Instructional Tip - Best Practices. By Derek Hooper
If you want to play better golf then you are going to have to practice. The question you should be asking yourself now is, “How should I practice to get the biggest return for the time I invest?”
There are essentially two types of practice:
Blocked practice is defined as when a student repeats the same set of movements over and over again. This practice is what you must do when you are working on making a swing change or learning a new skill.
It is characterized by starting with many slow swings. There is no target to aim at, there is no ball flight to consider, because at the start there is no ball. You are simply trying to learn how to move the club differently, to match new feels with the new swing pattern. You are trying to learn a new swing.
Random practice is defined by performing a similar skill in a random variety of situations and thus avoiding multiple, identical repetitions. The way to do this on the range is fairly simple.
For every shot you hit in the range:
• Identify your target including the distance of the shot
• Choose the appropriate club
• Use your normal, full, pre-shot routine
• Execute the shot
• Assess the shot and collect feedback
• Choose a different target and start again
This type of practice is far closer to what you are asked to do on the course and as such will allow you to more easily carryover your new skills to when you next play.
So the next time you want to work on a swing change, don’t simply move into Random Practice. Take the time to thoroughly learn the new skill first. This will give you the best opportunity to be successful and shoot lower scores.