Swing Thoughts is created to help
players seeking greater levels of success and
satisfaction (S˛) in their games by offering
fresh and entertaining perspectives into the
mental side of golf.
“I can’t seem to get my success on the range
to translate onto the course.”
“I practice on a regular basis, but I am not
seeing much improvement with my scores.”
While the number of hours and swings with a
club in your hand should improve your overall
game, it does not guarantee rapid, or even
consistent, improvement. There are three
critical flaws with most players’ practices:
lack of organization, insufficient
competitiveness, and a deficiency of reality.
In other words, their practice time is
scattered and random, they practice in order to
compete more effectively yet they leave out the
competition during practice, and their
practices do not resemble what they will face
on the course. It is no wonder, then, that
their scores don’t reflect their hours on the
Here are three practical ways to improve the
quality of your practice.
One, become more organized with your
practice time. Are you the type that
immediately pulls out a driver and hits
innumerable tee shots? Or, do you jump from
club to club without rhyme or reason? Do you
spend less than one-third of your practice time
with a putter in your hand? If you offered a
resounding “Yes!” to these questions, you need
to re-think your practice strategy.
Go to your local office supply store and buy
a small notebook. Before each practice, take
the time to write down – specifically -- what
you’re going to work on. Use recent scorecards
to determine the areas that need the most TLC.
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, etc. Your on-course performance
should act as the guide to your practice
sessions. Connect your previous rounds to your
practice through information gathered from
recent scorecards and create a practice script
BEFORE you begin your practice session.
Secondly, make your practice more
competitive. 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 suddenly,
a player finds himself over a putt during a
competitive round with a nickel, bragging
rights, an award, or good ol’ pride on the line
and the voices of doubt begin to scream.
While it is difficult to completely simulate
the pressure of competition while practicing,
you can improve your ability to stay calm,
focused, and confident during competition by
making practice more competitive. Be sure to
hit at least one-third of your practice shots
using your full routine. Work competition,
either with yourself or a practice partner,
into every practice session. Tell yourself,
“I’ll hit 5 out of 7 of these pitch shots onto
the green or I’ll give the range attendant five
dollars. Keep a Practice Piggy Bank into which
you put your deposits (for lost competitions)
and from which you make withdrawals (for won
competitions). By placing yourself in the mode
where you ”have to perform,” you increase the
likelihood of being able to perform when it
Lastly, use your time at the range to
simulate your upcoming round. Play the course.
For example, use a blank scorecard that has
hole layouts and play each hole, using actual
distances, hazards, and obstacles as they will
be presented to you on the course. If you miss
the fairway that you “see” on the range, you
must punch out or move your ball to a rough lie
-- off the edge of the range tee box -- for
your next shot. If the layout of your practice
facility allows, once you have hit the green,
walk over to the putting green and putt out.
No gimmes. Make your practice real. And, of
course, keep score.
TipPlan all practices in
advance. Compete during practice. Pretend to
play the course during your practices.
In Another's Word
..."Create a definite plan for
carrying out your desire and begin at once,
whether you ready or not, to put this plan into
action." -- Napolean Hill, Motivational
Become better today! Visit
us at WeDevelopYou.comor
call today to schedule your complimentary
mental fitness development Coaching Call,
970.674.2818… a $70 value for FREE!