Golf Practice Strategies
What are some examples of golf practice strategies? What do the best players do? Here, I discuss Canada's elite player development program. It is pretty rigorous. See how it can help you. You'll appreciate what it takes to reach and sustain elite level performance. This is where Best Strategies for Better Golf pays off! Match your plan with the serious and elite players.
The following sections develop these ideas into an action plan:
Golf practice strategies are a matter of personal preference and priority. How much time and money do you want to invest in your game? Whether you're a casual or serious golfer, the strategy you develop will include some of the following considerations:
Guidelines for Practice Strategy Development
What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your goals?
Practice at Home
No need to go far. Better golf is all around you. Home is where the heart is and Best Strategies for Better Golf includes the home front too.
Budget your time. What kind of training do you want? Lessons; formal within sanctioned competition under a coach or just informal with the occasional lesson from a teaching pro.
Check the Academy Golf Skills Practice link, it shows an example of a year-round training schedule for elite level players. You'll see a seasonal breakdown of practice activities that readies players for a tournament schedule.
The practice schedule: emphasize weaknesses; how many days per week; ball striking, woods, irons, putting. Proportion of:
- Short game 70%
- Long game 30%
- Mix in physical fitness: eases stress, improves conditioning for later holes.
- Posture and balance
- Nutrition for muscle development and weight control
- Water (hydration)
- Practice vs. Play ratio; post-round best time for practice; swing fixes; fundamentals; grip & posture; balance; flexibility.
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In Season Golf Practice
Practice will focus on outdoor range time. Be organized, hit balls with a purpose. This is not a 'numbers game', think quality shots, not numbers of buckets.
Range: warm up stretching; begin w/wedges; 10 balls per club; work up through the bag; learning your club carry distances; develop consistency
Pre-round routine. Visualize shots as if you were playing an internal video of yourself.
Post-round practice. Hit the range to work out flaws that emerged during your round.
Between-round practice routine. In season set aside time to "practice like you play"-- work on game situation shots. Visualize playing a hole. Hit balls with clubs in sequence as if you were playing on the course. Don't get stale just beating balls. This also sharpens the mental game.
Visualize your round; visualize a game plan for difficult holes; develop a pre-shot routine to relax yourself between shots and focus on hitting quality golf shots.
Practice the routine: make it simple, a repetitive process to longterm game improvement. Monitor results; be disciplined and work will pay off.
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Work in more physical fitness. Visit with a personal trainer for a workout program that gets you fit for next season. Do not neglect nutrition and stretching to maintain your flexibility. Stay fit and healthy and you will enjoy your play time even more.
Add indoor range time. The big weakness with indoor work is the lack of short game practice areas that simulate real-course conditions. Most indoor ranges don't permit you to see ball flight for more than 100 yards. So work on technique. Get a video; work on swing positioning, grip, posture and balance. Get the motion down and work on the feel of a good swing through impact.
A good golf practice strategy should be open to change and continuous adjustment as your skills, time and equipment vary over time. Your game will change, so will your strengths and weaknesses. Patience should be a constant. So should your enjoyment.
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