This post was most recently updated on March 15th, 2022
Getting better at the game of golf doesn’t always have to involve expensive lessons at fancy country clubs or through private golf coaches.
If you don’t feel like spending a lot of money per hour for lessons or don’t have the time to always play or practice then you can improve by yourself.
This article will explain different methods on how to attain more skills without lessons.
1. Use YouTube Videos
YouTube and the internet are filled with countless coaches, videos and pros that can walk you through different swing steps.
There are many different types of videos that can aid you with different parts of your game such as fixing a slice or hook or teaching you how to hit a fade or draw.
There are also many free instruction videos that show you how to chip better or putt with a better stroke.
You can watch these videos at home or at your fingertips and write down the steps or practice swinging in your backyard or at the range with the video pulled up next to you.
Below is an example video by teacher Rick Shiels, who provides five essential ways on how to break 85 on the scorecard.
2. Go To The Driving Range
Practice makes perfect. (Well not perfect but close to it.)
You’re going to have to practice to improve. Playing rounds over and over will help you improve minimally but will also lead to bad habits and high scores at a high rate.
Going to the range and practicing using videos or techniques is a vital combination to playing the course.
Experimenting with different swing types and repeating the same shot when you hit it right will allow you to form better habits.
Many golf ranges have chipping and putting greens as well. Being able to practice from the driver all the way down to the putter allows you to work on your entire game.
Hitting at the range is also a fun place to bring a friend or meet people and practice together. You can have competitions like closest to the flag or putting contests to simulate pressure situations you’ll have on the links.
3. Get Fitted For Your Golf Clubs
If you’re a mid to low handicapper it is highly recommended to get fitted for golf clubs.
If you can make solid contact often, getting fitted can help you increase distance, strike the ball better and improve your golf game overall.
Having stock clubs can create issues such as the clubs not being the right length for your height.
Everyone hits the ball differently so having a pro fitter set you up with clubs that are meant for your game can make the world of a difference.
Head down to your local golf shop or course and ask if they have a club pro or certified fitter to help you.
Hitting the same stock clubs that aren’t designed specifically for you over and over won’t make drastic changes in the long run.
It can be costly to have a fitting performed, but the benefits outweigh the negative of spending money for the long haul.
You will be pleased with your decision when shooting lower scores.
4. Get Tips From Experienced (and Good) Golfers
If you know or play with an experienced golfer with a low handicap it is a good idea to have them provide tips.
You don’t have to emulate everything they do but it saves money instead of paying for expensive lessons and they can teach you a few tricks whether it be with the driver, irons, or near the green.
Invite them to the range, practice facility or to play a round with you and show them your swing and ask them questions on where you can get better.
On the flip side, avoid tips from casual or high-handicap golfers.
For some reason, they often are the most likely to offer advice without the skills or knowledge to back it up.
5. Use A Mirror
Often times you aren’t able to see exactly what you’re doing throughout your swing.
You know the motion of your swing and can see your feet and arm placement before you hit the ball but you aren’t seeing the entire picture since you’re mainly looking at the ball.
Place a lifesize mirror in front of you or stand in front of a large one at your residence and see how you set up, swing and follow-through.
6. Keep Your Swing Throughout The Round
During a round it’s important to keep your normal swing and not try and make swing changes.
Your swing will get you through the round and trying to make changes to it can cause confusion and errant shots.
Having a few swing thoughts that you’ve practiced and implemented during practice is okay if you think you’re starting to sway away from them.
Trying a plethora of new techniques will more than likely cause problems.
Trust in your swing and if you’re looking to make adjustments do it at the practice range instead.
Focus on hitting the target and having a good tempo with the swing you’re comfortable with for more optimal results.
7. Invest In A Shot Tracker, Net and Learn Performance Data
Many golfers ask how to get better at golf at home. Investing in a tracker and net can help you do that.
A shot tracker can be a little pricey but just like the fittings we mentioned above, it will benefit you down the road.
Shot trackers and trackmans will show you where you hit your shots, how far you hit them, your ball speed as well as other statistics.
Having a net is also great because you can practice hitting into it with any club at all times rather than driving down to the range.
You can set your trackman up right next to you while hitting into your net and gather information right in your backyard.
Golfers need to know about the angle of attack, swing path, face angle and how they impact each shot.
Learning performance data and what is good and bad can help you learn how to hit good shots and prevent bad ones.
8. Have Someone Record Your Swing
Having someone record your swing shows you the errors you didn’t realize you were committing.
There are many positives to having your swing recorded. You can analyze different problems and fix them one by one during different practice sessions.
Have a friend record you from the back, front and side so you can watch what you’re doing.
Alternatively, get a golf tripod stand from Amazon.
You can compare your swing to a pro’s swing you want to emulate or take it to an instructor to have them help fix it.
There are some websites that allow you to virtually upload the video and have a teacher walk you through step by step and tell you what to fix.
You can notice in the recording if you’re doing something fundamentally or majorly wrong. Regardless, it can help you improve by correcting the mishap.
This is an even better option than using a mirror. Or you can combine the two methods.
9. Practice Smarter Not Harder
It’s important to practice techniques that you’ve learned in lessons, from experienced golfers or videos than it is to repeat your bad habits. These will bring more favorable outcomes on the course.
Hitting 200 balls on the range the same way is a lot less advantageous than 100 or less while focusing on positive changes and techniques.
Another thing to do is experiment with different shots.
Go to the range with a trackman or with different swing thoughts you’ve seen and employ them in your game.
Practicing smarter such as narrowing down on one area for a while is important. Don’t just hit a few balls with all the different clubs the entire time and then leave. You won’t have improved the areas that need mending.
People often wonder how to play better golf without practicing. The answer is simple: You can’t. You need to practice, but practicing smarter can prevent you from wasting time.
10. Practice Shots Within 100 Yards and Your Short Game Rather Than Longer Shots
The saying ‘drive for show putt for dough’ really is true. Practicing your short game is extremely important. Being able to chip and get up and down helps you lower your scores.
If you’re able to just about always chip it on the green and at most two-putt, you’ll almost always score pars or bogeys at worst. This can easily let you break 90 and give you a chance to go low.
Hitting wedge shots inside 100 yards can help your scoring abilities with longer irons as well.
Getting good at golf can be frustrating but by following these ten steps you should be able to see better results over time. Investing in fitted clubs, technology and a net can go a long way for your golf journey.
Practicing smart and focusing on the areas that need improvement while not trying to implement many techniques all during a round and changing your swing can prevent you from creating bad habits and making mental errors.
Be sure to comment your tips and thoughts on how to get better without lessons in the comments section.
The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.