Golf Training: Practicing Playing Golf
Golf Training comes in various forms. The game itself has so many different skills that golfers need to acquire. Unfortunately not all those golf skills can be fined tuned for peak performance on the driving range. I'm going to be going in detail on how I view golf training and how I think the current system doesn't touch upon the necessary components to achieve peak performance on the golf course.
Have you ever noticed that where you train for golf and where you actually play golf are two completely different environments? Golf is also the only sport that I've seen not learned on the same field that it's played on. This is something that has always baffled me as I didn't start playing golf till my 20's. I learned just like every other athlete how to build sport specific skills such as hockey, soccer, baseball and virtually every other sport on the same field in which they are played on. In my opinion is one of the reason why golfers have not been able to take their range swing to the course lies specifically in that the training field and golf course are two entirely different environments. Golfers tend to get comfortable with wide open views as many driving ranges have. At driving ranges golfers face no consequences of hitting bad shots. Golfers become comfortable with hitting to certain targets week after week. All those things are completely different when they get to the golf course. Landing areas become tight, trees are now lining the right and left side of the fairways. Bunkers are now being seen and the fear of landing in them create tension. Approach shots now must be more precise. Errant shots now must be played and counted where as on the range they are not. Lies on the driving range tend to be flat while lies on the golf course can vary from shot to shot and typically are only level on tee boxes. So all these different variables create situations that golfers don't know how to handle as they have not been trained properly to handle them. Here are a few of my golf training concepts that will help you be better prepared and ultimately shoot lower golf scores!
Golf Training #1 - Spend More Time Practicing on the Golf Course
I've found the best way to accomplish this is to head over to the golf course either early in the morning or late afternoon. Usually at these times the golf course doesn't have that many players and will work perfect for this golf training concept. Here is a great time to practice the 3 critical playing skills:
- Golf Training: Tee shots. Hit extra shots off tees to get you to FOCUS on the target and train to handle the varying doglegs, bunkers, wind, etc. that the golf course provides. This type of golf training on tee shots will get you to create a more controlled motion as you will not want to be traveling all over the course to pick up your golf balls.
- Golf Training: Approach shots. Grab those extra tee shots and now hit extra approach shots as this is a great way to improve. Each hole changes the length, the wind direction, the visual perception of where the pin is, the club selection, the ball flight from high to low and draws to fades. Each shot also represents a unique situation to train especially if you change lies from shot to shot. PLEASE make sure to fix you ball marks.
- Golf Training: Shot around the green. Throw those extra balls off the green and hit extra shots around the green improve your imagination, touch and feel. Get creative, mix and match shots from everywhere around the green. Throw some golf balls in the bunker. Create a situation where the ball is above your feet, below your feet, an uphill lie, a downhill lie, even create that dreaded fried egg lie. Create situations where you have hit pitch shots with no green to work with, with some green and then plenty of green to work with. I also suggest taking that alignment stick out of your bag and create unique pin placements to really test your touch. If you play tournament golf then you know exactly what I mean.
Golf Training #2 - Practice Rounds of Skill Building
- Golf is a game of skills and golfers better practice improving them if they want to perform better where it matters the most and that's on the golf course. I suggest using some rounds of golf as skill building sessions. Test yourself to see how many fairways you can hit off the tee, how many greens in regulation you can hit, how many up and downs you can make, how many putts you have and keep track of those distances as they are a great way to see what areas you need to improve on. Create your journal and keep track of these stats as they will clearly show you what you need to work on. I use a recommend Shot-by-Shot for this actually. Shot-by-Shot only takes a few minutes of your time to enter but offers a tremendous amount valuable information.
Golf Training #3 - Competitive Skill Building Rounds
- Here is a great way to add pressure to your golf training. Create goals that are based on your golf skills. Here is an example: I'm going to hit 9 fairways today, I'm going to hit 8 GIR's today, I'm going to get up and down 50% of the time today, and I'm going to have 30 putts today. Put bets or consequences for not attaining those goals during your round. Consequences can be: I'll take out the trash for the week, I'll hand wash all the dishes this week, I can't leave the putting green until I hole 30 consecutive putts from 3'. Anything that will produce the pressure that you will encounter while playing a round of golf. This will help you become mentally tougher and get you better prepared the next time adversity faces you on the golf course. The best part of this is you can either play by yourself or play against a group of friends.
I'm 100% certain that if you follow these 3 golf training techniques, determine your weaknesses, improve your golf training in order to improve your golf skills that you will find yourself shooting lower scores.