Practice Makes Things Possible

Practice doesn’t make perfect in golf, because there is no such thing as perfect in this game. With that said, practice does make things possible. Without practice, you simply won’t be able to hit some of the shots we have described in this article, because you won’t be prepared to do so when the situation presents itself on the course.

To make sure you are ready when the time is right, you’re going to need to work on these shots during upcoming practice sessions. Here are some practice tips to help you make the most of your time.

  • Hit a few opposite shots each practice session. Most of the shots you hit during the average trip to the range should follow your standard ball flight pattern. After all, that is the shot pattern you are going to use most of the time, so it only makes sense to use it on the majority of your range swings. With that said, you should work on curving the ball the other way at least a few times within each session. Try hitting between five and ten shots (depending on the length of your practice session) using the opposite ball flight to your standard pattern. For clarity, that means that a player who usually hits a draw should hit a few fades, and the player who prefers a fade should hit at least a few draws. Making this a regular part of your practice process is going to help you tremendously when the time comes on the course to put this skill to the test.
  • Present yourself with many short game situations. Many amateur golfers completely ignore chipping and pitching as part of their practice sessions. Sure, they may stop by the putting green to roll a few putts, but that’s it as far as short game practice goes. Unfortunately, even those who do manage to spend time practicing chipping and pitching don’t always do it right. It is common to see a player just chip the ball from the same spot over and over again, running their shots up toward a hole in the middle of the green. That’s fine, but it really isn’t developing your skills, and it isn’t replicating what you are going to find on the course. As a better alternative, do your best to find as many different kinds of situations as possible around the short game practice area. Give yourself short chip shots, long chip shots, awkward lies, and much more. This will require you to vary the types of shots you need to hit, and your skills will grow as a result. From high chip shots to bump and runs and more, the best way to diversify your game is to demand as much as possible from yourself in practice. This is a more challenging way to practice, of course, but it is more rewarding as well.
  • Three heights, one club. If you would like to work on hitting the ball lower during an upcoming practice session, and you probably should, consider attempting this simple drill. The idea is that you are going to try to hit three different shot heights with the same club. So, you’ll start out by hitting a normal shot, with your standard grip and swing. Then, choke down a little on the grip and bring the ball flight down closer to the ground. Finally, for the third shot, choke down even more and hit an even lower ball. Feel free to repeat this process as many times as you would like. If you can successfully manage to produce three heights with the same club, you will know that this skill is available when you need to hit a lower shot during a round.

You should always do what you can to spend time in practice on shots that you are actually going to need on the course. It would be a shame to waste your valuable practice time, so don’t get off track and work on things that will never be put into play. Also, you shouldn’t waste time on shots you have already mastered. Hit them once or twice just to keep them fresh, but then move on to shots that give you more trouble. Working on your weaknesses is a powerful way to become a better golfer.