Making the Most of Your Golf Practice Time
I recognize that most people have only a limited amount of time to practice and to work on their golf game. To make the best use of your time, I suggest we focus more on the quality of our practice as opposed to the quantity of shots that we hit.
What I mean is to always try to do our best to simulate in practice what we will be confronted with on the golf course. Treat each shot in practice as we would a real shot during a round of golf, assessing the situation, going through our pre-shot routine, and visualizing the intended outcome. I understand this takes patience and perhaps imagination, but the better we are able to do this, the better chance we will have to bring our practice game to the course.
The next thing to consider is that most everyone loves to work disproportionately on their full swing and longer shots on the practice range. This area of the game is important and certainly requires our attention, but makes up only a modest part of the actual scores you shoot. If we want to lower our handicap and shoot better scores, let’s dedicate significant amounts of our practice time to wedge play, pitching, chipping, and putting. These are areas where, especially if they have been neglected in the past, we will be able to make huge strides in a relatively short period of time.
My last thought on practice is regarding the series of drills that we have made available to you, and also other drills you may have heard of, that are intended to help you with your game. Drills are intended to help introduce proper mechanics, achieve certain feelings, and engrain correct muscle memory. Don’t get lost in these drills. It is best to balance a practice routine with appropriate drills and also regular, realistic golf shots that might employ some of the concepts we have learned. If we lean too much on drills and teaching aids, we forget how to play the game and react intuitively to different circumstances. Use drills to establish what is correct, or to maintain proper technique over time, then let’s remove the crutches and continue learning to play the game on our own.
In summary, our practice time is intended to help with playing better golf. Let’s treat our shots in practice exactly as we would on the golf course, and we’ll get better at taking our game from the bullpen to the pitchers mound, so to speak. Dedicate some time to short game, including pitching, chipping, and putting to lower your handicap quickly. Balance your use of drills and freestanding shots in order to continue to train your body to react more instinctively.