Some folks insist that golfers aren’t true athletes, but in fact the golf swing is a highly complex series of motions, requiring precision coordination and timing of all major muscle groups.
Put another way, the swing is a series of motor skills that take time and repetition to develop. Because our ability to learn new motor skills peaks during the teenage years, that’s the ideal time to take up the game. Even then, you may want to alter those skills at a later age. And what about those who start golf in their 30s, 40s or beyond?
Fortunately, there’s hope for any non-teen who wants to improve an old swing or start from scratch.
The best way to do this is to break your practice into two types: blocked and random. (In fact, this is a great way to practice if you’re happy with the swing you’ve got.) To explain:
- Blocked practice: When you work on golf drills, then hit a series of shots with specific clubs to specific targets, that’s blocked practice. This helps build and ingrain the fundamental movements of the swing.
- Random practice: As the name implies, random practice involves changing clubs and targets on each swing, emulating play on the course. This is a powerful way to develop the thinking processes used during an actual round, and to translate blocked practice skills to account for the game’s many variables.