By Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen, PGA
Most players have a tendency to practice without a key purpose. Majority of the people who practice golf generally go to the range, purchase a large bucket of balls and start hitting away without a practice plan. By the time the large bucket is almost out of balls, they start to figure out some clues regarding their golf game and swing. They not only wasted their time and money, but wasted their learning experience to improve. This article may steer you into a plan for your practicing habits and goals pertaining to your own levels and abilities.
1. Start out with some sort of productive plan when practicing. Easy Tip: Write a small list and place it in a Ziploc baggy next to your glove and stored in your golf bag. This is an added reminder which can help with focus.
2. What do you need to practice?
Learning about your golf swing is a vital step on your golf improvement. Focusing on the cause and effect of golf swing is a great area to start looking for solutions. There are several ways to find information: golf professionals, Internet, magazines, e-zines, blogs, social media, TV, You Tube and more. Ask yourself, “What is causing my issues?” and try to find an understanding how to improve. There will be many solutions to the causes.
3. Golf Lessons are a valuable source.
Most golf professionals have this passion to share their experiences and dial into your situation to help you understand and improve. With today’s technology, the solutions and feedback are much more instant. The golf professional can also guide you toward your goals with tips, practice homework, explanations, statistics, golf game management, definitions, recommendations, equipment, mental golf thoughts and much more. Having a personal coach helps you focus on your needs, then master each step one at a time.
4. Visual Aids: Mirrors
Practice also comes in the form for watching yourself swing and hit. The use of mirrors is a powerful source for information to find solutions. When using a mirror, work on your posture and alignment, balance, ball position and set-up routine. Do your homework and find a method that works for you. Repeat over and over your method to become second nature. You will do this routine for the rest of your “golf life,” you might as well become familiar with your routine as soon as possible.
5. Visual Aids: Video
Video is super powerful in watching your own swing and self analysis. Bring a friend to the range for some fun and at the same time record each other’s swing. Watch your swing run all the way through the video without stopping the footage. Look for pre-shot routine, set-up, grip, stance, ball position, posture and balance. These simple areas are what golf professionals look at when giving lessons, more reason why you should look into those areas as well. Watch the swing run through completely on the video, notice your tempo, balance and improve it.
6. Driving Range Drill
Now it is time to execute your skills on the driving range. Keep in mind, that your golf routine always needs to be polished, do not rush through the bucket of range balls. This is key. One shot and swing at a time produces comfort to your organizational patterns, producing your game strategies on the golf course. Try to hide the bucket of balls out of your peripheral vision. This way you are focusing on one shot at a time.
7. Evaluate your Practice Session
Measure your progress and make your time worth the effort towards improvement. Take notes and learn how to eliminate your errors. Stick to your plan of action, measure your progress and the use of drills can turn your progress into a successful golf and practice experience.
Remember to be patient with yourself and golf because improvement takes time. If you have a plan and organize it, you will arrive to a more improved golf game. If you apply these golf tips, you will be building your knowledge of the game as you practice. In the long run, this can only help you improve your practice sessions more efficiently as well as your golf game.
Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen, PGA, is the PGA Teacher of the Year 2014. Please visit www.kgjgolf.com