How to Select Golf Practice Drills

One of the great practice tools that golfers can use is the driving range. It allows the golfer to spend more time to practice his swing rather than chasing the ball, or spending time in the woods depending on which level he’s at! The problem with the driving range is how people use it. You might have the goal to golf 80 but what are your goals at the driving range? If you are like most people you don’t have any, except for  emptying the ball basket.

When you go to the driving range you have the opportunity to improve a specific element of your game. Instead of wasting your time and just swinging the club you need to bring focus with you. You should focus as much if not more than when you are on the golf course and counting strokes. Once you become aware of this, the first question that follows is: “What should I focus on?”. And the answer is very easy… it depends!

There are a number of golf practice drills and exercises you can learn but how do you decide which one to use? What part of your game should you focus on? This is when we turn to our old friend, Tiger Woods, and ask for advice. You probably don’t want to copy his swing but there’s definitely something you can learn from him. At the end of his game, he can describe every single shot he took on the golf course.

I am not suggesting you develop your memory but think about the consequences of being able to remember every single shot you took after your game. It’s kind of like budgeting, say you want to save some money but at the end of the month you never have money left to put in your savings account. Most of the people won’t remember where the money went, so the first step is to track every single transaction to know what’s going on.

Once you start tracking every single shot you take you will be able to see the big picture. Do you slice every single time you use your driver or does it only happen every now and then? Do you use 3 puts to get the ball in the hole? Our minds are not good with statistics and we tend to focus on the wrong thing. You might think that your slice is holding you back but if it only happens a few times and doesn’t get you in trouble you might benefit more from spending time practicing your chipping or putting.

So here’s how you should go about tracking your golf shots. Before you step on the golf course you need to think about what you want to track. Bring a small paper pad and then for each shot fill in the information. Here’s an example you can use:

Distance to hole Club used Hit target? Sliced? Other Notes
423 yards Driver No Yes Woods, lost ball and 1 stroke

Usually, after a game or two, a number of patterns should start to emerge from your data. From those patterns it should be clear what part of your game needs improvement. This is when you can start asking for advice and look for drills and exercises that will help you with that aspect of the game. Once you know the reason you are losing shots then you can bring that knowledge with you to the driving range and really start practicing.

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