Make sure that you make the most of your practice
- By Craig Renshaw, SwingFix instructor
- Nov 20, 2012 4:30 PM ET
Practice - who needs it?
Well, every golfer needs practice, from the touring pro to the high-handicap amateur.
Most golfers, however, don’t really know how to practice or understand what constitutes real practice. To be a better player, understanding what real practice is will enable you to make better use of the valuable time you spend working on your game.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, practice is “to do or engage in frequently; make a habit of; to do repeatedly so as to become proficient.”
Developing a good practice session takes time and is about personal preference.• Craig Renshaw
Using that as our definition, few can honestly say that they actually practice.
Practice is not the half hour you spend hitting balls before you play; that is simply warming up. Real practice is like learning to write the alphabet when you were in grade school. Each swing, like each letter, has to be made with diligence to make it perfect.
So how do you develop a routine for a good practice session?
Developing a good practice session takes time and is about personal preference, and it’s something that your instructor can assist you with.
Understanding your weaknesses and developing practice drills in all areas of your game will ingrain the fundamentals needed to correct bad habits and increase proficiency on the course.
While practicing, it’s a good idea to break your practice routine into different areas of focus, and this is especially true when it comes to your short game.
I believe that a creative short game requires that you experiment with every type of shot and condition that you might face during a normal round of golf.
This means playing shots from tight lies, fluffy lies, buried lies in bunkers and side-hill lies, while also working on lob shots and pitching from heavy rough. After all, these are all shots that you will hit from time to time.
Being prepared for these shots allows a golfer to make good decisions when confronted with them on the course during a round. And ultimately, that’s what you want to accomplish through the time that you spend practicing.
SwingFix instructor Craig Renshaw was nominated as the PGA Southwest Teacher of the Year in 2010 and 2011.
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