There are huge differences between the way PGA Professionals play and the shots they hit compared to amateur golfers. Many of these are things that you will find difficult to emulate for a variety of reasons. However, a huge difference between Tour players and amateurs that you can copy is how they practice. You can practice like the pros and squeeze the most from your practice time and ensure you are getting better as fast as possible.
One of the things that I see that separates great players from average players is they set up drills and stations that challenge themselves and their current skills, and push themselves to perform better under pressure.
When I’m watching average players practice they tend to stand out on the driving range hitting the same club to the same target. They fluff the ball up on a really good lie and only tend to look at the shots that are really good. They never take the time to analyze what’s going on when they hit a bad shot but also what’s going on when they hit a good shot. When I ask these players what they are working on, they often tell me they are trying to get more consistent.
When I watch great players, they vary the club and the target often, they vary the trajectory of the shot they’re trying to play and they play games where they keep score. In these games they are working to accomplish a particular score but also there are consequences for that score.
For example they may set up a drill where they’ve got to hit ten balls in a row to a particular target but they’ve got to hit three different trajectories to that target and out of those ten shots they’ve got to be able to get ten out of ten that finish on the green. Then if they are successful they will be able to move on to the next skill. But if they are unsuccessful they might have to repeat it again.
A putting example of this might be someone who sets up ten balls in a four foot circle around a hole. They must go through the full pre-shot routine on every putt. Because they’re going around a hole every putt is going to be slightly different in terms of break and speed and they have got to adjust as they go around. Their goal is to get ten out of ten in the hole and if they are unsuccessful then they are going to have to go back and repeat it again.
If you want to be a good player then you need to practice like a good player. You need to set up drills and challenges that test your current skills and push you to develop new skills that will allow you to become a better player.