The old adage that, “Practice makes perfect” isn’t always true.
In golf, there are ways to maximize the effectiveness of each practice session, and there are also ways to minimize the effectiveness of each practice session.
It’s not enough to just go to the range and hit balls. Golfers can actually get worse if they are practicing the wrong movements and ingraining poor habits. This is because, “Practice doesn’t always make perfect,” practice makes permanent. If you want to get the most out of each training session then it’s imperative to focus first and foremost on quality.
At the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, our coaches are always focused on quality training and quality practice. All of our students have personal drills to address their specific needs. Our student’s primary focus, while performing each drill is, you guessed it, quality.
While we would love to personally help all golfers, and encourage you to check out our programs, there’s no reason you can’t start practicing with quality on your own. Here are a few great tips about quality practice to help get you started:
- Practice with a specific purpose. One of the biggest mistakes that golfers make is that they have no goals, no objectives, or no plan for their practice sessions. They show up at the range, and their sole plan is to hit the ball. To get more out of your practice start with a plan. What is something specific you want to accomplish? If you want to work on your backswing – know the drills, training aids, and sensations you want to feel in your swing then stick to the plan. When you have an objective and you stick to it, you get better.
- Work on all aspects of your game, especially your short game and putting. Most golfers are infatuated with grooving their full swing. The truth is though, that the full swing makes up less than half of the shots in golf. If you are practicing to lower your handicap then a large amount of your practice should be dedicated to wedges and putting. One way to ensure a good practice session is to split your practice into three equal segments – the full swing, the wedge game, and the putting game. For instance, if you have an hour to practice, then 20 minutes should be dedicated to each of these areas – 20 minutes to the full swing, 20 minutes to the wedges (chipping and pitching), and twenty minutes to the putter (short and long putts). When you practice all three areas, you develop a well-rounded game, and that’s a sure way to improve your scores.
- Make your practices moderately challenging. Many golfers will only work on the parts of their game that they are best at and enjoy the most. Only practicing the parts of your game you enjoy most and are good at will limit your development. Practice should be challenging for a myriad of reasons. For one, the parts of your game that challenge you are likely the parts that you should be working on the most. Secondly, simply practicing the same things over and over again will get stale. If you want to get better, then you need to challenge yourself.
Follow these three tips to jump start the quality of your practice sessions, and you will be well on your way to playing the golf game of your dreams.