Golfers often hear about practicing with a purpose, either at the range or at home.. Spending money on a net or at the range will do you no good if you just hit balls without purpose. It’s critical to think about what you are doing and why.
Watch professionals or high-level amateurs at the range and you’ll quickly notice something that stands out from the average golfer: they hit each shot with a set routine. The most common of which is a progression routine where you start at the lowest club in your bag and work your way to the highest. We’ve talked about this in our “walk the dog drill" which you can see here. Within each club practice hitting three-quarter shots, full shots, and 110% shots so you can be better prepared to face most of the situations you’ll face out on the course. With some time you’ll build on your confidence knowing you have a variety of shots at your disposal -more practice and not only will you be a more confident golfer, but low scores should follow.
TIP: When hitting these shots make sure you’re focusing on making consistent impact with the ball. Hitting a 110% shot that is unpredictable won’t help you when you get on the course. As with the rest of golf, the tempo is the most important thing when you’re honing in your distances.
Another way to better prepare for your next round is by visualizing it before you get to the course! How can I do this you ask?. Go online and look at the course, or if you’ve played the course before pull-up the scorecard and play each shot in your mind.
Here’s a tip on visualizing a hole that might feel intimidating prior to play. Let’s say hole one is a 400 yard par-4 with a slight left dogleg and a well-protected green. Think about how these steps might help:
- Let’s also say you average around 265 yards off the tee with your driver. Hit your driver on a line which is slightly more left than normal as you’ll want to cut off as much of the dogleg as you can. You can achieve this with a net by aiming 6 inches to a foot left of where you would normally hit into the net. Play your drive, get a feel for how you plan to approach your drive and move on to the next shot.
- Positive mindset and reinforcement are paramount if you want to lower your scores. So with that in mind, let’s say you bombed your drive and now have 135 to a middle pin. With the green being well protected you may want to give yourself a little buffer room on your approach and may want to club up and hit the 75% shot we talked about earlier. Play that shot into the net and think about how you just hit the green in regulation and now have a shot at birdie!
Thinking that you will hit every green in regulation will be the first step in actually doing it! This will also give you the most positive mindset possible when heading to the course for your round!