So you train harder and harder in your conditioning work, are you practicing properly to take advantage of this? Quality of practice is always preferable to quantity.
Steps to ensure you are maximizing your practice potential:
1. Warm-up. A dynamic warm up with focus on glutes, hips and thoracic (upper) spine
Quadruped spinal flexion and extension - 10 reps
Spine rotations in quadruped position- 10-12 reps per side
Stork turns 10-15 each side, foundation foot flat
Lateral squats- 10-15 per side with proper form.
2. Utilize all available technology. We use Flightscope/Blast Motion/V1 with our students to dial in their best swing.
3. Alignment Rods. Cheap, but necessary, no matter what level of player you are. Since 80% of a shot comes from your set-up, always ensure that your set up and aim are correct.
4. Strengthen your weaknesses and become an expert in your strengths. Do not shy away from the work of improvement, instead embrace it.
5. Short game, short game, short game. Oh did I mention SHORT GAME! No way around it. Focus on distance wedges, shorts putts inside eight feet, and lag putts for speed. Good speed helps you avoid three-putts, and that, in turn, avoids bogeys and double bogeys.
6. Purposeful practice- replicate your pre-shot routine, analyse the outcome, and match your tempo to to what you use during play. One of the benefits of tech like Blast Motion, is to map your tempo, so that whether you are on the 1st hole or 18th hole your putts and swings are the same speed, which gives you control.
7. Pressure- Add pressure into your practice. Phil Mickleson liked the 100 putts circle drill, and said that once you reach 70 you feel like game pressure to make the remainder. Annika Sorenstam liked to hole out of a bunker before moving to the next drill. Do not take the easy way out, challenge yourself in practice with shots from less than perfect locations, like buried bunker lies or deep rough.
8. Variability practice.
Fading Drawing High shot Low shot
Striking the ground in a different place- ball forward, ball backward in stance.
Hovering Club six inches above the ground
Setting up out of the heel
Setting up out of the toe
Adding variability to your practice will allow favorable skill sets to emerge that gives us an advantage in adjusting while playing!
Remember when playing golf the nature of the game can be summarized in simple numbers for the average player. In a normal round, you will likely hit 50% of your shots average, 25% better than average, and 25% worse than average. That’s the game. The more you put pressure on your practice the greater your chance of increasing the 25% better than average, which then decreases your worst than average.