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Strive to strike the ball like Open champ McIlroy

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Rory McIlroy’s performance in the British Open over the last several days was nothing short of spectacular.

Taking on one of golf’s toughest challenges at Royal Liverpool, McIlroy led wire to wire to claim his third career major championship in convincing fashion.

McIlroy completed four rounds of championship golf without recording anything worse than a bogey on his scorecard.

Several factors led to his ability to avoid high numbers, but the bottom line was that his ball-striking, most notably with the driver, was clearly a notch above his competition.

If you can improve your ability to hit the ball, you can begin lowering your scores to levels you might never have imagined.

Here are some things to consider when trying to improve your overall ball-striking:

Take a lesson. Pre-swing fundamentals like grip, aim, alignment and posture can be difficult if you’ve never had instruction to guide you. But compared to the intricacies involved in a full swing, pre-swing fundamentals are a simple, necessary step to make sure your ball-striking won’t suffer. A lesson with your local PGA professional is well worth the investment just to make sure your game isn’t suffering from simple, fundamental mistakes.

Find the sweet spot. It still amazes me how many golfers aren’t sure when their ball hits the center of the clubface. When feel isn’t providing enough feedback, it is important that you find a way to see where the ball is hitting the clubface. Impact tape applied to the clubface has been used for a long time to get proper feedback, but it can be expensive and can influence the feel you get at impact. Try covering the clubface with a dry erase marker or foot spray (like Dr. Scholl’s) as an inexpensive way to see where the ball is contacting the clubface.

Get in shape. You might have the best golf swing in the world, but for it to hold up for 18 holes, especially under pressure, your body needs to be in good condition. Today’s stars on the PGA Tour prove this point day in and day out. Golf-specific fitness programs, like the Titleist Performance Institute, are great ways to get in golf shape. But if you’re unable to start those programs, simply walking the course more often will begin building your endurance.

For more tips from Golf Channel to help you improve your ball-striking, click here.