Lower Scores With Proper Practice

Most golfers want to know how to lower their scores by knowing the secret to success or the ultimate golf tip. Truth be told there is not one specific key or element that will make any one player better except practice! The key here is that when most players practice, they do not have a good practice routine. By this, I mean that they are not practicing with a goal or a purpose. They are just randomly hitting balls with nothing in mind and no idea of how to become a better player through proper practice. We have all seen the person who walks to the range with two big buckets of balls and beats them until their hands are blistered and sore all the while thinking that they are becoming a better golfer.

First, golfers must realize that there are two types of practice. Blocked practice and random practice. Blocked practice is when a golfer is working on a specific key element of their game. It could be the takeaway on their swing, their weight transfer or their balance. Random practice is when a golfer puts themselves into a game type situation and is beginning to practice like they play on the course.

Blocked practice is useful for a golfer who is looking to change a specific part of their swing whether it be in the full swing, their putting stroke, or something else. When preforming blocked practice a golfer will hit 5 to 10 balls with the same club all while working with the same swing thoughts and goals. They may change clubs after hitting the desired amount of balls before moving onto the next club, but continuing with the same swing thoughts. The golfer is trying to make a key swing change.

Random practice involves the golfer putting themselves into a game situation and imagining that they are actually on the golf course. If they are standing on the driving range the golfer my imagine playing a certain hole on the course and playing each shot to until they have reached the green. If practicing the short game the golfer is hitting chip and pitch shots and then playing the ball until it is holed out just as they would on the golf course. This helps to feel as it a player is actually in “game” mode and helps to feel more accustomed to pressure situations.

When practicing a golfer must also be sure to develop a routine and be consistent just as if they were on the course and in a game. Players must be sure to play practice shots just as if they were making a stroke on the course. This includes going through the regular practice routine of assessing the lie and the obstacles ahead and the type of shot the player wants to hit. Next, it is important to assess the line of the shot and make sure to properly align to the desired target. The golfer then should take any desired practice swings, set up to the ball and pull the trigger on the real shot. The pre-shot routine is very important for consistency sake to help the golfer focus on the goal at hand and to help steady the nerves. The pre-shot routine is often overlooked by golfers when they practice and as a result when they are on the golf course they have not put themselves in these on course situations and have not thought of how to properly execute a golf shot. If a golfer has put themselves through the situations on the practice range they have been in these situations before and know how to hit the desired shot. Their level of confidence is greatly elevated as they have worked on the skills and visualization of hitting this similar shot! It is not true that practice makes perfect, unless it is proper practice!

Jay Barrett
Head Professional
Devon Golf and CC
Devon, Alberta, Canada
(780) 987-3569


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