I often ask my students how they practice. The typical answer? “I hit as many balls on the range as time allows and do a little bit of short game at the end.” It’s typical – but not ideal.
Here are 4 things you can do if you want to improve quicker and really get the most out of your practice time.
Take your time hitting balls and make sure your set up and alignment is correct before each shot (use alignment aids). Use some impact tape on your clubs and see if you are hitting it on the sweet spot. If you are getting lots of toe or heel marks you could be standing too far or too close from the ball.
After hitting 20 – 30 balls change things up and try hitting different clubs after each shot. This will help you work on distance control. Pick a different target or flag and work on direction control. Play a little game and imagine you are on the course playing a hole (ie. Par 5 – Driver, hybrid and wedge onto the green).
Spend more time practicing the weakest parts of your game. This sounds obvious, but the truth is that most people avoid doing what they are not comfortable doing. For example, If you have trouble with those 40-50 yard shots, spend 10-15 minutes hitting this length until you get the distance control dialed in.
Practice Longer on Your Short Game. Pros usually utilize at least 50% of their practice time on the short game. With amateurs, it’s closer to 10-20%. Many short game shots are about feel (for instance, with lag putting). Dedicate more time here and it will pay off on the course.