As we’ve mentioned before, a proper warm-up is essential for peak performance in any sport. That same mentality is applied to practicing wisely as well.
How often have you found yourself the day before a charity scramble event and think, “I better go hit some balls before tomorrow..” Fast forward 24 hours, you’re still shanking your drives. Fortunately, it’s not a big deal because it was for a good cause, but you still want to stripe those drives down the fairway and do it pain free!
A lot of players go to the driving range and hit balls, but not many go with a plan and not many really pay attention to what they are doing.
• Here are a few tips on how to change that:
First, warm up for 10 to 15 minutes, beginning with stretching exercises, and then start hitting balls with a wedge, using a smooth, slow swing. Tempo is everything. Work your way up to longer clubs until you finally get to the driver. Do not hit every club in the bag and do not fall in love with one club. After all, you’re not going to hit the same club every shot on the course are you?
Second, spend 10 to 15 minutes working on a specific position or movement you need to improve. This is how you ingrain that movement in your swing and start creating muscle memory. Begin with a short-iron and hit four balls doing a drill that will improve this area. Then hit four more balls with the same club taking a full swing. Repeat this eight-ball step with using a longer club such as a hybrid, fairway metal, then driver.
Third, spend 10 minutes simulating different shots on the golf course by changing clubs every two swings and changing your target every swing. Don’t just hit at the same spot all the time. That is what makes golf such a fascinating sport; no shot is the exact same as another.
Finally, work on your short game for 20 to 30 minutes. Pitch shots to various targets from 15 yards to just short of your maximum wedge distance; chip shots from 1 to 50 feet; hit short and long bunker shots; practice putting by using a circle drill in which you place six to eight balls in a circle around the cup, between, 3 and 5 feet away. Work your way around the circle, trying to make as many possible without any three putts.
As mentioned above, no shot is going to be the same especially while you’re out on the course. With a more focused plan when you practice, your game is bound to improve significantly!