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Improve your game with a more organized approach

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"The setup of the course was ridiculous. You could hit it anywhere. (Phil Mickelson) was sometimes hitting it, like, six fairways left or right but was still able to get it on the green and then make a 40-footer.” – in the same interview  - 

A great way to become a better golfer is to take a logical, organized approach to improving your game.

Here are the four steps you need to take to make strides with your game before the end of 2014; analyze, plan, practice and evaluate.

Analysis. Begin the process with an analysis of your current game. What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you've been keeping stats, you can review them to help you understand where to start. If not, keep your stats for the next four to five rounds and then review them. What parts of your game are hurting you the most? Penalty shots, 3-putts and up-and-down percentage are common areas where golfers can improve. Also, consider taking a lesson. A coach can help you narrow in on what needs improving. Focus first on the two parts of your game that you want to improve the most and then get to work on those areas.

Plan. After you have determined which parts of your game you are going to work on, figure out how much time each week that you have to practice. If you have two hours per week to practice, split the time between the two parts of your game where you want to improve. If you plan on eliminating 3-putts and improving your up-and-down percentage, spend an hour working on distance control on the putting green and an hour on short game shots.

Practice. Block practice is hitting the same shot over and over. Random practice calls for hitting different shots often, if not for every shot. Block practice can be valuable initially after taking a lesson to help ensure accuracy in what you are working on. However, I encourage random practice most often as it is more similar to how we play the game and can help to transfer your practice efforts to the course.

Evaluate. Is your practice paying off? Are you improving on the golf course? Continue to keep your stats. If you are improving you can reevaluate your game and begin the process again by working on what are currently the two worst parts. If you are not improving, change something. Spend more time on the part of your game that isn't improving, practice differently or take a lesson.

Apply this process and your game is sure to benefit this rest of this year and beyond.

For more tips from Golf Channel to help you improve your overall game, click here.