I have received a number of emails about golf practice. If you have read much here on my blog or read any of my golf program books, you know that I switched from a practice maniac routine to a “less is more” mindset about practice. So here is one approach that I use for practice, it may not be the right fit for you, but if you are tired of hitting bucket after bucket of golf balls with no progress, you might want to try it.First of all, I limit my practice to about 15-20 minutes at a time. For me, spending more time than that just didn’t help my golf swing at all. It just gave me blisters and added to my frustration. I also found that when I shortened my practice time, I didn’t dread it like I would sometimes when I used to practice long hours frequently.
Here is my current 3 step routine for a short but effective practice session at the golf range:
Step 1: Take my favorite two clubs and hit about a five to six balls with each club to loosen up. This is, of course, after some good stretching exercises before I pick up a golf club. For me, the 7 iron and the pitching wedge are the two clubs that I am the most comfortable with, so they are my favorites. Hitting with these clubs first gives me confidence and keeps me relaxed.
Step 2: Next, I will practice playing 3 golf holes, a par 4, a par 3, and a par 5. This allows me to hit a variet of clubs during this short session. I pick actual holes that I know pretty well and work on hitting the actual shots required to play these holes. I use my normal pre shot routine and take the normal amount of time between shots. I have found that this keeps me from rushing from one practice shot to the next. When I used to hit a lot of practice balls, I would find that I keep speeding up and speeding up. This affected both my swing tempo and that I was hitting too many shots too quickly. There is no value to that kind of practice.
Step 3: The last part of my practice routine is to pick one or two clubs that I felt that I didn’t hit very well when I “played” those three practice holes. Then I hit about seven to ten shots with each to work on what might have been wrong.
That’s it. Now the hard part is fighting the temptation to keep hitting more golf balls to fix one more thing. My experience is that once I start using this routine, after the first couple of times, it has become a very effective routine and I generally play better the next time I am on the course.
Of course, if you love to hit buckets and buckets of golf balls, this may not be for you. But I encourage you to try it.
Until next time!