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How to Become More Consistent in Golf to Card Lower Rounds (14 Proven Tips)

Britt Olizarowicz
Last updated on October 9, 2023

I love shooting a 73, but following it up with an 83 is annoying. Can you relate? Maybe you broke 100 once and can’t seem to do it again; maybe you play the front nine 2 over and the back nine 10 over.

How to become consistent in golf is the dream of every golf enthusiast.

Is consistency in golf possible?

Absolutely! I’ll show you what it takes to become a more consistent player, why inconsistency creeps on you, and what you can do to get your game to be relatively the same from one day to the next.

How to Become Consistent in Golf (Key Takeaways)

To become consistent in golf, you need certain skills and information. Although I’ll dive into each of these important points in more depth below, here are some key takeaways about being more consistent in golf.

  • Having a teaching instructor or a golf swing analyzer will help you get started on the right path toward addressing your weaknesses.
  • Hold the golf club the same way every time (can be changed for putting); consistency in the grip will help you with clubface control.
  • Rhythm and tempo should be nearly the same every time. Practicing a pre shot routine that helps you set your rhythm and tempo will improve overall consistency.
  • Focus more on the clubface angle at impact than any other aspect; a square clubface at impact will result in a straight shot. To be a consistent golfer, you need to know how to hit a straight shot.
  • Incorporate your larger muscles into your golf swing; shoulder and hip rotation can keep your swing more consistent and allow you to repeat it time and time again.
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14 Tips to Become More Consistent at Golf?

1. Get a Lesson to Get You Started (From Humans or Technology)

Achieving consistency in your swing, the putting stroke, ball flight, distance, and score requires significant practice.

How will you know what to practice?

If you are still new to the game, I recommend hiring the services of an instructor for at least two or three lessons. A professional will examine your grip setup, swing path, clubface position at impact, rotation, and angle of attack.

After analyzing your setup, they will help you correct any weaknesses in your composition to eradicate the issue from your swing.

Once you have a general understanding of the game, you can use a swing analyzer like HackMotion to give you data about each practice session helping you analyze how far your swing is from that of professionals.

It also helps you identify issues immediately and work on eliminating them in the next practice session. HackMotion is like having a coach with you for every practice session (without the expense!).

golf coach give lesson to golf player

2. Consistent Grip Setup

There is no right or wrong grip, but some are easier to operate and enhance control.

Many amateurs do not utilize a consistent grip and change the strength of it leading to an erratic swing plane, club path, and shot shape.

Whether you use Vardon, interlock, or ten-finger grip, I suggest starting with a neutral strength setup. In this position, the V shape where your hands connect points up towards your nose.

Conversely, a weak grip sees the V shape point to the left of a right-hand golfer’s head. A weaker grip promotes an opened clubface at impact, which can exacerbate slice but help mitigate hooks.

Finally, a strong grip sees the V shape point to the right of a right-hander’s head. This grip can prompt players to swing over the top and attack along a steep angle with a closed clubface.

A consistent grip helps you produce the desired club path and shot shape for enhanced accuracy.

How will you know your grip is consistent? Establish a baseline using HackMotion. HackMotion records your starting grip position, the top of the backswing, and impact. There will be slight variation in grip position from one swing to the next, but if you see large discrepancies, a consistent grip could be what’s keeping you from playing consistent golf.

3. Master Clubface Alignment

When setting up for your shot, ensure that your clubface points at your desired target, setting yourself up for an accurate strike.

I often see beginners and high handicappers focusing on the position of their feet, head, hands, and even shoulder. However, you must get that clubface pointed to the target. If you align your clubface to the left or right of the target and produce a straight shot, your ball finishes far from where you need to be.

Before you commence your backswing, double-check that the club face is aiming directly at the desired landing zone off the tee.

golf player ready for golf shot with driver

4. Correct Ball Position

Ball position is another cause of wasted strokes for amateurs, as it leaves you susceptible to topping or duffing your shot.

As a rule of thumb, you position the ball forward in your stance for shots with longer shafted clubs and towards the back for wedges.

Drivers and fairway woods are longer and need more time to reach the impact zone and square up for a powerful strike. As a result, you place the ball forward for these shots, starting with the driver, which sits on your inside heel. The excessively forward position lets your driver reach the low point of the swing before striking the ball on the tee.

Next, mid and long irons are best positioned in the middle of your stance, and short iron shots see the ball shifted back or center between your feet.

Work with alignment sticks on the ground while at the driving range to narrow down the correct ball position for each club.

5. Improved Posture

Operating with the correct posture positions your body to rotate as needed, keeping your club on the path and boosting power on the downswing.

I spent an entire range session this weekend working on posture by inducing slight knee bend and flex for maximum freedom of movement.

I find the ideal setup is to flex the knees slightly and twist until you feel completely free. Hold the position and push your buttocks back until you feel your lower back anchoring your body.

In this position, you should find it easier to take the clubhead back and around your body to get the clubhead to the furthest point from the ball at the top of the swing. From there, you have more time to accelerate on the downswing and produce exceptional power.

For a brief visual display of achieving the ideal posture, here is a video by golf coach Brian Fitzgerald.

