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Back to School: Continuing education for every golfer

By Staff
School of Golf for GolfNow
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Before you play your next round, follow some of these helpful video tips from Golf Channel Academy. (Shutterstock)

As summer draws to a close, kids around the country are heading back to the classroom with new backpacks, clothes and all the latest accessories.

Although you may not be heading back to school yourself, you can continue your education as well -- on the golf course, rather than in the classroom.

Before you play your next round, take a few minutes to watch the following GolfChannel.com videos, each of which provide refreshers on different aspects of the game, from your drive on the first tee to your final putt on the last hole.

Overcome first-tee jitters

When you think about golfers who perform extremely well under pressure, Jack Nicklaus comes to mind. After all, he still remains the all-time leader in major championship victories, and is renowned for being one of the calmest, most focused golfers in history.

To help you relax and improve your focus as well, especially when you prepare to hit your first drive of the day, School of Golf's Martin Hall offers some of the Golden Bear's personal advice for overcoming first tee jitters.

Hit crisp approach shots

So, let's say you've hit a solid first drive and found the fairway. As you walk towards your ball, you can take a deep breath, knowing that your round is off to a great start. However, every shot counts in golf. As pleased as you may be by your first drive, you'll be even happier to hit your approach shot on the green.

With 16 major championships between them, former world's top-ranked players Nick Faldo and Annika Sorenstam have hit many memorable approach shots, despite the pressures of professional golf tournaments. Follow their advice to help you relax and hit crisp approach shots.

Have no fear in the bunker

Whether you are a beginner or you have been golfing for years, you've most likely experienced your fair share of tension and fear while preparing to hit a bunker shot. It's not surprising really—often amateurs don't spend enough time practicing bunker shots.

But, by applying the following tips as you practice, you will no longer have to be weary of bunker shots. Instead, you'll have the confidence you need to consistently get up and down, just like short game guru and two-time PGA Championship winner Dave Stockton does.

Sink your short putts

For some golfers, there aren't any shots more challenging than a four-foot putt. It is so short that there is no reason to miss it. Yet, if you do, you know how embarrassed you will be. And the more often you miss putts of that length, the longer and longer they'll appear to be.

Former Big Break contestant and current LPGA Tour member Gerina Piller believes she has a solution: Focus more on the process of the putt (just as you would with other shots), rather than thinking about how much you need to make it. Live in the present, observe the breaks and speed of the green and spend less time worrying about the actual length of the putt (or lack thereof).

-- By Chris Lewis for the GolfNow Daily Tee.

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