Make your practice time more worthwhile

Published:

How to bring your range game closer to your course game and make progress.

Fault: Shots hit on the range bearing little relation to the on-course challenge

Fix: Find ways to make your practice time more relevant to the real thing

Here is a very simple rule that will instantly change how effectively you practise: "Play as you practise... and practise as you play".

Making the shots you hit on the range more relevant to the game itself will prepare you much better for the challenges of the course, so introducing aspects like recording performance and regularly changing clubs will really help.

But above all, before you start every practice session create a plan for what you want to achieve from it.

It's the first step to evaluating your time on the range, and ensuring precious practice hours are put to their best use.

1. Choose technique or the target

Working on your golf swing and trying to hit effective golf shots are two very different things.

If you are at all concerned about the results of the shot while trying to hone or perfect a new technique, you are asking for disappointment and frustration.

So when you’re working on technique and trying to improve your swing, ignore the target and focus on training the move.

2. Keep changing the  club and the shot

Your brain learns faster when it’s given a variety of tasks to carry out. So in practice constantly vary your targets, the clubs you’re hitting and the shape of the shot.

Repeatedly hitting to the same target without purpose leads to stagnation and ‘just hitting’: constant variation is one of the best ways to duplicate a round of golf, and a fast way to learn more about your game.

3. Identify targets and hit to them

Besides keeping the session interesting, target practice gives you a chance to monitor progress.

Rather than hit to a flag, find two points to simulate a fairway or green and aim between them.

For example, hit five balls to your target and record how many times you hit it.

You can then try to improve by either raising your total or narrowing your target.

4. Keep a record of your performance

Maintain a basic record of your skills challenges.

Writing down what went well and what made a difference becomes an invaluable reference as you move your game forward.

A record of your winning moves will help you build up a practice history and quickly provide you with a personal golfing manual which can be looked through on any given day.