6. Fine Tune Rhythm and Tempo

Rhythm and tempo help you develop a consistent swing.

I often employ the counting drill on the practice range, where it takes six counts from the start of my address to impact.

The aim is to focus on counting and naturally produce a fluid swing. Martin Hall from Golf Channel exhibits how the drill is done, but he uses fewer counts than me. You can count as many times as you want. The main objective is a flowing swing.

When I get onto the golf course, I think about the drill during my swing to repeat the same process. It brings consistency to my address, setup and swing, leading to consistent swing speed with each club and cleaner contact.

A swing that lacks rhythm and tempo results in an erratic transition from the top of the swing down, leading to a loss of power.

For most players, a consistent swing feels as though it starts out a little slower; this won’t impact your swing speed and total distance.

7. Produce an Inside-Out Swing Path

An inside-out swing path encourages golfers to have more of a draw ball flight that improves power and consistency.

With the swing path being correct, you have maximum time to accelerate on the way down and square the clubface. In addition, an outside club path at impact promotes a right-to-left shot shape, the curve every player strives for.

However, an excessively inwards backswing with inadequate rotation on the downswing can prompt an open clubface at contact, resulting in a pushed shot.

An optimal hip and shoulder turn during the swing is vital to produce a powerful strike and straight ball flight. When you combine rotation with an efficient inside-to-out path, you enjoy exceptional swing speed, an enhanced coefficient of restitution (COR), and rapid ball velocity for a powerful launch.

8. Square the Clubface at Impact

It is easier said than done to square the clubface up at impact. However, to be a consistent golfer, there is no way around it.

The easiest way to square the clubface at impact is to use a HackMotion swing analyzer. The HackMotion lets you see your exact wrist position at impact and what that position is doing to the clubface.

too much extension at impact - printscreen from hackmotion app

Most amateur golfers struggle with a lead wrist that is too extended throughout the entire golf swing. If there is too much extension at the top of the backswing, it’s nearly impossible to square the clubface at impact.

Keep the wrist flatter at the top so that it can get to a flexed position at impact with a square clubface.

After analyzing more than 1,000,000 golf swings of the best players in the world, we know these 3 very important things about squaring the clubface at impact.

  • Great players do not add extension in their lead wrist from setup to the top of the backswing
  • To square the clubface, you must start early; the first movements from the top down must already be decreasing any lead wrist extension
  • The position of the lead wrist at impact should be flexed

Learn about lead wrist extension and flexion in our detailed review.

correct golf swing sequence

9. Work On Your Chipping

With the technical aspects covered, let me provide some elementary tips, starting with chipping.

Golf Magazine explains that 15 handicap golfers nail 26% of their greens in regulation, equivalent to 5 holes in an 18-hole round.

Amateurs greens in regulation hit
Image Credit Golf.com

As a result, you are left needing to chip to get up and down on 13 holes during the round. If your chipping game is lackluster, you leave yourself with a long-range par putt, which could effortlessly turn into a double bogey.

I suggest dedicating 30 to 60 minutes weekly to chip shots, bump and runs, bunker shots, and flops. The ability to execute any chip shot effectively will help you save numerous strokes and keep your scores low.

Interestingly, as you get better at chipping, your full swing approach shots will get better. Your confidence in chipping will make you swing more freely and aggressively on the approach. Knowing you can get up and down is a powerful thought.

10. Learn How to Read Greens

I often witness many amateurs with an impressive long game, but disaster strikes when they hit the putting green.

The first issue stems from the inability to read the green and understand how it will break. The other issue is determining the speed. If you are putting downhill, you obviously want to take the speed off the ball to avoid rolling it excessively past the cup. Conversely, an uphill putt requires more power than usual for the same distance. Otherwise, you come up well short.

Next, look at the undulation of the green and identify which way it breaks and how aggressively. Should the green sharply to the right, you need to adjust your alignment to aim further left of the cup than initially intended.

As you walk up to a golf green, look at the slope and try to consider which way the ball might move. Don’t just analyze the 15 feet from you to the hole.

golf coach teaching golf player

11. Develop a Consistent Putting Stroke

Once your green reading skills are on point, it is time to develop a consistent putting stroke. A hot putter can save your round, as it has done for me on multiple occasions.

First, brush up on your aim, and ensure your putter face points at your target line. Next, practice stabilizing the putter head during the stroke to square it at impact and start the ball on the intended line.

This is a perfect place to use the putting feature on the HackMotion. All putting strokes will have slight variation in them, even the professionals. However, the closer you can get each putting stroke to resemble the last, the easier it is to make putts.

Practice trying to get your wrist motion in your putting stroke as consistent as possible. Once you have that in place, you can work on aim and speed with a stroke you trust.

Finally, master your distance control from various lengths using the tape measure drill. Deploy a tape measure and mark how far back you need to take the putter head for a 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50-foot putt.

Eventually, you produce the required power for each strike without thinking about it, making it easier to get home in two on long putts.

golf player doing putting drills

12. Employ a Pre Shot Routine

I often address the topic of a pre-shot routine because amateur golfers do not consider its importance.

