Become more effective with your golf practice sessions

by Jordan on July 29, 2011

Become more effective at the range with this tip

You’re tired of practicing and not seeing any results.

Or maybe you just don’t know how to practice golf at the range.

The key to practice is to make as real as possible.

“Make it real?!”

Yes, make it real. In golf an another sport you need to simulate playing conditions when practicing.

Read on and I’ll explain a few ways you can simulate a real round of golf. You’ll be able to get more of your practice sessions in a shorter amount of time, I promise.

Simulating A Real Round

How can you do this?

The first step is to stand behind your ball and go through your pre shot routine. After your pre shot routine swing away and watch the ball land. Once the ball has landed, take a few seconds to think about the shot and evaluate what went right or wrong.

This is what I refer to as becoming aware or conscious of your body, clubhead, ball and target throughout the swing.

When on the course you don’t hit three balls in one minute do you? Unless you’ve topped two shots a total of five feet, you’re answer is most likely no. From now on I want your practice sessions to resemble a real round.

Too many times I see players on the range doing more harm than good by practicing improperly. They hit ball after ball without having any purpose or intent with each shot. This is terrible inefficient.

Does that sound like yourself?

I have observed that there are usually two groups of players on the practice tee. A small group are working on something specific which is great. These players are slightly ahead of the game. But still they struggle simulating a real round when practicing.

The rest are working on nothing and merely thinking that because they’re practicing the golf genies will grant them their wish of playing better. They hit the same shot five or more times in a row.

This group actually get worse because they hit a large bucket of 60 balls in 30 minutes. Little results comes out of this. And like I say you don’t hit 60 balls in 30 minutes during a real round.

Now I don’t mind seeing people swinging freely and hitting the ball quickly. This is much better then thinking about 10 different swing thoughts and getting frustrated after a poor shot. But I prefer players have a purpose at the range and simulate a real round.

There’s another reason why I don’t like seeing players hit the same shot over and over again.

Getting Groovy

It allows the player to get in a groove – whether good or bad – due to fact they are hitting ball after ball too quickly. I’m sure you’ve had a range session where you hit the ball so well but couldn’t transfer that feeling to the course.

A quick side note that relates to simulating playing conditions comes from my high school basketball days.

I was the slow chunky kid (big time defensive liability) who was a good passer and three point shooter. Anyways my coach would make us shot 10 free throws at the end of practice.

He simulated a real life game by having us sprint two court lengths and shoot two free throws in the same manner we would in a game. After two free throws we would repeat until we shot 10 free throws. This was a lot different from shooting 10 consecutive free throws.

Simulate a round of golf during practice much like basketball coaches teach free throw shooting in practice

If our coach made us shoot 10 consecutive free throws without any sprints, our shooting percentage would be better simply because it would be easier for us to get in a groove.

This same groove occurs on the driving range thanks to hitting ball after ball. For the record, you can also get in a bad groove and really do harm to your game by practicing improperly.

You never hit consecutive shots on the course within a minute so why would you do that in your practice session?  On the course you hit a shot then talk to your playing partners while walking to your ball. Obviously you can’t fully simulate a round by going for a walk or talking to your range partners. But you can take some time in between shots.

Once you have spent some time evaluating your body, club, ball and target, start again and go through your pre shot routine. Aim to hit one ball every minute. Doing so will allow you to maximize your practice sessions.

It’s all about quality and not quantity.

Until next time, practice simulating a real round on the range or greens to practice more efficiently!

PS. Be sure to read some of the other articles I’ve created on practice directly below this post.


Jordan J. Caron is a former Canadian PGA Class A member who still wants to help golfers shoot better scores. He is also the President of Meaningful Marketing. In his downtime he likes to read, play squash and drink wine.

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