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How to Be More Consistent in Golf: 13 Actionable Tips & Drills for Better Scores

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.

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.

  • Incorporate technology into your golf practice routine; it’s motivating and helps you achieve results faster.
  • Check on grip consistency, which is often more important than grip position.
  • Rhythm and tempo should be nearly the same every time, regardless of the club you have in your hand.
  • Always use a pre-shot routine, develop it through practice, and stick to it.
  • Focus on clubface angle at impact and how that is controlled by your wrists. Having some flexion in the lead wrist can help deliver the club square each time.
  • Incorporate your larger muscles into your golf swing; shoulder and hip rotation can keep your swing more consistent.
Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

13 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.

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!).

2. Consistent Grip Setup

Many amateurs do not utilize a consistent grip and change the strength of it (weak/strong/neutral) 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. Establish a baseline grip position using HackMotion. At the end of a practice session, check and see how consistently you grip the club.

3. Master Clubface Alignment

When setting up for your shot, ensure that your clubface points at your desired target.

Use golf alignment sticks on the ground for your feet, target, and clubface line. Ensure your clubface is aimed correctly as part of your pre-shot routine.

If you align your clubface to the left or right of the target and produce a straight shot, your ball will finish far from the target, making you think you had a swing error.

golf player ready for golf shot with driver

4. Correct Ball Position

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 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 forward position lets your driver reach the low point of the swing before striking the ball on the tee.

Mid and long irons are best positioned in the middle of your stance. Short irons can be played directly in the center.

5. Improved Posture

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

Most amateur players tend to get too bent in their knee position, making it hard to attack the ball from the right angle. In golf, you want an athletic position, but if you are too bent over, it will change the swing plane.

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.

In this video, Martin Hall exhibits how you can use a counting drill in your golf swing to hit consistent golf shots. The number of counts you get to does not matter, it’s mostly the fact that you are being aware of timing and tempo.

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. A slow takeaway won’t impact your swing speed and total distance.

7. 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 get your lead wrist to a slightly flexed position.

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 position using 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 guide here.

correct golf swing sequence

8. 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 powerful.

9. Learn How to Read Greens

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 consider how the ball might move. Don’t just analyze the 15 feet from you to the hole.

golf coach teaching golf player

10. Develop a Consistent Putting Stroke

Once your green reading skills are on point, it is time to develop a consistent putting stroke.

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.

golf player doing putting drills

11. Employ a Pre Shot Routine

A consistent pre shot routine helps you clear your head and focus on your shot.

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 will execute a golf shot. Muscle memory in golf is a real thing, and the pre shot routine can help.

When practicing at the driving range, use your pre shot routine so that it becomes second nature to you.

12. 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.

Get your equipment matched up with your game to achieve more consistency.

13. Swing Higher Launching Golf Clubs

Golf club with a higher launch will help the ball fly a little further without extra effort.

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 clubs are often categorized as game-improvement equipment that delivers 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!

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

Drills to Get More Consistent in Golf

Here are a few of the most effective drills to learn how to play more consistent golf.

Feet Together Drill

This video from Art of Simple Golf shows the Feet Together Drill. This is a very basic and straightforward drill where you swing with your feet next to each other and choke down on the club a bit. You’ll be surprised at how great your contact is from this position.

Alignment Stick Rotation Drill

Michael Breed shows a great drill you can use on the driving range. The lower body must rotate, not slide, if you want to be a consistent player.

Work on this drill to become more consistent at impact.

9 to 3 Drill

This 9 to 3 Drill is something that Sean Foley uses to help players of all levels develop more consistency in their game. The 9 to 3 Drill helps you work on impact, where the club is, and how you can become more consistent.

The goal here is not to get distance but instead to be consistent with your ball striking.

FAQs

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. Golf is both a physical and mental game. If you have either physical or mental fatigue, you may need to take some time away from the game to rest.

Start tracking your golf game to pinpoint the areas causing the higher scores.

Why is my golf game so inconsistent?

The golf club is in an incorrect position at impact, making your golf game more inconsistent. Work on creating an impact position with a slight flex in the lead wrist to ensure a square and stable clubface.

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.

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 where the club is on the proper plain.

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 improve. Instead, focus on the impact position and see what is causing the issues.

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. 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.

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.