To excel at anything, practice is a must. Unfortunately, most of the time, we like doing the thing at which we wish to excel, but practicing it can be boring and monotonous. Golf is no exception. Well, in my case, maybe it is because I actually like to practice, but for most of you, I know it’s a grind. To be honest, it’s kind of a grind for me too sometimes. After a while, repetition can just tire you out mentally. Quality practice, especially in golf, should be disciplined. It’s important to stick with a plan. Doing things like planning out each shot and executing your pre-shot routine each and every time is crucial to grooving good habits that will translate to the course later. That’s great, but as I said, it gets old to hit shot after shot after shot after shot the same way. That’s where spicing up practice can help to break up the boredom. I’ve discussed some ways to make practice fun before, like playing an imaginary round on the driving range.
Sometimes I just need to air a minor rant. Wasting practice time is one of those things that boggles my mind. I’ve done posts in the past about making the most of practice time. There’s lots of information here and across the web and in books and TV programs about practicing effectively. Dave Pelz likes to say, “practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent.” I agree but I’m not even talking about those ways that we can make practice time provide maximum benefit. Let’s approach this from another angle. Life in the 21st century can be pretty hectic. Yes, certainly a lot of that is self-imposed. We take high-pressure jobs, give ourselves longer commutes, and work longer hours in search of the almighty dollar (or whichever currency that might be if you live outside of the U.S.). Parents put their kids through a virtual wringer of activities and sports and other things that place a lot of demands on their time. When I grew up, in the summer, we went outside and played. Now, there
This is something that I think we often take for granted with our golf swings. Think about how on one hand, the golf swing seems so simple. Just pick up a club and hit a ball with it. Easy. It truly is that simple. On the other hand, if you want to optimize the power and control of that swing so that you can maximize your distance and fly the ball at the desired height, at the desired spin rate, and with as much or as little curve as desired, now we’re talking about an extremely complex machine. So, how do problems and symptoms relate to that? I thought you’d never ask. Actually, I thought you would, but that’s just a figure of speech. Technically, it was me asking, though. Having fun yet? Not only is the golf swing a complex machine, but it happens in a well-defined sequence. What that means is, we could also call the machine, a “chain of events”, where a mistake early on can easily carry all the way through
What was going wrong with your game six months ago? What was going right? How about three months ago? How have you spent most of your practice time over the last 12 months? How many lessons have you taken? What did you learn at each one? How did your play and practice following each lesson improve? Or did it degrade first? Hopefully you see where I’m going with this. Looking at the poll currently in my sidebar, a vast majority of respondents want to make significant improvement in their golf games this season. That’s a pretty lofty goal, but it’s certainly achievable for just about everyone. What each of us considers to be significant improvement is certainly a subjective measure, but how do we know when we’ve been meeting our goals? What if the goal was weight loss? Or, what if it is to learn oil painting? Or, what if the goal is to visit all 50 states in the U.S.? Fortunately, it’s usually fairly easy to recognize when a goal has been met. If
I love the poll questions because they really give me a chance to learn from all of you. Sure, it’s not exactly scientific, but I’ve learned something interesting from every one I’ve ever posted. The latest poll asked about the ways you improve your golf game. If you haven’t voted yet, please feel free. The question is, “Which of the following have you done in the past 12 months to improve your golf game?“ I presented you with a bunch of answers and asked you to pick all that apply (my apologies – for a brief period early on, you were only able to select one answer, but that has since been fixed). This is how the responses broke down as of this writing (out of 167): Practice at a driving range or practice green (81%, 136 Votes) Read or watch instructional materials (63%, 105 Votes) Take a range lesson from a golf pro (34%, 57 Votes) Get a club fitting (22%, 36 Votes) Conduct a video analysis of your swing, (by yourself or with