By Paul Myers
Realistically, you only have so much time to dedicate to golf practice. Unless you are a professional golfer, you probably have plenty of other responsibilities that rank above golf practice – work, family, etc. However, you still have goals that you would like to accomplish in golf, and it will require some amount of practice to do so. Are you facing an impossible task? Not at all. The key is to properly allocate your practice time so you get the most return on the time spend on the driving range and putting green. As long as you have a plan for what you are going to work on, and how long you are going to work on it, improvement is absolutely attainable.
The 50/50 Rule
As a good place to start, try using the 50/50 rule when it comes to your golf practice sessions. That means that you will dedicate 50% of your practice time to your full swing, and 50% to your short game. So, if you head to the golf course with one hour available to practice, spend 30 minutes hitting balls and 30 minutes working on your bunker shots, chipping and putting. As long as you stick to this general guideline, you will at least be getting work in on all the various skills you need for the course.
Address Your Weaknesses
One mistake amateur golfers make when it comes to golf practice is spending too much time on things they are already good at, and ignoring the areas that give them trouble. For example, let’s say that you are already a good driver of the golf ball. You hit plenty of fairways, and have more distance than most of your playing partners. With that in mind, why would you spend much time practicing your driving on the range? Sure, you need to hit a few drives to stay sharp, but there are certainly areas of your game that could use more attention.
While it might be fun to show off on the range by blasting one drive after the next, it isn’t going to make you a better golfer in the long run. Use your rounds of golf to identify areas of the game that are giving you trouble, and then invest your practice time on fixing those problems. One idea behind practice is to improve on your weaknesses, so make sure you aren’t wasting too much time practicing things you are already good at.
Make Your Practice Reflect Actual Golf
How many times on the golf course do you get to stand in the same spot and hit the same putt ten or twenty times in a row? Never. So why do you do it on the practice green? If you are going to get better, it can be important to replicate on-course conditions as much as possible during your practice sessions. That means changing clubs frequently when you are hitting balls (drive, iron, pitch, drive, iron, drive, fairway wood, iron, pitch, etc) ), and moving all around the chipping area and the practice green when putting. This kind of practice can be more work, but it can help you become a better player.
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