The longest walk in golf is from the practice tee to the first green.
If you have ever wondered why your performance is so drastically different from the driving range to the first time, this is what I mean by the longest walk in golf. There are many variables that could cause this phenomena to happen but primarily it’s not what you practice, but how.
Another way of looking at this would be to compare the golfer who plays golf vs. golf swing.
The golfer is able to take his swing from the driving range and use it on the golf course. He understands as soon as he steps on the first tee it’s not how but how many. He visualizes a shot then hits it and repeats this process until he turns in his scorecard. Alternatively, the golfer who plays golf swing is constantly searching for something that has mysteriously gone missing on the golf course. He has a new swing thought for every shot until there are no more to choose from.
This may sounds a little harsh but I know how frustrating the game can be when you have the mindset of the searcher. You will have much more fun with the game when you learn to let go of all your imperfections, love your swing, and just play golf. Get the ball into the hole in the least amount of strokes using nothing but your imagination and competitive energy.
As Golfers we are always looking for the most effective ways to practice. Every golfer is different and what works for one might not work for another. For example, Bubba Watson would prefer playing as many holes as he can over beating balls on the driving range. While there are others that prefer the extra reps. (The Grinders)
Here’s a few suggestions on “HOW” you should practice.
- Keep Your Stats:
- Knowledge is power in this game. Knowing how many fairways, greens, and putts you have each round can identify trends and enable you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. The more information you gather the better. Make it a habit to constantly work on the weaknesses until they turn into strengths.
- Practice How You Play:
- Have you ever wondered why your provisional ball or second putt always seems to do exactly what you want it to? If you play golf for score you know that there are no do overs. So why do golfers practice that way?
- Instead of taking 4 balls to the putting green, take 1. Mark the ball with a coin the same as you would on the golf course and never hit the same putt more than once.
- Go through your entire routine on the driving range and constantly change your club selection and target.
- Simulate Performance Pressures:
- This is where you can have the most fun with your practice times.
- Play games with your buddies on the putting green for some cash.
- Try to make 100 3-footers in a row from different locations.
- Pretend this shot, right now, is for the victory.