Instructional Tip - Practice! By George Conner
We know we should do it. We know it is the route to get better, but so few of us practice effectively, or even at all. So how should we practice and what should we practice? Hitting 20-30 balls before a round of golf is not practice. This is just warming up. Think of a practice session as time spent working on a specific skill and is separate from a round of golf. Determine what areas of the game you can improve upon to make the biggest impact to your score and your enjoyment of the game.
A practice session should work on a specific skill.
A practice session should be short in duration, 15-30 minutes.
Practice sessions should be frequent occurrences.
Practice sessions can be done indoors or out.
There should always be feedback in your practice. Practice without feedback runs the risk of you getting exercise, but not becoming a more skilled golfer.
Practice must be entertaining and enjoyable. Make your practice sessions fun by using games and numerous drills that will keep it from getting boring.
Don’t just practice the skills you are good at and ignore the ones you struggle with.
Some practice should be repetitive. Hitting multiple shots with the same club and to the same target has its place.
Some practice needs to be non-repetitive. Don’t hit the same shot twice in a row. Change clubs, targets, trajectories, change something! This is how we play golf
Some practice is used to develop skills. Some practice is used to maintain skills you already have.
Having a fundamentally effective golf swing is wonderful. If it is relatively simple, you may not need to spend a lot of time practicing the full swing. From time to time a check on alignment and ball position might be all you need. However, skills like speed control in putting, touch for ship shots and pitch shots are skills that will deteriorate if you don’t spend time on them. Get out and practice!