How to Have an Effective Practice
What do you do to try to turn your game around after a string of poor rounds? Practice More?
When you spray tee shots or your putting feels out of control, how do you respond to regain your game?
If you have been around the game long enough, you know how frustrating it can be when a part of your game falls prey to inconsistent play or poor play altogether.
Logically, it may seem best to spend more hours on the putting greens or hit a few hundred extra balls on the driving range.
More time practicing leads to better results, right?
That is not always the case. More practice doesn’t necessarily translate into better results.
If you hit 250 balls at the golf range and only 25 shots are up to your standards, you’ll probably feel frustrated and not an improved game.
Practice should be about quality, not quantity. Quality practice is focused practice. It’s not just hitting 100 balls; it’s hitting 100 balls with proper technique and obtaining feedback on each swing.
Quality practice is not spending hours on the practice greens trying to sink putts; it’s focusing on your entire approach to each putt including your preshot routine, touch, imagination, and sound technique.
With focused practice and dedicated practice, you can transfer that practice to consistent play on the course.
To highlight the importance of focused practice, take a look at 5-time Major winner Phil Mickelson…
Mickelson has spent over 25 consecutive years ranked in the top 50 and has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the world. Mickelson is, without a doubt, one of the most skilled players on the PGA Tour.
Lately, Michelson has struggled with only one top-35 finish in 16 tournaments causing him to drop from 17th to 43rd in the world rankings.
Michelson is determined to turn things around not by spending more time practicing but with more quality practice.
MICKELSON: “I wasn’t mentally sharp or focused the last five or six months, and it led to some very poor play. I’m taking a little bit of a different route this time. I’m not going to put as many hours in and I’m going to try to be more focused on the time I do put in and enjoy it a little more and see if I can get it turned around.”
Returning to form requires quality practice, not merely extra hours. You want to focus on quality practice, not just beating ball mindlessly.
Focused practice requires a goal or objective. For example, “I am going to hit 30 5-foot putts, 30 7-foot putts and 30 10-foot putts using on my preshot routine, feeling relaxed, and hitting the ball flush.”
A focused practice helps you make the best use of your time during practice. With quality practice and focus, you can get your game back on track and see positive results.
Effective Practice in Golf
First, you want practice to mimic what you do on the course. Don’t just hit balls from a perfect lie every shot. Hit balls from lies you’ll have on the course.
Effective practice for golf is also about variable practice. This means switching clubs and targets often, just like you do on the golf course. Don’t just beat balls with a 7-iron to the same target.
In addition, spend time working on trusting your swing or stroke. For example, check your fundamentals on the greens using feedback, but then shift the focus to working on touch, imagination, trust, and routine.
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