We’ve all heard and understand the wisdom of the phrase, “practice makes perfect.” The idea that you have to practice something to get better at it is true for almost everything you will ever do, and it is especially true about golf.
If all you ever did was play rounds of golf, you would only get to hit your driver 12-14 times per day, your putter 30-40 times, and every other club way fewer times than that.
That is not how you get better at golf.
To get better you have to figure out some golf practice techniques and you have to set some time aside in your schedule for golf practice rather than just playing 18.
In the following tutorial we will give you our top 10 tips to get the most of your golf practice time.
10 Best Tips For Golf Practice
1. Warm Up
The habit of warming up is always important, but it is even more important as we grow older. If you get out to the range or practice green and just start hitting and chipping balls, you will only be teaching yourself how to play golf when you are tight or worse, injure yourself and be out of commission for a couple months.
Take some time to stretch, bring a weighted club to swing back and forth, and get yourself loosened up before you start swinging the club.
2. Build Your Foundation
One of the problems with practicing at the range is that it is easy to just set the ball down and start swinging. Building your foundation at the range means you pick targets and aim for them, you use alignment sticks so that you know the direction you want your shot to go, and you do not just lay down 100 balls and hit them rapid fire until they are gone.
Building the foundation of your game means that when you leave the driving range you feel better about your game than when you arrived. If you go to the range and just bang balls, you’ll never know if your swing is improving or not.
3. Have a Plan
If you go to the range and just pull out your 7-iron and hit 100 rapid fire shots with no idea where they are landing, you have just wasted a day of practice.
Every good coach shows up to a 2-hour practice prepared for 3 hours. You should show up at the range with a plan of exactly what you are going to do every second you are at the range.
If you plan well then you will not have to stray from the plan and you can make sure you are accomplishing all that you wanted. The next 2 tips include things that you should make a part of your plan almost every time.
4. Commit To Each of The Key Areas
Even if you are hitting your driver 300 yards down the middle of the fairway every time and you haven’t hit a good short iron in a year, you still have to take time for everything.
You will focus more on fixing your issues, but if you do not keep up with your strengths, especially in golf, they will become issues very quickly.
Make sure that each time you go to practice you spend time putting, chipping, pitching, hitting wedges, hitting short irons, long irons, fairway woods, hybrids, and your driver.
Do not miss a chance to work on all of these key areas as often as possible. That does not mean that you will not take a whole day to work on putting, just don’t neglect any aspect of your game for very long.
5. 100 Yards and In
Your scoring happens from 100 yards and in. Many of us relax as we get closer to the green thinking just one more good shot and we are putting for a par.
The problem is that these short and sometimes awkward distances can be where we pick up the most strokes on our score. We think up and down from 50 yards out until the next shot misses the green, your chip winds up 25 feet past the hole and then you 2-putt from there.
If you can figure out your short game from 100 yards and in, your score will improve drastically. If this distance is the key to scoring, it should also be one of the major focus points of our practices.
6. Focus On 1 Thought/Feeling At a Time
Our ability to over complicate things can be astounding. With something as nuanced as a golf swing, it can be off the charts.
I remember watching a guy play basketball for Michigan State a few years ago and he had a lot of good skill and great technique. He was a good athlete, but rather than combine his athleticism and technique, his play looked robotic.
That same thing can happen to your golf swing if you think about too many things at the same time. Eventually you will get to the place where your swing is natural, but as you are building to that point, it is really important to focus on one thing and not over complicate your swing.
The bad thing about over complication is that it can remove the athletic and natural nature of the golf swing and replace it with something that is robotic and will never reach its full potential.
7. Make New Shots as Easy as Possible
When you are working on something new or making a change to your swing, make that change as easy as possible. Do not start immediately taking full swings at the ball from the ground.
Tee the ball up and take a ¼ swing. Do that at least 10 times and then until you feel comfortable with it. Move onto a ½ swing, then ¾ swing, and then a full swing off of the tee.
This could happen over a series of practices. When you are comfortable, repeat that same process but directly from the ground until you are comfortable with the form and feel from there.
8. Practice Like You Play
Just like playing sports growing up, an occasional “scrimmage” game is great to do during practice. Play 9 holes on the range by drawing up each hole in your mind and then playing them like you were actually on the course.
Maybe hole 1 is a 425-yard par-4. Start out with your driver, if you hit it decently, play your 150-yard club onto the green. If you mishit that, take out your PW and hit a 60 yard shot to the hole. The good thing about scrimmages is that you can work on things as you go.
If you hit a bad drive, just hit another one. If your 5-iron is not working, keep hitting it until it does. This is a way to play a practice round without playing a practice round.
You can even place the ball in different positions on the practice green and work on your putting.
The point is to do some different things, but do not just hit rapid fire shots with one club and then move to the next, practice like you are going to play.
9. Take Lessons
This is a no-brainer for a lot of people. You do not have to take lessons for the rest of your life like pros do, but at some point lessons should come into the equation.
Having a pro look at your swing, give you tips, and give you drills that will improve your game is the only way that many of us will reach our potential on the golf course.
Watching videos is good and reading tutorials like this one can help, but having someone give you real time feedback and advice in a way that can improve your swing does something that no other medium can.
10. Have Fun and Be Creative
The final key to a good golf practice is to make it fun and be creative. If you do the same things over and over or if your practice is boring to begin with, there is a very good chance you will quit.
Pretend that you hit a ball into the trees and practice your escape. Act like there is a 40 foot high tree in between you and the hole 80 yards down and hit a loft wedge as high and as far as you can.
Learn to hit your driver off the deck and see what kind of things you can make the ball do. Anything to change things up a little and have fun.
If every single practice you hit 15 wedges, 25 short irons, 25 long irons, etc. and you repeat yourself every day, 2 things will happen. First, you will not get any better. Second, you will not have the motivation to practice anymore.
There are 2 things that will really kill your practice time, boredom and lack of improvement, and both of those things will exist if you do not make fun and creativity one of your major goals.
Final Thoughts on Golf Practice
There are so many things to say about golf practice and so many tips that could be given, but these 10 have had the most impact on my game and I hope you can say the same thing. My goal is that after reading these tips your golf practice is transformed and that transformation leads to new and lower scores on the course.
Here’s a awesome video by Rick Shiels Golf on how he breaks down a range session:
If you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something from it, comment on this post and let us know what your favorite part was. Share it with your friends and let them know how much it has helped your golf game.