Work commitments, family commitments, weather, money, injuries, etc., are among the many reasons why avid golfers across the globe who want to work on their games simply don’t get to practice as much as they’d like.
But the majority of golfers who do work on their games, even when they have limited time to do so, are going about practicing in the complete opposite manner than they should, according to SwingFix instructor Justin Bruton, adding that major mistakes are made on two crucial levels.
First, Bruton said, when you hit the driving range, take a deep breath and slow things down.
“Most amateur golfers play too slow and practice too fast,” Bruton continued. “On the practice range, they get too much repetition too quickly, which leads to fatigue and poor habits. Players need to slow down on the range and go through their routine for every shot, just as they would on the course.”
Bruton also said that golfers shouldn’t split a large bucket of balls between just their 7-iron and driver.
“They also should randomize their shots as well, which means hit a different club to a different target on every shot,” Bruton added. “We never hit the same shot from the same spot on the course consecutively unless we did something wrong like hit it out of bounds or in a hazard, so why would we want to practice that way?”
The second mistake that Bruton said he sees far too often is that most golfers spend too much practice time on their long game and that they neglect their short game.
“Most golfers’ thought process when going to practice is, ‘I'll hit some balls and if I have time afterward I'll chip and putt a little,’” Bruton said. “Really, it should be the opposite. Come to the course with the mindset that you are going to chip and putt first and then if you have time hit a few balls afterward.”
And Bruton quickly cited one of the elite players in the world as the perfect example of what he’s talking about.
“Luke Donald climbed to number one in the world rankings by spending 75 percent of his practice sessions working on his short game,” Bruton continued.
So remember, the next time you do get a chance to practice, slow things down and make your short game a priority. Your game will reap the rewards.