Practice with a Purpose
If you enjoy practicing as much as I do then getting the most out of your practice sessions is very important. Here is a quick story and some tested techniques that will help maximize your practice session and help you lower your scores.
PGA Tour Driving Range
Each year the New England PGA professionals have the opportunity to get inside the ropes of the Detusche Bank Championship. Two years ago I was on the practice tee giving tips to amateurs before they played their pro am round with a PGA tour star. When the amateurs were done practicing and teed off for their pro am we were allowed to stay on the tee and watch the tour players. After watching the best players in the world practice for a few hours, I learned that all had one thing in common, they practiced with a purpose. Every player would hit to a target, check their alignment and ball position and lastly they would go through their routine. It was amazing how efficient and simple they kept their practice sessions.
Pick A Target
Hitting at a target seems very obvious but it is often one of the most overlooked fundamentals that I notice when amateurs are practicing. When you are playing on the course hitting at a target is one of your most important objectives. Whether you are trying to split the middle of a fairway or knock it close to a pin hitting your target is very important. The next time you go out to practice I suggest you hit at a flag for your entire practice session. Hitting at a target during your practice sessions will help you hit more targets on the golf course. We all know what happens when you hit a lot of fairways and greens.
Alignment and ball position are two of the easiest fundamentals to master but are often overlooked. Setting up an alignment/ball position station every time you practice will guarantee that you perfect these important fundamentals. I suggest that you use two of your old clubs as your aids (There is nothing more frustrating than leaving a new ping iron on a practice range). First take a club and align it parrell to the target (Hint, Hint) you choose to hit at. This will ensure that you are perfectly aligned to your target. Second, take a club and lay it at a 90 degree angle to your alignment aid. The second club is used to mark the ball position in your stance. I suggest aligning the club just off your left cheek for iron shots and off of your left heal for woods. The picture to the right shows you how and where to place your clubs. Using an alignment/ball position station will train your body to address the ball perfectly. You will be pleasantly surprised how using a practice station has a direct effect on how well you play on the course.
If you are serious about shooting lower scores and shaving strokes off your handicap than I suggest getting into the habit of practicing with a purpose. When your practice sessions are organized and efficient the result will be more consistent golf shots and lower scores. Thank you for reading this month’s golf tip. If you have any questions about this month’s golf tip or would like to schedule a lesson I can be reached at 207-839-3490 or firstname.lastname@example.org.