How To Play Better Golf Without Picking Up A Club – 8 Great Tips

We all want to play better golf, but we can’t always make it to the golf course. Bad weather, family obligations, and work commitments can make it hard to invest in your game.

It may be time for you to get creative. Did you know you can learn to play better golf without hitting a shot?

It’s true. The driving range isn’t the only way to practice golf.

Just because you are stuck inside the house doesn’t mean you can’t make progress toward your golf goals. We can help!

8 Ways To Play Better Golf Without Hitting A Shot!

play better golf. A golf ball on a tee

1. Curl Up Next To The Fire With A Good Book

Reading a golf book is a great way to learn how to play better golf. We classify them into two different categories.

First, you can read about your golf heroes. Learn details about how Tiger won his first Masters or how Lee Trevino escaped poverty through the game.

This type of golf book may not provide you with swing tips, but they can be inspiring. If Tiger can overcome racism you can probably solve your duck hook!

Second, you try a golf book that is focused on the golf swing.

Grab one that was written by a famous instructor or one where a professional golfer explains how they approach the game.

We don’t think you will be able to copy Rory’s swing by reading his book, but you can improve by understanding how the best players approach the game.

You may find that your ability to play better golf has been hiding at the library this entire time.

2. Analyze Your Golf Game – What Is Holding You Back?

Many golfers that are trying to break 100 for the first time make the mistake of thinking the driving range is the only way to improve.

In fact, you could be grooving a bad swing. To play better golf you may need to take a step back.

Analyze your golf game to determine where you lose strokes. How often do you 3-putt per round? How many penalty strokes do you take each time you play?

Consider all of the different elements of your game. Driving, iron play, chipping, bunker shots, and putting.

Rank these skills from best to worst. Learning to play better golf is about prioritizing your practice time.

Knowledge is power. You can’t improve by only working on your best skill. The better you understand your game the easier it will be to play better golf.

An hour spent analyzing your golf game will produce far better results than another bucket of balls!

golfers tee off together

3. “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

We love this quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Are you planning to play better golf or just wishing it would happen?

If you want to improve, you need to develop and document how you plan to do it. What steps will you take and how will you measure success?

Let’s start your golf improvement plan with the “how”. Some examples include practicing once a week, spending time on your short game, and playing 18 holes twice a month.

Each plan will be unique and it should be customized based on the weaknesses you identified in point #2 above.

Next, how will you measure success?

First, hold yourself accountable to your practice schedule and document when you fall short of the plan you built.

Second, are your scores improving? The best way to track your progress is to establish and maintain a golf handicap.

You can also track metrics each time you play; how many fairways do you hit? How many greens in regulation (birdie putts)? How many putts per round?

It is important to understand if your golf improvement plan is working or if you need to tweak it.

two golf bags next to a green

4. Learn A Green Reading Process

Show us a golfer and we will show you someone that could save strokes by being a better putter.

It can be hard to work on your stroke at home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve on the greens. Most amateur golfers miss putts because they don’t understand the break.

Do you have a consistent process that you use to read greens? If not, learning one can you help play better golf.

If you ask 10 different golfers how they read greens, you might get 10 different answers, but there are two “systems” that we recommend you try.

The hottest green reading process on the PGA Tour is AimPoint. This concept teaches you to measure the curve by holding up your fingers and feeling the slope in your feet.

The only challenge with AimPoint is that it can take too much time and impact your pace of play.

The other green reading system you can try is plumb bobbing. This has been used by golfers for decades and uses the shaft of your putter to help you assess the break.

You can learn to play better golf simply by “learning to read”!

5. Watch & Listen To The Professionals

If you are an avid golfer we bet you enjoy watching the professionals on TV, but do you use this as a chance to learn how to play better golf?

Watch how they approach different shots and listen when they talk strategy with their caddy.

You will hear them talk about the risk vs. reward of different shots. We also love to listen to their club selection.

One key difference between professionals and high handicappers is the club selection process.

High handicappers tend to hit every shot 100%, but great players always consider multiple clubs.

In truth, every shot you encounter on the course could be played by 3+ different clubs.

Enjoy the golf on TV this Sunday, but keeps your eyes & ears open for info that will help you play better golf!

a golfer tees off

6. Start A Golf Fitness Program

You can shoot lower scores by improving your physical health. There is no doubt that more flexibility and speed can help you hit better golf shots.

Tiger Woods is credited with starting the golf fitness movement. Professional golfers now look like athletes instead of bowlers!

If it helps them play better golf, it can help you as well. Trainers are now getting certified in programs designed to help amateur golfers.

There are options, but the most popular is TPI (Titleist Performance Institute). Find a TPI-certified instructor and they will design a program based on your current physical health.

Are you more interested in learning how to hit the golf ball farther? Take a look at the SuperSpeed training system.

You will use weighted golf clubs to teach your body to swing harder. This program can be completed from the comfort of your home when you can’t make it to the course.

Take care of your body to play better golf!

7. Don’t Forget About Course management

Yes, bad swings impact your scorecard, but so do bad decisions. Learning better course management is something you can do from your couch.

Do you hit your driver on every par 4 and par 5? Do you aim at the pin on every hole?

If you answered “yes” and “yes” we need to talk. You can play better golf by making smarter decisions.

When you reach the tee, think for a moment before you grab the driver. Would it be safer to hit your 3-wood or a long iron?

Hit more fairways and avoid the penalty strokes that come with hitting a ball out of bounds or into a hazard.

When it comes to your approach shots the middle of the green is probably the best aiming point. Don’t go for that “sucker pin”!

Learn to make better decisions and you will play better golf.

a golf bag and two golf buggies

8. Is It Time For New Golf Clubs?

Trapped inside due to the rain or you can’t make it to the course today because you are watching the kids? This is the perfect time to assess your golf equipment.

We don’t think you will play better golf simply by buying expensive clubs, but it is possible that your golf equipment is holding you back.

Let’s start with your golf balls. Do you play a brand and type that match your golf swing? Are you compressing the ball and getting the most out of it?

Next, do you know the flex of your golf shafts? This is the most important thing for you to understand about your clubs.

Your swing speed indicates the correct shaft for you. If your speed and shaft are mismatched you will lose distance and hit wild shots.

Finally, we think it is important that you take advantage of the technology in the modern driver.

You don’t need the brand new $800 club, but you do need a club that was made in the last 5 years or so.

Golf is hard enough, don’t make it harder by playing with outdated or incorrectly configured equipment.

Learning to play better golf isn’t always done on the driving range. Even when you can’t hit shots you can become a better player!

Up Next: Learn To Practice The “Right” Way

Photo of author
Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

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