One of the best things you can do is to take this number with you to the course.
Then, if you are feeling like your rhythm is getting a bit fast, practice swinging the club one less on the scale than your optimal speed. This should get your rhythm back under control.
Take Half A Club MoreYou might well have heard this before, but it’s a sound piece of advice, especially after a lengthy lay-off.
Another way of approaching your first round back is to calculate the number to the back of the green.
Few amateurs miss long, but they often fall foul of the bunkers and trouble that lie short of the green.
Having the distance to the back in your mind, and having a club that will get you as close to that spot without going past it, will allow you a little leeway on the strike.
Let’s face it, our ball striking may be a little iffy after such a long period off.
Warm UpA warm up is vital before any round, but perhaps even more so given the circumstances.
After a few simple stretches, start your warm up by making some slow swings holding two clubs.
The extra weight of the second club here will gently loosen your muscles and help to create a smooth rhythm in your swing.
If you are able to warm up on the range before the big tee off, another really good tip to start using is to make sure that the last shot you hit there, is the first shot you intend to play.
So, if plan to hit a fade with the driver off the 1st, hit that shot before you leave the range.
A dress rehearsal should help your confidence.
Pre Round Putting Drills
You’re bound to be rusty from close range after not playing for a while – but wouldn’t it be nice to hole your first ten footer?
Try this drill before you tee off.
Use a 55mm tee gate or two tees, and mark a spot 14 inches away. The idea is to putt through the game without making contact.
This drill helps you control your start line within a degree.
The putting green is bound to be busy, but you should also try and find a spot for this drill – the spiral.
Set a series of putts up from 3ft to 8ft, and try holing each one consecutively. If you miss one, start again with a 3ft putt from the other side, so it has a different break.
It’s a great drill to work on pre round, as you’re judging pace and line. By the time you face your first meaningful putt for three months, you should feel a lot more comfortable.
Our last piece of advice for how to play your best golf on March 29th? Enjoy being back out there!