“I can’t seem to get my success on the range
to translate onto the course.”
While the number of hours and swings spent
practicing should improve your overall game, it
does not guarantee rapid, or even consistent,
improvement. There are two critical flaws with
most player’s practices: a lack of organization
and a shortage of realism. Their practice time
is very scattered and it doesn’t adequately
resemble the challenges they’ll face when
playing an actual competitive round of golf.
Are you the type that immediately pulls out
a driver and hits shot after shot after shot?
Do you jump from club to club without rhyme
Do you spend less than one-third of your
practice time with a putter in your hand?
If you answered “Yes!” to any of these
questions, you need to re-think your practice
strategy. Here are two simple ways to improve
the quality of your practice and have the time
spent on the range translate into better
First, become more organized with your
practice time. Go to your local office supply
store and pick yourself up a small notebook.
Before each practice, take the time to write
down what it is that you’re going to spend your
time on. Use your stats from recent scorecards
to determine these areas. For example, if your
average putts-per-round has jumped from 30 to
34 the last four rounds, you should emphasize
your putting in practice. The same goes for
fairways-in-regulation, ups-and-downs, and so
on. Your on-course performance stats need to
act as the guide for your practice sessions.
Connect your round performance to your practice
plans through information gathered from recent
scorecards and create a practice script BEFORE
you begin your practice session. This will
improve your scores immediately.
Second, make your practices more realistic.
The primary reason that players are generally
better at the range than on the course is
because there is no pressure to perform during
practice. Then, on the course the player finds
himself over a putt with a nickel, bragging
rights, a medal, or good ol’ pride on the line
and the voices of doubt begin to sing. While
it’s impossible to completely simulate the
pressure of competition while practicing, you
can improve your overall ability to stay calm,
focused, and confident by making practice more
competitive. Be sure to hit at least one-third
of your practice shots using your full routine.
This is how you play, so it makes sense to
practice with full routine. Next, work
competition, either with yourself or a practice
partner, into every practice session. By
placing yourself in a “performance mode” while
practicing, you’ll improve your ability to
perform when it really counts – on the course,
Make a plan to follow before you begin
practice and add competition to all your