With a new golf season right around the corner, it’s time to dust off the clubs and the spikes and get yourself back in some semblance of playing shape after a winter off. If you’re not lucky enough to live in a climate that’s conducive to year-round practice, you may be feeling the rust, but don’t be discouraged. Most rust can be knocked off with a bit of practice as long as that practice has a purpose and a little discipline.
That may sound intense, but effective practice off the course will translate to how you perform on the course so while having fun is important, taking the time to focus on a few key points during your practice sessions will greatly benefit you when you tee it up to play. Here are a few easy thoughts to take with you to the practice area that will level up your productivity and improve your golf game overall.
1. Pick a good target
I’ll never forget one of my very first lessons as a junior golfer. My instructor was adamant about fundamentals and, for her, there was NOTHING more important than picking good targets. On this particular day, I remember her asking me where I was lined up and, when I said I didn’t know, she remarked something like “practice is pointless without a target”. Those words stuck with me throughout my entire golf career and even now, despite no longer playing competitively, I religiously use an alignment sticks on the range.
2. Spend half the time on short game
One of the easiest places to improve your golf game is to improve your chipping and putting. Yep, that’s right. No matter how many balls you beat or drivers you bomb on the range, nothing compares to the progress that can be made around the greens. If you consider all of the shots you waste throughout a round, I guarantee the majority of them are the results of 3-putting, struggling in bunkers, or poorly struck chips. But, if you could efficiently get up and down every other time you miss the green in regulation, think about the shots that you’d save.
The short game is arguably one of the most challenging parts of golf simply because of the skill and the feel that it takes to be good around the greens and most golfers do not spend enough time working on it. If you want to improve your scores, spend half of your total practice time at the short game area. You’ll see your hard work pay dividends on the course.