It’s no secret that the world’s best players dedicate countless hours to developing and polishing their skills on the practice range. However, when it comes to practicing effectively, it’s not all about the quantity of the time you spend on the range, but more about the quality and how well you structure your practice sessions.
Remember, the reason we practice is ultimately to improve our performance on the golf course – or as Gary Player put it, “The more I practice, the luckier I get”.
Of course , most amateurs are lucky to find a few hours a week to practice, given the obligations of work and family. But when many do get the opportunity to practice, they typically do so in an undisciplined fashion, wasting their time by hitting as many golf balls as possible, especially with the driver.
in the process, nothing productive really gets accomplished, and they often neglect their short game, which is so necessary for better scoring.
Whatever time you have available to work on your game, make it count by practicing in a discipline and deliberate fashion. To help you do so, evaluate your game and design a practice schedule with the help of an instructor.
The 60-Minute Practice Schedule
Use this 60-minute practice schedule to help you better organize and structure your own practice session.
Easy Warm-Up (5 minutes)
Activate your feel for solid contact by hitting some pitch shots with your favorite wedge. Even though you’re hitting a short shot, this will enable you to check the quality of your fundamentals – grip, posture, alignment, and ball position.
Full Swing Technique Focus (10 Minutes)
Focus on something you are trying to improve on mechanically and incorporate a drill or two that helps reinforce a new feel. Use 7 or 8 iron, as these clubs are easier to work with when trying to ingrain a new pattern. Make some swings with your eyes closed, as this is a great way to feel your swing and any new position you are targeting.
Full Swing Target Focus (15 Minutes)
Switch your focus toward specific targets, visualizing and hitting shots as if you were out on the course. Select four clubs, including your driver, a short iron, a mid-iron, and finally a long iron, fairway wood, or hybrid.
Now hit six shots with each club, focusing on the where rather than the how, while incorporating a full pre-shot routine into the last two shots with each club.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to shape your shots into your targets. Learning to curve the ball by hitting draws and fades at real objectives will give you greater control and confidence next time you play golf for real.
Short-Game Focus (15 Minutes)
After reviewing the short-game statistics we previously asked you to keep track of, focus on one aspect of this area that needs the most improvement. Refer also to some of the techniques and drills and apply them to your practice session.
When golfers improve an aspect of their short game – such as chipping or pitching – it can carry over into their long game and refine the quality of their ball striking.
Putting Practice (15 minutes )
Complete your practice session by polishing up on your touch with the putter from both short and long range. Finish your putting session by holing six to twelve putts from the two- to three- foot range. This is always a great confidence boost.
Now that you have a time-specific plan for practice, here are some universal tips to keep in mind each time you do your routine:
First, we always advise golfers to place a club on the ground, or an alignment stick, to help them maintain the quality of their alignment and aim. The best players in the world do this, and you should too.
Second, take a lot of practice swings. As you do, slow down and think about what you are trying to accomplish. Unlike on the course, where you want to play efficiently – as a courtesy to others – this is your time, so mange it wisely. Have a specific goal in mind before you hit each ball.
Last , try to customize and design your own practice schedule, based upon time available, and the goals you want to achieve. Then remember to always practice with a purpose, focusing first on improving the weaker areas of your game. While doing so, keep track of your progress and note your favorite drills and the swing thoughts that work best.