How to Improve Your Long Game (Part 1)

As a whole, there are two general categories that every golf training program focuses on. They are the long game and the short game. Golfers with natural skill usually excel at one or the other, but often not both. There is no question that it is a good idea to invest time honing already existing skills, but it is also important to recognize the value of using your existing skill set to create a whole other group of skills.

Here, you will learn some of the basic elements that you need to understand when it comes to focusing on the development of your long game, as opposed to your short game. Then you can go on to refine that knowledge to become a much better golfer.

Features of the Long Game

The long game is obviously the element of your golf game that gets you to the short game. It can be intimidating because of the variety of visual components. For example, it is far more intimidating to face a few hundred yards of green than it is a few feet of green between you and the pin.

However, just like in the short game, the long game requires you to focus not so much on the green as on the ball itself and what you can do to get it where you need it to go. The long game is typically broken down into 3 elements.

Drive: The drive starts with the ball on the tee. The goal here is to get the ball as far as possible along the fairway. It is very rare to use the drive to make it to the pin, but it does happen from time to time. It doesn’t hurt to pick a spot where you want the ball to land on the fairway or green, but put more of the focus on the ball than the landing spot.

Fairway Shot: The fairway shot involves distance, but it also involves avoiding obstacles. You want to get your ball on the green if possible, but you most definitely want to keep it out of the sand, water, or other hazards. This is where you need a bit more finesse than the drive. It is important to account for wind and the hazards that are in place, but the focus still needs to be on the ball.

Approach Shot: This is the end of the long game and the beginning of the short game. Distance is not an issue, here, as it is in the other shots, but accounting for the slopes of the green and other hazards is something to keep in mind as you make your approach.

By understanding the features of the long game, you are already on your way to improving it. Every time you narrow any aspect of the game down, you are one step closer to keeping the focus on the ball and how you manipulate it.

For instance, if you are getting all the distance you need out of your drive, but your approach shot is lacking in focus, practicing your fairway shot can help you develop the other two at the same time because it requires more focus on direction, but utilizes the distance of the drive.

To learn more about improving your long game, or learn about golf schools in South Carolina, visit the International Junior Golf Academy today.

features of the long game

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