Every day throughout the year I see golfers stand on the driving range hitting the same club to the same target in a search for consistency thinking that this will produce golf success. The commonly held belief is that if they can achieve that on the range it will transfer to better scores on the course.
The reality is, practice that involves multiple repetitions of the same motion for the same stance and lie, does not challenge the mind enough and real learning does not occur in such an environment. Golf is about building a set of base skills that are adaptable to the variety of situations you will encounter on the golf course.
So if you are truly serious about improving your golf game, and not just concerned with looking good on the range, then your practice needs to include failure. It needs to look ugly. In such situations the mind is forced to problem solve and to figure out ways to execute the desired shot, and it is these skills which will better serve you on the course than the ability to hit perfect shots from dead flat stances and sitting up lies.
The next time you go to practice, follow this guideline and although your practice may look as pretty it will absolutely transfer to better play on the course through practicing the types of situations you will face on the course:
- Change targets every shot
- Change clubs every shot
- Change shot shape and trajectory every shot – if this matches your skill level
- Have clearly defined targets
- Score your shots – number in a row that hit your targets
- Have defined outcomes for those results – reward yourself for reaching a new best number of hit targets in a row.
The key is to make your practice more like the way you play on the course and that includes failing to hit perfect shots on occasions. Then you will truly learn and thus improve your golf game more quickly than traditional golf practice.
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