10 Tips for Your Golf Practice Routine
An effective golf practice routine is essential if you want to improve your game and lower your scores. The following are some tips on how to build an effective golf practice routine that improves your game all round.
- Schedule time for golf practice
Scheduling time for golf practice within your busy week is imperative if you want to see any marked improvements in your performance. It is recommended that you practice golf 1-6 hours each week using the golf practice routine that you settle on.
- Set realistic practice goals
It is imperative to set clear and realistic goals for each weekly practice session. The goals should be challenging for your skill level, but should not prove impossible for you to realistically achieve them at your current skill level.
Examples of goals you can work towards every week include refining your long game, improving your putting from various distances, and enhancing your fairways hitting technique.
- Warm-up is essential
Whether it is a range, putting, or chipping practice session, you need to start with a few warm-up exercises. You should aim to complete a warm up routine that covers the whole body as this will improve your swing speed.
An ideal warm up routine will include 15-20 reps of moving your arms across your chest, 10-15 reps of arm circles both ways, 10-15 reps of hip rotations in each direction, 8-12 lunges for each leg, and 10-15 forward leg swings.
- Start with the fundamentals
In each practice session that you undertake, you should begin with the basics. Take at least 10 minutes to practice your posture, alignment and grip. At this point, you can hit about 10 balls that should be basic chips, and not full swings.
Always have a target for these shots, and work on improving your grip, posture, and alignment by doing the practice swings before the actual shot.
You can consider starting with the basics as a part of the warm up to the routine.
- Hit different clubs for the range session
When practicing a range session as part of your routine, aim to hit as many clubs as possible. Preferably start with a 9 iron, and work your way up the driver. Come back down again until the 9 iron. Doing this will help you master effective swings with all the major clubs.
It is important that you know how to use every club because in a real golf game, you will have to use all the clubs in your bag. It is a rarity to use a single golf club for more than two shots in a row.
- Hit optimum number of balls during range session
During your range practice session, aim to hit between 50-110 balls. Hitting any balls above this will only serve to fatigue your muscles, and ruin your long game. You should work your way to hitting at least 50 of these balls by the half hour mark.
Remember to incorporate your pre-shot routine before every shot. This involves stepping back, picking out your target, doing two practice swings, and finally hitting the shot.
The first practice swing can be technical with you focusing on your swing movements, and the different checkpoints throughout the swing. However, the second one needs to be more about the fluidity and less about the technicalities of the swing. Hence, you should be focusing more on your tempo and rhythm.
- Cooling down
Be sure to cool down after every practice session. You can cool down after a range practice session by doing 10 chip/pitch shots at most. These should not be full swing shots, and there should be a specific target for each shot.
- Golf putting drill
Another area to be incorporated into your weekly practice routine is golf putting. The ideal golf putting drill will help you ensure that your basics, i.e. your grip, your posture, and your alignment are in order.
Secondly, an effective golf putting drill will give you the opportunity of keeping score, which can go a long way in boosting your confidence within a short time.
Start by placing or aiming at a target that is approximately 10 feet away on the putting green. Hit as many as 20 putts and keep score of how many times you actually hit the target. Repeat until you are able to make 20 out of 20 putts.
Once you achieve the 20 putts out of a possible 20, step back by about two feet. Repeat the 20 putt drill with the target still at the same spot until you make 20 out of 20 putts once more.
Doing this drill consistently as part of your practice routine will give you the confidence you need to make those long distance putts. Your putts will also be more accurate regardless of the distance of the target.
- Refine your chipping
Improving your chipping is also essential to your overall game. An effective chipping drill will help you fine-tune your distance control skills amongst other pertinent skills.
An example of a good chipping drill for distance control would be to start with 50 chip shots to a hole that is at most 15 feet away. Once you complete this rep, do 50 chip shots to a hole that is between 20 to 35 feet away. Finally, end the drill by completing the last set of 50 chip shots to a hole that is 40 feet plus away from you.
You can adapt this chipping drill to any chipping green you are using for practice, making it easy to incorporate it into your weekly golf practice sessions.
- Concentrate on your weak areas
As you continue to play and develop your skills in the game, you will become more aware of the areas that need improvement.
Your weekly practice session should incorporate improving on the weak spots of your game. For every weakness in your game that you uncover, you can address it by doing some technical and skill work.
For instance, let us say that putting is one of your weaknesses. To work on the technical aspects of your putting will involve using at most 10 minutes to strike putts. Here, the aim will be to ensure that you strike each putt with a roll that is both pure and consistent.
To improve on the skills aspect of your putting, you will need to practice putting across different distances, moving further from the target after each rep.
With these few tips, you will be able to create an effective golf practice routine.
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