30 Golf Practice Drills (P1)
Why are you practicing? I already know the answer…it is because you want to play beter on the course; shoot lower scores and lower your handicap.
One thing is for sure; you would like to gain more benefit from your practice.
Too many players are able to hit the ball well in practice, yet fail to reproduce that form on the course. There are many possible reasons for this.
- On the course you only get one opportunity.
- You are in a different state of mind on the range compared to the course.
- You still hit poor shots on the range, yet are able to ignore them. On the course those same shots become your primary focus.
- You don’t really hit the ball beter in practice, you just think you do.
- You don’t handle the pressure of competition very well.
These are just some of the reasons. Whatever the reason one thing is for sure: in my experience, the way a player trains is indicative of future success.
The first section of this book describes the philosophy behind Deliberate Practice. When you read the components, you will agree that training in a Deliberate way is much more intensive than any other form of practice.
The second section of the book describes the most common errors players make in practice. This is not about swing faults, more the traps we can all fall into when we are on the road to improvement.
The third section outlines how to develop practice plans and provides templates you can follow.
The final section of the book has some practice drills for you to include in your plans. There are more than you would incorporate into a plan, in fact there are more than 30! Use some as a base for your practice and occasionally use the others to add variety to your practice.
Golf is a complex motor skill and therefore it will take time to gain expertise. Being a fine-motor skill your progress will not be smooth. Just have a look at how many different winners there are on any professional Tour each year. If improvement and form was stable, then the trophies would be shared by only a few players; the best would always be the best. This is g at the same TIme g a frustraTIon and one of the elements of the game we love.
Teaching golfers to practice correctly is one of the key influences a coach can have. It isn’t as exciting as suddenly having your student turn their slice into a draw (or straight shot), but it can help the student find a way to hit more straight shots in the future.
Very few golfers practice well. They may spend many hours practicing, but mostly it is unproductive. This is true even of professional golfers. And they are playing the game for their livelihood!
I am convinced that almost no-one understands instinctively how to practice well, how to measure their performance in practice or how to create a balanced practice plan that reinforces your strengths and develops your weaknesses.
There are sample practice plans and also blank templates for you to use in designing your own training plan. I don’t mind if you copy the practice plan sheets if you are using them as a guide in your practice. It’s a bit more practical than taking your laptop to the range just so you can read a couple of pages of this e-book.
Following the suggestions in this book will, at the very least, allow you to gain the maximum benefit from your practice. It might also see your scoring average drop faster than it ever has and allow you to get even greater joy from playing golf.
If you can’t transfer your practice improvement to the golf course, then your practice isn’t effective. If you follow the advice in this book you will learn what effective practice is. So follow the principles outlined and let me know how much your golf is improved just by practising correctly.
Best wishes for your tiuality practice.
Deliberate Practice and performance
If you engage in Deliberate Practice for 10,000 hours or 10 years (it should amount to the same tiuantity), you can achieve expertise. This is the finding of Anders Ericsson and others who have studied expertise across sport, the arts, academia and other areas.
Given the fine-motor-skill nature of the golf swing and the variety of shots retiuired to compete at world-class level it is apparent that it not only takes a long time to become really proficient at golf but also that there will always be some variation in shot tiuality, even amongst the very best players.
“The primary disfinguishing feature of experts’ swings was their reproducibility”. “The best performers have swings and shots that are reproducible. The higher a player’s handicap, the greater the variability in swings”. (Ericsson)
Throw in the effect of outside influences and their changeability such as weather, course layout and grasses, types of lies, players’ states of mind, etc., the player is constantly adjusting for differing shot retiuirements. To have the greatest amount of control the player needs to atend carefully to shot planning and preparaTIon g taking into account all of the important variables related to the shot at hand g and then initiate the swing.
Developing these skills retiuires that practice be Deliberate Practice. So what does that mean?