golf tips blog

Date : 4/27/2018

Freund Friday 4/27/2018: The Mental Game - Practice with Purpose

Practice makes perfect, right? A common problem among golfers is the feeling that their golf game does not transfer from the range on to the course. You might hit every shot exactly how you want to on the range. And you might make every putt on the practice green. But once you get on the course it is like you are a completely different player.

The reason this happens is because the way the average player practices is completely different from how they play. When you go to the range, what do you do? Chances are you dump your bucket of balls out, grab your favorite club and hit it until you are happy (or out of balls, whatever comes first). This scrape-and-swing practice session leads to checking-out mentally and sloppy swings. It is also completely different from how you play the game of golf. How often do you hit two 7-irons in a row on the course? Hopefully not too often. And what about putting? Too often players drop three balls on the green and hit the exact same putt three times. Again, this does not simulate how you putt on the course.

If you want to be able to take your game from the range to the course, then you need to practice how you play. Be sure to have a PLAYING FOCUS even on practice days. When you show up to practice, have a goal and plan for how to complete that goal. Here are a few different ideas to help turn your bucket of balls into a simulation of your round:

§  Use the THINK/PLAY BOX:  Take your time. Rehearse your pre-shot routine before EVERY swing. This will allow to stay focused on every swing. It also builds a routine you can rely on to help you when the pressure is added on the course.

§  Change clubs every swing: How often do you hit the same club twice in a row on the golf course? It is pretty uncommon. So why should you repeatedly hit the same club on the range? This does not mimic a real round.

o    One way to keep your practice session interesting is to play your home course on the range. After you warm-up, hit your first tee shot just as you would to start a round. Step back, change clubs, and hit the shot you would for second shot of your round. Continue this pattern until you have played 9-holes. You can play any course in your mind this way. This is also a great way to warm-up before a round.

§  Change your target every swing: If you don’t want to change clubs every swing, at least change your target. After each swing pick a different target line and play to it. This will make each shot a new swing, and will make you think about every swing which is exactly how we play on the course.

§  Chip and putt: When working on your short game be sure to recreate on-course situations as best you can. Try chipping one ball to a flag and then go and putt out. A fun game to play is create your own short game course and play 9-holes on your practice green. You can even replace chipping with a lag putt and try to two putt every hole. How low can you score?

Use these tips, tricks and games during your next practice session and you will soon see an improvement on the course.

-Submitted By:
 Anthony Freund
 Assistant Professional
 Three Lakes Golf Club

Source: EVERY SHOT MUST HAVE A PURPOSE, by Lynn Marriott, Pia Nilsson, and Ron Sirak

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