With golf season well underway, it’s time to zero in on how you practice. For most of us, time is limited. So it’s important to learn how to “practice smart.”
So what is the best way to spend your practice time?
Many golfers will grab a bucket of balls and hit a few with 7-irons and drivers on the range. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is slightly flawed. One of the reasons why golf is so difficult is because there are so many variables presented to us.
With most sports, you typically have a constant playing field — hockey surfaces in North America are always the same area, a soccer pitch always has the same dimensions, and a tennis court is always a standard size. In the game of golf, there is no constant. Golf course conditions are never the same and the weather you play in is forever changing. You never have the same lie twice and no two holes are ever the same. When it comes to practice, the cliché is… we need to practice smarter not harder.
One of the few things you can practice in your game that does stay the same is hitting the driver. In general, you are hitting a driver on a flat surface, with short grass on a tee. This is actually something you can focus on at the range to get a good sense of what you could replicate in a game-like situation on the golf course. But when was the last time you hit 10 7-irons in a row on a perfect lie on the golf course? It doesn’t happen. You should try to narrow your focus to get the most out of the time you have.
The ultimate goal in golf is to get the ball in the hole in the least number of strokes possible, so let’s head to the golf course!
I suggest you play a few holes, even if it’s just two or three. You will get more benefits from being on the golf course simulating playing than you ever would by hitting ball after ball on the range.
If it’s the end of the day and the course isn’t busy, play a few golf balls hitting different shots from different lies. Vary your approach. Try uphill, downhill and side hill, and try to recreate similar situations you would encounter on a golf course. Try to hit different shots around the greens. Sometimes, short game practice facilities won’t have rough or tightly mown areas for you to practice on, but the golf course certainly will.
Remember, a driving range is nothing like a golf course. Practicing on the course is not only a more enjoyable way to improve, but you will play more golf. And on a course is where you want to be!
By Devin DeBay, Assistant Golf Professional
Fox Harb’r Resort
1337 Fox Harbour Rd. Wallace, N.S.
Toll free: 1.866.257.1801