Having a good range session can be a great confidence booster. Whether it’s before a competitive round or after one of your worst, it’s always great to get things straightened out as quickly as possible. In Part I, I discussed some ways to make your range time much more efficient. As some may have noticed, there weren’t many technical aspects to it. Much of it pertained to feel and playing orientation. During the season, I much prefer to see a player have one consistent improvement area and focus on ways to get it out to the course.
There are much better ways to practice proper mechanics than on the golf course itself. I have found through both my teaching and personal experiences, that the most effective ways to practice sometimes involve either no club, no ball or even a golf facility. If you’re looking to really improve your golf game, here are a few proven ways to help kick those bad habits.
When we swing a golf club, it’s takes about one second from the time we take the club away to come back to impact. It is nearly impossible for our brain to process what is going on, let alone to make a change in that amount of time. Unfortunately, this is how most practice is done on the practice tee.
One thing that I have found to make dramatic jumps in improvement is to practice something in extremely slow motion. Whether you are isolating a movement or practicing a whole swing motion, try to move the club at a pace that would take you 5 full seconds to complete your backswing. This will allow your mind and body to coordinate the movements that you actually want to happen. As you feel more comfortable and capable of repeating the motion, you can pick up the speed slightly but as gradual as possible before jumping to full speed again.
Place Your Focus…On Your Focus
Ultimately, it is our hands, arms, and body that control the golf club. Most of the time when it comes to improving, our minds are completely elsewhere. We tend to focus more on things such as the golf club, our surroundings, or the result of the shot. To eliminate all of the possible pressures or influences, I make a recommendation that often leads to a huge improvement within a week.
Whatever your area of focus is, get into the habit of practicing it without a golf club. Isolate that specific movement and practice it without making full backswing/throughswing motion. This will take all of your focus, and place it on exactly what you need to do. Neither the brain nor the body likes wasted motion. If you’re feeling brave, go ahead and try this with your eyes closed, you will really enhance feelings then.
Feel is such an important part of this game. The purpose of these drills are to enhance and create the proper feel for swinging the golf club. However, as the old adage states, feel isn’t always real. The only way to make sure that our feel matches what we want, is through forms of feedback. My favorite form of feedback comes from the use of a full length mirror.
Being able to see yourself as you do these drills will help confirm that you are making correct motions. It also allows you to create a great mind picture of what your swing looks like. This can be a great mental tool and confidence booster on the golf course knowing that you have nothing to worry about!
In following these drills, it may feel like a new experience. It is the experience of good and effective practice.These drills can be easily done anywhere, at any time. No need for a driving range! When you do finally get out to the driving range, your focus should be on ball flight and creating on course situations. Take a lesson, use these drills with it, and you’ll be surprised how fast you improve!