Being on the range is a great way to improve your game and develop skills to help you hit the ball much further and accurately. Whenever a bad day occurs on the golf course, the practice tee is also a great place for you to get your mojo back and iron out a few kinks in the swing. The only way you can achieve the desired result however, is if you practice correctly. The best way to be sure your practice sessions are effective and efficient is to develop a game plan before hand. It is often shocking to some of my clients when I develop a practice plan for them that involves hitting less balls, takes up less time, yet provides clear and immediate results. The reason being, is that it is a much more focused and progressive practice method. Let’s get into some of the basics in setting up your own personalized practice session.
The best way to start is to keep a small legal pad in your golf bag and record your practice sessions. This will help you commit to your practice and also have an ongoing record of your progress. Before your practice session, determine what you are going to do and set it up with the following information.
Practice goal: Have a specific goal for the session; 100 yard shot to within 25 feet, hit 6 of 14 fairways, go through my pre-shot routine over every shot or work on previous lesson.
Warm-up: Get yourself loosened up with a few good stretches and a few half wedge swings. Properly warming up will help you swing the club much more efficiently and with less effort.
Drill #1: Begin with a drill isolating whatever you would like to do. Be sure to use a training aid or some form of feedback to confirm you are practicing correctly. Repeat the action or motion about 3 times before hitting a ball. Quality trumps quantity at this point
Drill #2: Design some form of challenge for yourself that directly relates to your goal. Maybe hit 10 shots to a certain yardage and set a goal to get 5 of them within a certain proximity to your target. Your focus here should be on your target instead of your golf swing.
Taking it to the course: Most players have difficulty taking their game from the practice tee to the course. Print out a scorecard of your favorite course online and play a few holes. Be sure to go through your entire pre-shot routine and play the shot as if you were actually on the course. You will be surprised at how much fun you will have.
By having a plan in place, you eliminate wasted time, empty practice and frustrating repetition of bad shots. A great instructor I taught under for a few recent years always mentioned, “practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent”. When you mindlessly practice, getting better is a struggle. Using this practice plan, the drills will force you to correct any faults and the challenges will ensure that you take your game to the course when it’s time to tee it up. Making your A-game permanent!