Four Easy Ways to Take Your Practice to the Golf Course

by Jeff Troesch

One of the most common conundrums identified by golfers is “Why do I hit the ball so well on the range but have a difficult time replicating this on the golf course?” Left to their own devices, more would look to their on-course behavior for the answer. But, frequently, the answer lies in their practice behavior, and not in their playing behavior.

It is necessary to hit a lot of golf balls in order to develop proficiency. However, in addition to hitting bucket after bucket of practice balls, it is also imperative to approximate in practice as much of the actual experience of competition as possible. Watching people’s typical practices involves seeing them hitting ball after ball on the range—frequently using the same club and hitting to the same target over and over and over again. This is not real golf. Why, then, would one practice in this manner? The key is to practice more like you play!

Here are four easy ways to make your practice sessions translate to a better golf game:girls_golf13

Change targets frequently.

On the golf course, you rarely hit two balls in a row to the same exact place. Practice hitting to a different target with each shot. This applies whether using a full swing, pitching, chipping, or playing out of the bunker. Each shot is thought through and executed as a unique entity—just like on the course.

Change clubs frequently.

On the golf course, you rarely hit too balls with the same club. If you regularly hit your seven-iron three or four times in a row on the course, your game is in big trouble! However, this is how people practice. Changing clubs regularly—say every second or third shot—is a good way to approximate what it feels like to be on the course.

Use your pre-shot routine more frequently.

For most players, preparation for each shot on the course and preparation for each shot on the range are generally vastly different. This disparity creates a different rhythm, a different thought process and, naturally, a different result!

Putt using one ball.

You are not given the luxury of hitting the same putt two or three times on the course. Yet many people drop two or three times on the course. Yet many people drop two or three putts and stroke the same putt to the same target again and again. Practice using just one ball—with a full read—to create conditions as similar to those on the golf course as possible.
It is true that early in the process of learning one’s swing it is sometimes helpful to hit the same club to the same target without a pre-shot routine. However, once you are ready to play, make sure that you’re properly preparing yourself to deal with some of the same conditions and situations that you will experience on the golf course!

 

This blog post have been reproduced with permission from Golfer Girl Magazine Winter 2007 Issue 3, Volume 1 pp 9. Written by Jeff Troesch.

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