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 »  Home  »  Magazine Departments  »  Instruction  »  How to Practice with a Purpose
How to Practice with a Purpose
By Tom Landers | Published  08/3/2011 | Instruction | Unrated
How to Practice with a Purpose

Often times we are limited to the amount of time that we have to practice.  That being said, there are ways to get the most out of the time you have.  Practice one thing at a time. Hit only one club for the whole session.  For example in one hour, most golfers grab a bucket of balls, head out to the range and hit almost every club in their bag.  That is not practice. It’s an extended warm up session with no real purpose.
  If you would like to improve and feel as if you accomplished something during a practice session, I suggest you try the following:
  • Stretch and loosen up by hitting short wedge shots.
  • Pick a specific target and lay a club down as an alignment aid.
  • Hit one club that will allow you to reach your intended target
with ease.

Once you start to make solid contact and are satisfied with the shot you are hitting.  Instead of saying, “OK, I got this club down” and immediately switching to another club.  KEEP DOING IT!!!  That is when the real practice session begins.

If the definition of consistency is repeating a pattern, then you should also work on your pre-shot routine between each ball that you hit.  After each shot stand behind the ball on the target line and visualize the perfect shot.  Take two purposeful practice swings and visualize the shot again.  Now when you step up to the ball you are mentally prepared for the shot at the specific target, just the way you should be on the golf course.

To feel accomplishment when you are working on something it is important to stick with one thing at a time. You will leave the practice session knowing that you made progress and you will have confidence in that one club or segment of your game.  Each session should focus on one part of your game that is practicing with a purpose.

Lucas Cohen  is the PGA Teaching Professional at Poland Spring Resort
Start to Finish Golf Academy in Poland, ME.