How to Make the Most Out of Your Practice Session
By Leighton Smith, PGA
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Golf is an insane game. It can be maddening and exhilarating all within a 3-minute timespan. The same can go for your training sessions. If you're getting frustrated, you're not making the most out of the time you're putting in.
Follow these steps to finally feel some progress in your sessions and be able to take your A-game to the course. Dump out our bucket of balls. Ideally a large bucket. Now, follow this itinerary throughout your session! Stick to the process and try not to cheat.
- Pull aside 10 balls for warm-up. Separate these 10 balls from the others on the ground.
Make sure it's only 10 balls. Now, hit the balls and don't judge the results. Hit these
10 shots using any club just for the sake of warming up and getting your mind ready for
a focused practice session. These shots do not matter. Purely warm up.
- Now pull out 6 balls. Grab an 8-iron. Just hit the 6 balls without trying to have a “fix it”
mentality. I want you just to notice what the ball flight does for these 6 shots. Example:
Fat, thin, slice, hook, push, pull or maybe even its absolute purina.
- Here is where we turn our brain on a little bit. Out of those 6 shots you hit (not the 10
warm up shots) what was the most common miss? It’s critical that you learn that the ball
flight tells you your miss…not your brain or your swing thoughts. In this step, we are just
looking at the 6 shots and noticing either the direction or the contact.
- Now, try to come up with ONLY ONE swing thought. They key is this swing thought
comes from what you noticed out of your previous 6 shots. Example: Clubface open or
closed, maintain posture, tempo etc. Hit 5 shots with this ONE Swing thought
- Did it work? If so, repeat steps 2-4 with 5 iron and driver. If not, repeat steps 3 and 4.
The key is to be AWARE and INTENTIONAL. Don’t just hit balls and hope to get better. Attack your practice sessions with a purpose and be proud when you leave the practice facility. Golf is hard. However, practicing with a purpose and a plan can boost your confidence and help you play your best golf!