Is Golf Practice a Waste of Time?

Have you ever thought about how you practise golf? Everybody knows that to get good at anything you need to practise but just doing the time is not enough. This post will explain why, for most people at the driving range, golf practice is a waste of time.

Let’s look at how you might decide to stucture your golf practice by analyzing the game a little. The game of golf is made up of 3 different kinds of strokes. What differentiates the strokes is the distance that separates yourself from your target.

To illustrate this think about a par 4 hole. On the first shot, being pretty far from the hole, the driver is  probably used. The green is not the immediate target as we’re just trying to position ourself for the next shot. Since the target is the fairway it doesn’t really matter whether the ball rolls for a while or lands 10 to 20 feet to the left or right of the exact spot used for aiming. The goal is simply to get closer to the hole without needing to be too precise.

On the second shot the green is reachable. Now we need to get as close to the pin a possible which means that precision is very important. The is the second kind of golf shot. It sould be high in the air so that the ball stays close to where it lands. The location of the ball after this shot will determine the difference between having to make an impossible putt or an easy one.

After having reached the green, we get to the third kind of golf stroke, the putt. This one needs to be even more precise than the other two. Being off by less than an inch in distance or direction will cost you an extra shot.

The important thing to remember is that as we get closer to the hole the shots get more important. If the drive is 30 yards shorter than expected the situation can be fixed in the next shot by using a different club. If a putt is missed, the extra shot needed to complete the hole can’t be saved with another shot.

So is your golf practice a waste of time? Dan from thedanplan.com has been practising for a year and 5 months and he’s totaled 2000 hours of deliberate practice. He only plays with 7 clubs and he’s made a lot of progress by spending time where it counts, close to the hole. You can read more here.

Dan is being followed by a whole team of professionals and he’s not worrying about hitting the longest drive. Practise shots close to the hole and just like him you will get closer to playing 80. He currently plays 83 from the white tees… without a driver!

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