How to practice

Get excited, we are about to start the fun stuff!

I like to start with some education on how you should practice and why. Most golfers overlook the basics and never get better. The basics (fundamentals) are extremely important. Golf can be unpredictable, but there are some things you can control to give you a better chance at success!

In life there are many things we can control and others we cannot. This is the same with golf. Often times we like to blame others, the golf course, OUR COACH, and mother nature when things do not go the way we intended on the golf course.

It is important with golf to focus primarily on the things that are within your control. What are some things that are within your personal control when you are out practicing golf?

  1. Full Swing: Setting up to the golf ball – this is a static and controllable aspect that is crucial for every golf shot. It is not a quick twitch reaction, such as hitting a golf ball at full speed. Most problems we see in golf swings could have been prevented if the golfer would have consistently practice the correct set up fundamentals.
    1. Grip (And Grip Pressure)
    2. Posture
    3. Alignement
    4. Ball Position
    5. Stance
    6. Tempo (Focus primarily on consistent pacing of your golf swing)
  2. Putting: Short Putts – Putting is the simplest shot in all of golf. How big is the putting stroke? Pretty small, right? We make it complicated in our mind! When practicing, all golfers should start with very short, straight putts to see the ball going in over and over again. When you practice short putts, you are also able to make alignment your main focus. Use the line on the ball for each putt if that is what you do on the golf course. Get in a routine that you can take to the golf course, while building the positive mindset of seeing the ball go in the hole! Fundamentals are quite the same as the full swing listed above with a few exceptions.
    1. Fundamentals are important, but putting is very personal. You need to find the pre-shot routine, set up and grip that gives you the best opportunity to make the putt.
      1. Putting is mostly about a confident mindset!
    2. Reading the greens properly – take your time and look at the important aspects to determine your speed and line!
  3. Routines – developing a consistent routine is essential to consistent golf, and better golf under pressure!
    1. Pre-Shot Routine
    2. Post-Shot Routine
    3. Practice and Preparation Routine(s)
  4. Self Talk – you can control how you talk to yourself. It takes practice.
    1. Start by being aware of how you talk to yourself. You will not automatically be positive and confident, but if you catch yourself saying things that are negative, stop and re-word it in a positive way!
    2. There are many exercises and drills you can do to change your self talk, you need to do this every day and the results will come!

To become great and achieve your potential as a golfer or student-athlete, you need to focus on the little things and practice them consistently. The golf swing at full speed is very fast and complex, which leads to a lot of things that can go wrong. Focus on these 4 controllable fundamentals and it will give you the best chance to play consistently great golf!

Next up: How to structure your practice in thirds

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