Practice makes perfect. Okay, so few of us will ever get to be perfect on the golf course. Even Tiger Woods isn’t perfect. But practicing is the difference between having either a high golf handicap or a low golf handicap.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t have a lot of time to practice (or even take golf lessons). We’re too caught up in our everyday lives. When we finally get a chance to practice, we must make the most of it to improve. To do that, you need to have a plan before you get to the range. We need to know exactly what we want to work on it to get everything out of the session.
Below are five tips to keep in mind next time you’re planning a practice session.
1. Warm up properly-Your muscles need to be loose to hit the ball properly. You don’t need a physical trainer to tell you that. It’s common sense. If your muscles aren’t lose, your swing will be fast and your tempo will be off.
What’s more, it’s difficult to feel what your arms, legs, feet, and hands will do, if you’re not warmed up. Stretch your muscles before going to the practice range. There’s enough information out there about stretching. Use it to put an exercise routine together that works on key golf muscles. Once you get to the range, take about 20 practice swings before hitting a ball. By the end of your swings, you will be relaxed and ready to go when it’s time to hit.
2. Hit balls with a purpose-Most players get to the practice range and just hit balls, with no goal or purpose in mind. To get the most out of a practice session, you need to practice with a purpose. If you don’t, all you’ll be doing is ingraining bad habits.
Focusing on addressing one problem and work on that, Maybe it’s your downswing. Maybe it’s your grip, alignment, or ball position. Concentrating on one swing fault makes things easier. Make up your mind as to what part of the game you’re going to work on before you get to the range, and then do it when you get there.
3. Take your time at the range-Business people are especially prone to this. You are so concerned about getting back to the office, you don’t devote any thought to what you’re working on. You hit balls so frantically that you don’t have time to concentrate on anything worthwhile.
The solution is to give yourself a little extra time to work on your game. We know it’s hard. Even people taking golf lessons have a hard time doing it. But try your best. Remember your practice sessions don’t have to be long. They just have to be effective. It’s better to hit 25 balls slowly with purpose, than 50 quickly with no purpose.
4. Pick out a target-You’ve probably read this suggestion in my golf tips articles. Many golfers have an idea where they want to hit the ball, but nothing specific. Your alignment tends to suffer the most with this approach. Without working on it in practice, you align your body differently than you do on the course. The end result is that you end up developing swing flaws. Here’s what to do: Choose a specific target. Maybe it’s a patch of dirt or a bush. Make it as specific as possible. Then put a club on the ground to help you align yourself properly. Such an approach is extremely valuable. Then when you’re on the course, you’ll find it easier to align yourself properly every time you hit.
5. Don’t spend too much time hitting the driver-Watch a lot of people at the range. You will probably see most of these golfers hitting the driver. In fact, that’s all they do. Shot after shot after shot. Sure, it’s fun to hit the ball long and far. But it doesn’t do much good when you’re on the course and you have to hit a 7-iron on the green, as I tell those who attend my golf instruction sessions.
To really lower your golf handicap, spend most of your time hitting your short irons and wedges. These are the keys to generating lower scores. And don’t forget to work on your putting. That’s paramount. Sure you want to work on your full swing. But don’t forget to work on other parts of your game.
There you have it-five tips that will help you get the most out of your practice. Just remember if you’re serious about improving your game, you still must practice, even if it doesn’t make you perfect.
Copyright (c) 2007 Jack Moorehouse