For the few I've conversed with throughout my short time on here, you know I'm a high handicapper - 23 to be exact. I've never taken a lesson, nor do I plan on doing so in the future. I pride myself on making the adjustments necessary through studying anything I can get my hands on, watching the Tour pro's, and playing a lot.
I started the year averaging 103 through my 1st 10 rounds. Recently, however, I have tweaked my game, which leaves my new goal to break 90 every time out. Here are just a few things that helped me:
1. Keeping the Head Down
Yes, I know it's a cliche, but sometimes the most simple fix can save a round. Keeping the head down incorporates other factors that are part of this "tip." For instance, it does no good to "keep your head down" if your posture does not stay consistent. You can keep your head down on every shot, but if you're lunging at the ball, you might as well join the grounds crew. But without flooding your mind before (or during) your swing, a simple reminder of "Keep your head down" will allow you drive through the ball, instead of trying to help it up.
2. An 80-90% Swing
Every now and again, I have to remind myself that less is more. I'm an aggressive swinger, and watching a ball fly majestically into the air feeds my ego. But I've come to learn that I've been duped into putting all my eggs in this basket. After all, how can I truly manage a course if I don't know where the ball is going. Furthermore, when I take a little off my swing, I've noticed that my distance really isn't effected. I can still blast it. Only difference is that it's going straighter. A little reminder I say to myself as I'm approaching my set up is, "Let the equipment do what it's made to do."
3. A (More) Neutral Grip
As a self-taught player, I'm the King of trial and error. I've tried many different grips, starting from a "baseball grip," to an overlapping strong grip with my bottom thumb still wrapped around like I'm gripping a baseball bat. I went from a slicer to a hooker (the legal kind), and after a lot of research and mirror time, I knew that a more neutral grip would help me fix my steep plane and closed club face at impact. I have smaller than average hands, though, so I'm going to play with the interlocked grip, but you can bet I'll keep the grip itself neutral.
4. When to Hinge The Wrists
Hinging my wrists is a big part of why I can hit the ball as far as I can. The downfall for me, though, if WHEN I hinge my wrists. After a few holes, and good play, I was losing it, but never knew why. Looking back on those times, I can now see that I was getting lazy with my form, including when I hinged my wrists. I get the best accuracy, distance, and ball flight when I hinge my wrists near the end of my backswing. When I was going everywhere else but where I wanted, I was hinging them too soon. This goes hand-in-hand with #1, but you probably already knew that.
5. Ignorant Confidence On The Green
My putting went from horrendous to bad when I would use so much concentration on the green. This isn't to say that concentration isn't important, because it certainly is. But when my putting went from bad to decent, it was because I mentally convinced myself that I SHOULD be making "these putts." Call it luck, but I've been consistently better on the green, so there's much to be said about this. This can be applicable on any part of the course too. If you truly believe you're better than you are, it'll show. I'm proof of that.