Discover how a short, well planned practice session can transform your game.
Do you spend your entire practice session focusing on your swing technique, aiming at the same target with the same club, hitting sometimes 15 shots in a row with the same intention? If you wish to change a swing habit, research shows that it is best to practice without a target or golf ball at first.
Slowing down your overall rhythm during your swing will help you to focus internally on the new “FEEL” of the new movement, removing all tension and the pressure of the target for the learning to take place. It only take 6-10 repetitions to get the feel for the new move. It is in your best interest to spend most of your practice session working on mastering random shots to mimic play on the course.
If you think for a moment, is golf not a game of variability and a succession of unpredictable situations where we almost never hit 2 shots in a row that are identical. Conditions are forever changing and it is time for you to change how you practice if you want to get better results. The good news is that shorter more intense training session will give you greater results, it will still take hard work and patience but at least you have a plan to follow.
Let’s discover the 2 types of focus you can choose from during your practice session.
2. External focus
This is when you are focusing on your target, visualizing the ball flight and landing zone. The result, the outcome of the shot.
Your brain can’t handle the 2 at the same time, it is not possible.
Our brain is most suitable at learning new skills with great variety. Repeating the same swing over and over again with the same club hitting the ball to the same target has limited benefits especially if you want to become a better player on the course.
The 2 different stages of your practice session:
Practicing a new skill/movement ideally for a short period of time and without aiming at a particular target (internal focus)
As the name suggests, varied practice, changing every time target, club and type of shots played mimicking play on the course (external focus-Target) most beneficial to improve your game and lower your scores on the course.
Here is a sample of a 30 minute practice session around the green (30-yard zone)
Stage 1 Block Practice:
Spend 5-10 minutes practicing the technique of a shot you want to master e.g. high medium distance bunker shot, without aiming at a target, train the move and technique you wish to improve then move on.
Stage 2 Random Practice:
Design a 3,6, or 9 stations circuit around the green for 10-15 min where you simulate play on the course. Here you practice shots that you know you will encounter when you play. Use only 1 ball and hole out. Record your score. Here you focus on the target, landing zone and feel for the shot not the technique.
If you are a keen golfer who is interested in becoming a better player, have a golf diary where you prepare in advance your practice session for the next day, record your results, write down what went well and also what can you do better/improve for next time. It will only take you 5 minutes and you will reap the rewards in no time!
Practicing can be enjoyable , Gary Player famous quote: "The more I practice the luckier I get"
You don't have to do what Gary Player did, practice smart, make progress and become a happier golfer!