Monday, January 3, 2011

Practicing with a Purpose and feedback

When you head to the driving range what are your intentions?  Are you going to work on weight shift, balance, your grip, a specific drill?  Well, that's the point of this short blog.

So, many amateurs hit the driving range with one thought in mind.  How am I hitting it today?  This quite possibly could be the biggest mistake you are making in improving your game.  Practicing with a purpose is vital to lowering those scores.  You most certainly can't do it on the course, from my experience the uncertainty in your thoughts leads to poor shots, and frustration.  Practicing with a purpose is one thing, but its important to practice with feedback.  It's the sure fire way to ensure your practice is effective.  The following are a few ideas for practicing with feedback.

1)  Go to a teaching professional (I know that's obvious, that's why I listed it as # 1).

2)  Use teaching aids.  There are hundreds of gimmicks out there, some work some don't.  If you can find the tools that provide sensory feedback, then typically they will help your game.  A simple mirror can provide the instant feedback you may require.  I've come across a few putting aids that help. Putting tracks for instance, help develop a repeatable stroke.  (you can make your own rather cheaply too)

3)  Take video of your swing at regular intervals, and compare.  With the advancements in digital photography, its become easier and easier to do this.  All you need is someone to hold your phone and push the record button for a few seconds.

4)  Use games in  your practice sessions.  Not only will it keep practice entertaining, but you can use the results to measure your improvement.  (In an upcoming blog post, I will list a few that I like to use).

5) Ask a fellow golfer for their opinion.  I wouldn't consult with a newbie, but someone who has been playing regularly might be able to help.

Its my belief that if you are practicing without a purpose and feedback, you a wasting your time.  And really, you could be developing bad habits.  So, next time you head to the driving range or practice green develop a strategy for your session. 



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