I’m stunned by how often the golfers who tell me they’re dissatisfied with their game are also the ones who tell me that they don’t spend much time practicing. There’s something wrong with this picture. To practice or not to practice? That’s not the right question if you want to play better golf. The right question is, “Are my practice habits having a significant and positive impact on my game?”
Upon deeper examination, the golfers who typically don’t like to practice haven’t ever really gotten a whole lot out of their time. Practice is necessary for improvement and can be valuable, but only if you go about it the right way.
Here are a few of things to consider…
#1 – If you struggle with consistency on the course, your challenge is likely less about lacking solid technique, and more about poor practice habits.
#2 – You do need to carve out some time regularly to practice. This doesn’t mean spending hours and hours hitting hundreds of balls. The golfers who only do this are actually preventing themselves from improving as much as they could. Quantity does not equal quality.
#3 – Golf improvement is much more than just working on your technique. A significant portion of your practice time should involve activities that build trust, smart strategy and confidence.
To see improvement, you must commit to practicing with a simple plan that actually prepares you to play the game more consistently. Otherwise, you’ll just be really great at practicing the game of golf. A good practice plan is something that you put some thought into before you head to the range. For some guidelines, check out my post here.
Once you have a basic plan to begin to improve your approach to practice, the next step is to create a few long-term goals that you can allocate time to on the range and the course in the coming months.Discover 4 simple steps to get more out of your golf practice. #golf #golfpractice #golftips Click To Tweet
Getting Started with Goal Mapping
- Decide on a desired, measurable goal that you could realistically achieve in the next three months, like shaving two strokes off your scoring average.
- Break that goal down into bite-sized, smaller goals — like reducing your average by 0-1 strokes by the end of the first month, then 1-2 strokes by the end of the second month, and finally a sustained 2 stroke reduction by the end of the third month. As you can see, you aren’t putting pressure on yourself to tackle the big goal immediately, but are setting incremental goals to work your way forward.
- Examine your game to identify the “low hanging fruit” opportunities that would help you save one stroke per round. Perhaps you often find yourself on the green in regulation, but at about 20-25 feet from the flag. And your lag putts typically leave you putting from outside 8 feet. You might want to invest some time on lag putting drills to improve your distance control, to get those first putts inside a higher percentage distance for you of 4-5 feet. This could position you to finish a hole in 2 putts, rather than 3.
- Finally, once you’ve identified 2-3 simple improvement areas in your game, schedule time to practice each week to start chipping away at your incremental goals. For example, decide how much time you need to spend on lag putting drills each week and make it a priority. You might determine that 10 minutes of focused putting practice after your bi-weekly rounds really helps you see some improvement in this area of your game.
If you’d like to learn how to get the most out of your time on the range so you can take your good shots to the course, CONTACT ME to learn more about mental game training.