The biggest problem I see with most amateur golfers even if they do like practicing, is they practice without intention or any planning in place. Planning is the most important key to making practice more effective and fun.
It is so important to have a goal in mind each time you step out onto the range, putting green or go to work on your short game. By setting your intention of an outcome you wish to achieve with a practice session, it builds more confidence and also gives you a great deal of satisfaction at the same time.
Now a great tool if you don’t have goals set for short, mid and long term, is to check out my NOW / WHERE / HOW tool I used to reduce my handicap down in a ridiculous time frame. I would also suggest using this tool. Check it out at how to reduce your handicap fast
To give you an example of how to break down a practice session, let’s say you have an hour to spare and you want to work on your long game.
First of all decide what you are going to work on short term relative to a long-term goal. Let’s just say it’s your path. You want to work on a better path, more from in-to-out path that will create a better ball flight.
Once you have decided on what you are going to work on, then plan what training aids you may need and which drill you will use. Just for the example – we’ll use the 3 ball drill.
For this drill, you may even use an old shaft box or a range ball bucket, some sort of aid to give feedback or assist with the changes.
So once we have set-up a practice station, and I would even use a driving range mat if available so you don’t have to keep moving your aids.
I get alot of resistance when I suggest using a mat – remember you are practicing a part of your swing, not worrying about getting perfect ball contact or anything at the moment.
It gets very boring doing this type of drill for 60mins, our planned practice session. I suggest breaking each practice session into 3 parts;
Working on your drills or technique or swing change = 20mins
After practicing your drill for 20mins, then let’s see how that works in hitting full shots and implementing that new move into your swing. I break this down to 5 balls at a time to keep focus sharp.
This will include even going through your routine, making practice swings etc.
Now put that new swing change into practice as if you want to test it out on the course. To do this I would suggest playing holes.
What I mean by that is now imagine you are standing out on the first tee and take out your driver, go through your whole routine and pick a make believe fairway or target on the range.
Repeat this process for the 3rd 20min session by changing clubs and testing how the new swing changes would work as if you were now playing out on the course.
As you can see, this now breaks up the 1 hour session and makes it more enjoyable and gives you a chance to get feedback on how the changes are now being implemented into your new swing.
You could even go one step further and test and measure the new swing change by using targets out on the range. Ranges will often have flags set a distance apart for skills testing.
You may pull out 10 balls in that 3rd 20min session and test how many shots with your driver out of 10 you can hit in between the 2 flags out on the range. They should be generally 20 meters apart over 200 meters as a guide.
This will allow you to test and measure against previous weeks or give you a basis to compare against in the future. This is a great way to build confidence.
Other ways to make practice more effective is to use video analysis. It is amazing the number of times I have shown clients what they are really doing compared to what they feel they are doing. This is just another way of getting great feedback.
There are a number of apps on the market out there today that allow you to do this on the range. I would suggest checking out the V1 mobile app, which is something I use and recommend personally.
If you would like me to cast my eye over your swing to assist you in what you may need to work on, then let me know and I can arrange an internet lesson for you.
The other tool I would suggest to make your practice session as effective as possible it to make sure you use your statistics to keep your practice sessions balanced.
If you don’t already use statistics, then I would strong recommend you do so. You can’t measure what you don’t monitor they say. If you would like to find out more on statistics and how they can help you, check out my article on using statistics to improve your handicap.
I hope this has given you just some of the ideas and techniques I use to help make practice more fun. This will allow you to enjoy learning the game of golf and help you enjoy playing out on the course much much more.
If you would like to find out more on how to practice more effectively or how Jim can personally help you with your game, then go to;
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.