9 ways to improve your golf game

Warmer weather sends scores of golfers to their favourite courses each and every day. Golf is a challenging pastime, but a few pointers can help golfers hone their short games, long games and everything in between.

• Choose the right clubs. There is more to selecting clubs than pulling any old iron out of your golf bag and whacking away. Wind, hazards and obstructions in landing areas should influence your decision of which club to use. Novice golfers may want to rely on their caddies to make club recommendations, and as they become more confident in their abilities they can start to make their own choices.

• Anchor your feet. Anchor your foot behind the ball to drive the ball further. Right-handed players will keep the right foot anchored, and lefties will do the opposite. Do not lift your foot prematurely; otherwise, you can lose power and distance.

• Identify your weaknesses. As with any hobby, identifying those areas that need the most work can help you become a better golfer. Keep track of each shot you take, and then look at the results to see which areas of your game need the most work.

• Fix your alignment. Align your shots by assessing the target from behind the ball. Then set the clubface behind the golf ball and align it with the target before you enter your stance.

• Use your torso for power. The torso is essential to a solid swing. Practice rotating from your core to control your backswing and then maintain the same spine angle and posture on the downswing.

• Use the wind. Not every golf game will be played in perfect weather. A good player knows how to make adjustments for the wind depending on the shot. Use the wind to your advantage when you can, and adjust your swing when hitting into the wind.

• Become a better chipper. Many players put so much emphasis on their backswings and putt shots that they fail to devote any practice to chips. All shots are important for golfers trying to shed strokes off of their scores.

• Keep fit. Maintaining or improving your physical strength and overall health can help your golf game. Exercise and eat right, and you will have more endurance on the links.