I have taught the game of golf for nineteen years and by now, I have learned many things about the way people practice, and mostly the lack of knowledge they have on how to practice. Most believe you go to the range and work on hitting your favorite club, because that is just what works. As we all know, we need to work on the clubs we don’t get along with so well. Most also believe that the full swing is the most important aspect of the game, we all know that not to be true.
When first arriving to the lesson tee, we want to start with swinging your shortest club and work into the driver. This order will get your body warmed up for the bigger swings.
My most useful saying is “practice the statistics”. Spend forty-five percent of your time on the putting green, twenty-five percent from the edge of the green out to the one hundred yard sign and thirty percent of your time should be spent on the one hundred yard marker back to the tee box. You have to make sure you give these stats to your students, so they better understand where the biggest portion of the game actually happens.
I also put requirements on my students as to the number of practices they will need to get in before I will see them again. You have to realize that each student you send out into the world actually has your name written on him/her. They are your marketing tools that work for you away from the lesson tee, so you need to be concerned with the way they practice and the amount of practice time invested. You want them to be happy with their results, but selfishly, you need them to do a good job marketing you.
I recommend a minimum of two practices per week. Yes, there are a few exceptions to that rule for those with an extremely busy schedule, but I sure get more than a few lessons postponed due to the fact the requirement was not met. Of course, getting three or more practices in would be great, but that would be too much of a time challenge for most people. *Playing is not practicing when our focus is on a swing change.
Mental practice is also very important in this game. Positive self-dialog takes training as well and must be repeated over and over until it is ingrained …….and genuinely believed.
I always explain to my students: the golf swing is only two seconds long. So if they shoot a one hundred, they are only physically in the golf swing for approximately two hundred seconds. You have to ask them what they are doing with the other four hours and twenty-six minutes when playing an eighteen hole round. That down time can be a game-maker or game-breaker, so you have to find a happy, positive place to reside until the next shot.
Visualization is another important aspect that will help the brain to understand what you are asking it to do. See it, believe it, do it.
Golf can be made simple and fun with the right practice routines and mental game. It all takes years of practice before becoming automatic. Perfect practice can get you a lot of nearly perfect rounds.