How to Practise Wisely
As I live in Bangkok, Thailand, the price of playing on a golf course each time is quite expensive. Therefore, I tend to practise on the range more than actually playing 18 holes. This is the same problem many Bangkok golfers have to face.
As we all know golf is a funny sport. Sometimes you hit the balls perfectly on the range but you can’t do the same when you are on the course. Sometimes you feel like you are a completely different person and bad shots just keep coming and coming.
The reason to this is because you don’t have the confidence and you are afraid of hitting bad shots.
But how do we gain confidence?
The answer is, practise wisely. This is because if we practise the right way, we wil hit the ball better both on the range and on the course, and when we hit the ball better, we have more confidence in our game. However, when we go to the driving range, instead of practising wisely, what a lot of us do is order buckets and buckets of balls and then hitting each ball without even thinking about what you’re doing or where you’re hitting it to. That’s just a waste of time and golf balls! You won’t get anything out of your practice session at all.
There are a lot of ways we can practise on the range. However, I usually start the session by checking on the fundamental things like alignment, posture and grip. If these things are not right, then it’s almost impossible for you to make a good swing. Then I would check my swing by working on the techniques I’ve been working on lately such as transferring the weight to my right foot on the back swing or shifting my hip forward on the down swing.
After the technical part of my training session, I would then start practising and I would do so as if I were playing on a real course. I would find the target, do my pre-shot routine, visualize the shots, and then hit the ball as if I’m on the real course. Sometimes if I practise with friends, we would play games like hitting at a target and see who gets the closest to the pin the most. This way I can feel the pressure more. If I go out to the course or when I’m in a tournament, I know I can handle the pressure better.
Another thing is sometimes, I would practise shaping shots like low draw, high draw, low fade, and high fade. This is very important because when you are out there and you are forced to hit these kinds of shots, you have to visualize the shots really well to hit it flush and the only way to do that is to practise them beforehand.
One more important thing is that good players only think about mechanics when they practise on the range. But when they are out there on the field or even when they are hitting balls before a tournament round, they won’t think about mechanics at all. As one of the golfing legends, Jack Nicklaus once said, “I practise mechanics and play by feel.”