A consistent pattern helps you clear your head and focus on your shot to eradicate negativity from previous poor strikes.

I also use my pre-shot routine to visualize my shot and add structure to each swing. Besides the mental element, it gives you a final chance to check that your clubface is aiming at the target and that the ball is positioned optimally.

When you have a pre shot routine in place, you are essentially telling your body (and your brain) that you are going to execute a golf shot. Muscle memory in golf is a real thing, and the pre shot routine can help.

13. Use the Correct Shaft for Your Swing Speed

Your golf shafts can affect the speed, spin, launch, and shot shape. If you utilize a golf shaft that is too stiff for your swing speed, you struggle to generate velocity on the downswing, leading to a weak strike and a loss of distance.

Conversely, when your shaft is too flexible for your swing speed, you may generate excess spring, speed, and spin, causing your ball to balloon.

True Spec Golf suggests that players swinging a driver over 105 mph should play an extra stiff shaft, while those under 72 mph are better off with a ladies’ flex. Regular flex shafts perform well for swing speeds between 84 to 96 mph, while 72 to 83 mph is made for seniors.

14. Swing Higher Launching Golf Clubs

If your golf is inconsistent due to erratic launches, I recommend recruiting the services of clubs with enhanced lift. These are golf clubs fitted with a low center of gravity (CG) and built to promote a consistent launch for greater carry distance.

Higher-launching products are often categorized as game-improvement golf clubs that deliver significant forgiveness on off-center strikes. As a result, golfers enjoy ample distance and accuracy on all strikes.

This applies to clubs like the driver as well. If you are very inconsistent with your 9 degree driver, try setting it to 10.5 and see what it does. A little loft can go a long way!

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Why am I suddenly terrible at golf?

The longer you play the game, the more you develop bad habits, which creep into every element of your swing mechanics.

Because experienced players often stop receiving lessons, they struggle to identify the flaws in their swing until it is too late and wreaking havoc with their performance.

In addition, you must remember that golf is both a physical and mental game. If you have either physical or mental fatigue, it’s very difficult to swing a 44 inch object at 100+ miles per hour and try to strike an area about the size of a quarter.

Start tracking your golf game to pinpoint what areas of your game are giving you the most trouble and how you can go about fixing them. Incorporate technology like HackMotion into your practice routine so you can keep a close eye on your progress.

Why is my golf game so inconsistent?

The simple answer is that you do not have the golf club in the proper position at the proper time.

Playing consistent golf takes time, dedication, and practice. However, it also takes a general understanding of the golf game and how to improve it.

Lack of practice and understanding leads to kinks in your setup, posture, grip, swing path, and impact position, prompting wayward shots and long days out on the golf course.

Golf can be a never-ending learning experience. The best players in the world are still learning new things each day. When you look at golf in this way, you may find it easier to understand inconsistency and to work to improve it.

Why is it hard to be consistent in golf?

It is hard to be consistent in golf because it requires optimal aim, an appropriate grip setup, the correct ball position, and a rhythmic swing.

All these features must combine flawlessly to produce consistent results. Otherwise, every aspect of your game falls to pieces.

How do I stop being inconsistent in golf?

You stop being inconsistent at golf by working with an instructor, developing a consistent grip setup, and placing the ball optimally in your stance. In addition, you must work on producing a rhythmic swing and practicing all of these features regularly.

How often should I golf to improve?

Ideally, you should play golf once a week and practice for 1 to 2 hours to improve.

This leaves you with sufficient time to work on your long, mid, and short game on the range and put it into action once a week. After your round, review your performance and create actionable steps to improve those weaknesses.

Why am I getting worse at golf the more I play?

You are getting worse at golf the more you play because you are not fixing the fundamental issues in your setup and swing.

You are applying the same formula and hoping for it to magically improve. Instead, you need to assess where you are falling short and how you overcome it.

How do I regain confidence in golf?

Start using a pre-shot routine to help you focus on one shot at a time and stop beating yourself up over previous bad rounds.

Next, set yourself small goals, like trying to hit two fairways in a nine, and forget about the score. This mindset helps you focus on the positives and eradicate negativity to build towards regaining confidence.

Why can’t I hit a golf ball consistently?

You cannot hit the ball consistently because your grip is too strong or weak, and you do not rotate your shoulders and hip.

In addition, the ball may be placed incorrectly in your stance, and your posture may be too hunched over or upright to encourage optimal shoulder and hip turn.

Final Thoughts

The solutions to becoming more consistent in golf predominantly center around your grip setup, ball position, wrist position, posture, alignment, and rhythm.

In addition, you must work on your chipping, learn to read greens and employ a pre-shot routine for a clear mind on every swing.

Use the resources of a professional or a swing analyzer like HackMotion to get you on the right path. You can support your knowledge from this article with an informative guide on how to get better at golf without lessons.

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Brittany Olizarowicz
written by Britt Olizarowicz

Britt Olizarowicz is a golf professional who has played the game for more than 30 years. In addition to loving the game of golf, Britt has a degree in math education and loves analyzing data and using it to improve her game and the games of those around her. If you want actionable tips on how to improve your golf swing and become a better player, read her guides.

Your feedback shapes the future of our articles.

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