As we approach a new golfing season that hopefully brings lots of sun, I am sure some of you will have kept up playing through the colder months, whilst some may have chosen to put the clubs away.
Whichever decision you took, I think now is a critical time to get your game in good order for the season.
As with all my players at whatever level they are at I remind them of what golf is. It is to put a ball in a hole in the least amount of shots. With this we need to make sure we are practicing to get good at this rather than becoming good at hitting fifty 6 irons on a range.
I split practice into 2 key categories – Development and Performance. Development is working on how to do something and Performance is getting good at doing it. It is the second type that I want to focus on. Performance practice is critical at this time of year as you all are about to start the season, which comprises of performing in competitions. So let’s not leave it to chance, let’s practice performing, so when it comes to your events you are prepared well.
It is very simple to develop yourself in a performance session. Rather than coming up to just hit balls on the range why not go play 9 holes with a friend and compete against one and other. If you don’t want to use the course you could look at a one hour session like this; 10 mins warm up on range, 20 mins choosing targets, going through pre shot routines and executing shots. Record the successful shots. Have a consequence for poor shots just like on the course. If you hit a poor shot on the course you always have a consequence. For example a missed green could mean being in a bunker. On the range create a consequence of maybe every missed target you have to walk to the end of the range and back again – trust me you’ll get bored of that quickly! Then the second 30 mins go to the chipping green to practice up and downs. Chip on and try hole the putt.
So many practice the chipping bit but on a course we have to follow it with a putt, why not do it in practice? See how many times you do this with 10 chips and record the success percentage in your phone or notebook. Finally hit the putting green with 4 balls round the hole at 2ft. Hole all 4 you can move back to 4 foot and so on. Miss any and you have to start again. With this you also have a consequence. A simple session like this is training the key skills you will require on the course. Like the final putt at 2ft to move on to 4 footers. If you miss it can you accept it and move on? You may experience small nerves about holing it which happens on course and when this happens do you think about the future or remain present?
So in conclusion make sure you have time set aside to perform in your practice.
Remember become a better golfer AND performer!
Have a great season on & off the course!