Value Deliberate Golf Practice
10,000 hours of practice to become expert. 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become expert. Practice golf smarter not harder. Is your golf practice efficient?
A recent golf study showed that for the average golfer, which is a golfer that averages 100 for 18 holes, deliberate practice was 30% of the total process of becoming a better player. This is roughly 1/3 of the total process!
The surprising part of this study (in my opinion) is that once a player reaches the international championship level (PGA Tour), deliberate practice only accounts for 1% of player success.
All of us are different in many ways. One golfer may need more deliberate golf practice than the other player. One golfer may need more “block” practice than the other. Block golf practice refers to repetitive swings with the same golf club without going through routine and simulating a round of golf.
When one of my players is going to make working on their long game the main focus for the day I have them break down their golf practice in 1/3’s.
The first 1/3 is deliberate practice and block golf practice on fundamentals golf drills while switching targets, clubs, and distances. In this phase of the practice it is similar to block practice because we are doing specific drills to accomplish a fundamental golf move, such as solid contact. I coach my golfers to do this in a deliberate way, so you are not hitting the same shot over and over.
The next 1/3 (block practice), is spent working on technique and refining your specific drills to improve your golf swing technique that will make you a more consistent ball striker. It is very important to do this in the middle of your practice session instead of at the end. Working on your takeaway on your full swing, would be an example of this phase.
The final 1/3 (deliberate practice) is focused on simulating pressure on the golf course. We do this by going through your pre shot routine, having one performance cue, and completing your post shot routine for each golf shot you hit on the driving range. You constantly want to be changing clubs, the shot you are hitting, etc. If you are still struggling with your technique mix in some block practice again but finish with this final deliberate golf practice every day!
All golfers growth curves are different and it is my job as a golf performance coach to show you what process is the best for YOU to achieve your potential on the golf course.
Practice is really important but it’s not everything. Experiences and situations that mimic competition or the golf course is equally important to becoming a better golfer.
Practice Plan 1
60% of practice time – full swing
Phase one of practice: 1/3
Warm up with pitch shots
Drill: feet together drill, focusing on pacing of swing
Drill: go through set up routine getting good alignment and ball position
Phase two: 2/3
60% of time hitting pull cuts to get path more in front of you coming down. (weakness)
– incorporate the downswing thoughts to get your path more left
Rotate through the 3 ball flights
Phase three: 3/3
Simulate golf course. Play 9-18 holes on the range switching club, target, going through pre shot routine.
40% of practice – short game/putting
. Review from last week on visualization –
– high light reel can be added to your visualization practice.
– You enjoyed the “trust & feel” visualization tape on Get Psyched App.
– You should continue to write out 3 process goals daily.
Recap from practice and preparation:
1.Practice the “controllables” – These are areas you can control, such as your set up: Grip, posture, alignment, ball position, stance and tempo. Please read this blog post to learn more about controllables
2. Efficient practice everyday, with a specific game plan written out prior to going to the course.
3. Drills to promote & simulate on course pressure
4. Its all about time management!
5. Putting assessment will give you accurate evaluation of what distance in putts you need to work on and what you need to maintain.
Creating Practice Plans:
1. Work 60% on weakness, 40% on strengths
2. Break down practice in to 1/3’s
Agenda for this week:
1. Create practice plan for each day for entire week. Be as specific and detailed as possible.
Below is one of my players while I was coaching at Ohio State. I liked how he listed numerous drills and completed 2 of them each day. He basically had a menu of drills so he always had something to do.