So what’s the ideal practice plan? While it can differ from student to student here are some general guidelines if you have an hour to practice. If you are REALLY serious about improving your game, ideally for every hour you play you should practice close to the same amount of time. So if you play nine holes and it takes 2 hours, you should try to practice 2 hours. I know that’s a lot, but it gives you an idea of the ratio of playing to practicing, but I think if you can spend 50% of you time practicing that would be great. So in the same scenario, that would be 1 hour for every 2 hours of playing. So here’s an example of how I think you can effectively use 1 hour of practice time:
15 minutes on putting
15 minutes on chipping/pitching
5 minutes on wedge play (less than full swings, say 70 – 100 yards)
5 minutes on bunker play
20 minutes on the full swing
Notice how I put the short game first. Why? Because most golfers go over to the range with the intention of working on their full swing and they get caught up in that – whacking a lot of drivers – and the next thing they know they are out of time and never get to the short game. And if you don’t have a really good short game, you’ll never reach your scoring potential.
Ideally you would follow this practice session by playing nine holes. So maybe instead of going out for 18 holes, you can practice for an hour or so, then go out and play nine holes, this way you can do both on the same day as opposed to having to find time on multiple days to practice AND play. Or you could go play nine first, then practice, but I don’t think most golfers have the energy or desire to practice after they play.
In a world where we are constantly filling our cell-phone calendars and over-booking our days, try to slot in some time for yourself and improving your game.
In my upcoming blogs, I’ll breakdown each section and give more specific ways to practice each of them.