From the PGA
Fit more rounds into your hectic life
By Pete Kowalski
Tips for more practice if you can't fit in a round
Football analysts on TV often talk about reps. Viewers are told that the first-team players get reps as the team prepares for the next opponent. It’s a concentrated training effort to prepare for the "real thing," that is the game.
As a golfer who doesn’t play on a team, how to you get your reps? How do we find time to chip, putt or take full swings with alignment, grip and posture when our lives are already flying by like a skulled sand wedge? Reps equal practice which means perform or work at repeatedly to become proficient and/or to train by repeated exercises.
Practicing is the gateway to success and you can find ways to make it fun. Shake it up and get creative with the ways you practice and give your muscles a break by not doing the same thing each time.
Make it a priority
Begin by making practice a priority – develop a routine that allows you to sneak in some form of golf drills wherever you can even when you don’t have a lot of time.
Go basic if time is tight
Stay with the basics if time is short. Short game practice does not need a lot of space so be creative around the office or rec room at home for chipping and putting. Putting on hardwood or linoleum is like a glassy, 14-foot stimpmeter reading. For chipping, you can use plastic whiffle balls or think like the chipping board at the Pinecrest Inn in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Have a Sunday bag in your trunk
Never miss a chance to hit some balls and you can when what you need is in your car. The Sunday bag should have three or four clubs in it – 9-iron, 5-iron, hybrid. You can mix and match to fit your needs based on what you want to accomplish.
Shake up the order
Play six or nine holes and THEN practice. And, don’t just work on what you didn’t do well.
Think about it
From BallenIsles Country Club PGA Professional Annette Thompson: Add mental practice, visualize playing a hole or hitting certain shots, which you can do anywhere and make it very vivid and detailed, especially if a certain shot or hole gives you fits. See yourself hit the shot exactly as you want and hear the ball being hit.
Buy a formed grip and practice placing your hands on the club while watching TV, on a conference call or wherever/whenever you can.
Practice is playing
Practice is golf – just a down-to-the-basics version with attention to the little things. Tip from an insider: clear your mind and set up and swing. Just hit it don’t think about results before or after the shot.
Now, don’t you hear your reps calling you?
Wherever your golf journey is heading, let’s get you there. There are nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals ready to help. Find yours at pga.com/journeys.