Sunday, December 22, 2013

Practice Like the Professionals

In one of my previous posts I mentioned practicing golf. When I say practice I don't mean just going to the range and hitting ball after ball.

That's not going to do it!

What I mean is: practice golf with a purpose. Here it is put simply:

  • If you are a beginner, practice the basics
  • If you are a little more experienced then practice the basics and some more specific things
  • If your extremely experienced, then practice the basics, fine-tune the specifics, and turn them into a habit

Some things that I consider basic are:

  • Find a fairway wood (which might be your driver or not) that you can hit consistently off the tee
  • Find a mid-iron (4-6 iron) that you can hit off the turf
  • Find a short iron (7-9 iron) that you can hit with ease
  • Find a wedge (PW, SW, LW) that you are comfortable with
  • Getting the feel of your putter by doing long, medium and short putts

Yes, as a beginner, choose only 1 wood to hit, 1 mid iron, 1 short iron, and 1 wedge. Practice hitting these clubs until you can do it with ease.

Some things that I consider more specific to practice as you gain experience are:

  • Increase your fairway accuracy with your fairway wood off the tee
  • Learn your yardages for your mid irons, short irons, and your wedges
  • From 100 yards and in, learn to fine-tune your accuracy
  • Learn to chip consistently
  • Get your long lag putts within a 3 foot circle

By this point you should be a little more familiar with your other clubs in your bag. By adding them in gradually to your practice you will be able to feel more comfortable putting them into play on the course.

If you are extremely experienced you should focus on the basics, some of the more specifics above, and fine-tuning them. For example:

  • Check your alignment on all shots to make sure you are lining up accuratately
  • Learn to adjust your hands up and down your golf grips to dial in better yardages
  • Learn to hit your golf ball high or low (in case of on-course trouble, like trees)
  • Learn to bump and run your golf shot, do the flop shot
  • Practice all facets of your putting especially putts within 10 feet

These of course are just examples, but they are a good place to start if you want to improve your golf game. You and I may never end up being good enough to be professionals, but we sure can put in the practice like they do.

If we do, it will pay off. Now let's get out and practice!