Take better advantage of your practice opportunities
- By Craig Renshaw, SwingFix instructor
- Oct 5, 2012 7:30 AM ET
Where do we find the time to practice to elevate our games or sustain them at their current levels?
This is the challenge that confronts all golfers.
It’s a problem that will never be completely answered, but we have to make sure we do the best we can and understand that it take lots of work to take your golf game up a level.
Here are a few things to consider:
• Fitness: Are you working out? Are you working out too much? Are you working out correctly? I think it’s extremely important that everyone who is serious about golf do some sort of fitness training for their games. That training can be whatever you choose but make sure the heart is being worked along with golf muscles to incorporate endurance and encourage flexibility. A good stretching or yoga program gets my highest endorsement, as that will help relieve stress and improve flexibility. It’s important to have a body that can do what you need it to do with the golf swing.
• Short Game: This is includes putting, chipping, pitching, bunkers and trouble shots. That makes five different areas that every golfer should be practicing to improve their game. I’m not saying that you need to practice each area every time you practice, but there are questions that you should be asking yourself when working on your short game. Do you have a goal in mind? Do you have a time limit to practice an area that needs work? If your putting is off, is it your short putts or your lag putting? With your chipping, is your contact or distance control off? Are you picking the correct club to get the ball close to the hole? Are you practicing from different lies or just from the good lies? Address questions like these and your short game will improve.
• Full Swing: This is the area where most people want to focus. While it’s important to have some consistency with your full swing, there is more to playing golf then just hitting the ball straight. Are you working on uneven lies? Do you know how far you carry each iron? Are you practicing from the rough and fairway grass? Can you slice and hook the ball? Are you picking different targets? Again, ask yourself questions like these and modify your practice habits accordingly. If you do, you’ll be a better ball-striker.
SwingFix instructor Craig Renshaw was nominated as the PGA Southwest Teacher of the Year in 2010 and 2011.
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