7 Steps for Effective Practice and Improvement of Golf Skills

7 Steps for Effective Practice and Improvement of Golf Skills

By Bradley Turner Keiser University College of Golf Director of Online Golf Instruction – MBA, PGA

There are very few avid golfers who are not interested in getting better at the game. The obsession with more consistent ball striking, better short game shots, and lowering putts per round will motivate many to practice. Unfortunately, golfers tend to work on the wrong things resulting in practice sessions that are not productive. The coaching services of a quality golf instructor are always recommended if you are committed to lowering your golf handicap. For those that do not have the resources to work with a golf coach, this article will give you seven steps for effective practice and improving your golf skills.

#1 Identify Opportunities for Improvement

I cannot recount all the times I have heard students tell me they know what they are doing wrong. If they truly know what they are doing wrong, why do they continue to make the same mistakes? Golf requires a wide variety of skills, so the average golfer is unlikely to correctly identify their swing issues. Even for an experienced golf coach, identifying the primary source of the problem and creating an improvement plan is not always apparent. I suggest identifying one skill you want to improve and avoiding deviating to something else. What is the most important skill for you to improve on?

#2 Work with a Golf Coach or Practice Buddy

Ideally, you should work with a golf coach or trainer to improve your areas of weakness. However, if this is unavailable in your situation, find a practice partner who can provide feedback and motivation for your workout and practice sessions. As a golf coach for 40 years, I am always concerned with the feedback from an untrained golfer. Make sure the feedback from your practice buddy is simple and on topic. Be a critical listener when getting feedback from your practice partner. Feedback in the form of a video where you both can see and understand what you are doing is an excellent way to validate your practice efforts. The best benefit of a practice buddy is it is always easier to get up early and go to the gym or the practice range when you know someone is there waiting for you.

#3 Identify Drills and Exercises

Once you know what you will target in your practice session, conduct some research to identify practical drills and exercises that fit your areas of opportunity. You do not need to go purchase all the training aids available on the Internet, nor do you need to come up with ten drills. A drill is designed to give you an idea of what you should be doing or provide the feeling of what you should be doing. I would suggest that you select one or two drills or exercises that match your needs and then work with your practice buddy to correctly work with the drill. It is essential to understand the concept of the drill. You do not want to attempt practicing a drill without knowing how it applies to your own game. If you can master the drill, you should make positive changes in your golf skills.

#4 Create a Workout Program

What is your availability to commit to the workout or training schedule? This is your starting point in creating a workout program that fits your needs. You want to avoid creating a schedule where you plan on spending a significant amount of time practicing only once a week. It is a much better learning experience when you allocate smaller chunks of time throughout the week. For example, you allocate three hours weekly to improving your golf game. If you spend three hours practicing one day a week or 30 minutes each day for six days a week, the total practice time is the same. However, the science of learning a motor skill suggests that spaced practice gives learners a better opportunity to ingrain the learning. Each day the brain needs to recall the previous day’s efforts and continue the improvement process. You will stay better focused throughout the practice session if they are only 30 minutes long. Practicing for three hours is tough on the body and, more importantly, on the mind.

#5 Commit to a Workout Schedule

Most of us find it challenging to commit to additional activities throughout the week. Time is such an important commodity that you should be careful with committing to too many things. The workout program you create must match the time you have available to put in the effort.

An example schedule I highly recommend for anyone wanting to improve their putting skills is to allocate five minutes a day for six days a week. You do not need to go to a golf course for your practice sessions. A putting mat is a great investment to improve your putting skills. Time your sessions five minutes, not four minutes or six minutes. Just five minutes a day of focused and deliberate practice will dramatically improve your putting on the golf course.

#6 Manifest Your Improvement

Dr. Bob Winters and Dr. Patrick Cohn wrote the book, The Mental Art of Putting: Using Your Mind to Putt Your Best. They advocate that the first step in the improvement cycle in putting is the BELIEF that you can get better. Without this belief, a golfer will simply avoid practicing. Every person who spends time practicing their golf skills believes they can get better. Some have a massive belief in their ability to improve, while others may have a fragile belief. Nurturing this belief is very important because the game of golf will throw all types of obstacles to derail a golfer from their practice efforts. The stronger the belief, the more likely the golfer will find their way out to a practice facility or the gym to continue the improvement process.

#7 You Are Now Ready – Go Do It

You are now at step number seven; you have identified your areas of opportunity, you have committed to a workout plan and schedule, and you are now ready to get to work. A little work every day is much better than a lot of work once a week. Enjoy the work you are about to put in and, more importantly, enjoy the lower handicap you have earned.

Learn more!

Want more tips? If you want to take your game to the next level, contact our team at Keiser University’s College of Golf & Sport Management today. With our dedication and experience, together, we can elevate your game to new heights. Give us a call today at 888-355-4465.

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