Proper Practicing Techniques
When trying to become a better golfer it is very important to get in practice time. Hitting balls at the driving range or chipping and putting on the practice green are vital pieces to the puzzle but only when done correctly. I have noticed throughout my years of teaching that people will take the time and effort to do these things, but will typically just go through the motions.
Take the time to chart your rounds of golf in order to be able to figure out what piece of your game is causing your high scores or where trouble comes into play. When charting you should typically look at a number of components, such as:
- Fairways in Regulation (How many fairways you hit with your tee shot on Par 4/5)
- Greens in Regulation (How many greens you hit that give a chance for birdie)
- Putts (Total # of putts in the round)
- Saves (When missing a green in regulation how many times can you get up and down)
Once these numbers have been charted it will be much easier to notice what part of your game needs work. More time should be spent in this area and scores will tend to become lower. When in your practice sessions go in with a plan and stick to it. Beating balls over and over again will boost confidence that day but typically will not retain once on the course. Make sure to pick out specific targets and to switch clubs regularly. We don’t hit the same club in sequence while on the golf course very often so why should you practice that way.
There are many aspects to the game of golf and we do not see the same type of lie from shot to shot on the course. To make our practice sessions more beneficial some things you could try are:
- Drills (Rather than just hitting a ball, do your research and find game improvement drills)
- Imagination (Practice like you’re playing. Imagine a specific hole and hit the clubs/shots you would need to play that hole properly. This will give a large boost to your confidence)
- Different Lies (Don’t just hit from the mats. Find different lies and practice them. We find ourselves on slopes and in different lengths of grass all the time while on the course)
- Take Breaks (It is not beneficial to make swings when tired. While on the course we have time in between each shot to think about our next move and stay fresh. You should conduct your practice sessions with the same mentality.)
In summary it is great to take the time out of your day to come out and work on your game but it is extremely important to practice the right things. Next week we will be getting more in depth with more drills to help your game and improve your experience while out on the course.
Adam S. Lyons, PGA