For most – it’s golf season time or getting really close to golf season.
With the warm weather starting and sun setting later and later – hopefully everyone is getting more playing time and practice time.
So – I thought I ‘d write a little about in season practice. For those that have studied our instructions, it is what we call Practice Type A.
There are basically two different types of practice:
Practice Type A – practicing like you are about to play or practicing for playing.
Practice Type B – practicing to build your game, creating new habits in your swing, short game, etc. Working on changing your swing.
Practice Type A is the type of practice you need to be working on when you are “in season” or playing important rounds of golf. For the professionals, practice type A is the type of practice they perform in season, practice type B is the type of practice they perform in the off season.
Here is a good schedule and suggestions for your Practice Type A sessions.
I will use an “hour” practice session (can also break down in percentages if are practicing for less than an hour).
15 minutes (25%) Practice Putting. Start with this so you don’t skip and great way to “stretch” a little before you get on the range.
Lag Putt (30 – 40 footers – lag to a few feet (as close as possible – work on speed).
Work on making 3 and 4 footers, using 1 or 2 golf balls (no more than 2 balls), lining up the putt, setting the T on the ball toward the break and putting as if you had one putt on the course. Mimic being on the golf course. Work on your pre-shot, set up and rhythm. Work on getting comfortable over the putt.
Work on different breaks (pick one hole with break and work around it like a clock).
Work on 10 to 15 foot putts – trying to make, if miss keeping with 2 feet past the hole.
Don’t forget to hit a few putts off the edge of the green (from the fringe).
10 minutes (about 20%) Practice Chipping and Pitching
Chip and Pitch (if possible) with the same golf balls you play with. (Work on the feel, spin, the way the ball reacts when hitting the green and out of the rough).
Chip with 2 golf balls – hitting different shots to different holes. Don’t get stuck on one hole. Work around to get different chips.
Pitch the same if possible. If not, do a few minutes on the range before you work on full swing. Work on pitch shots that will roll out a little and some flop type shots with as minimal roll as possible.
5 minutes (about 5%) Practice Sand / Bunker
Work on first getting the ball out of the bunker (being aggressive enough).
Next, work on getting on green.
Finally, work on getting close to the hole (spin control).
This is not the time to “create” your bunker game – this is the time to get the feel for the sand and “remind” yourself how aggressive you need to be out of the bunker.
If you do not have a bunker for practice – use this time for additional chipping and pitching practice.
15 minutes (about 25%) Practice All Clubs in Your Bag Except Your Driver
Start with the wedge(s) and work through the irons to the longer clubs (hybrids, fairway woods, etc.)
Use an alignment aid to check alignment (whether in a Practice A or Practice B setting always use an alignment aid).
Do not get “stuck” on one club. Work through all clubs working on tempo and alignment.
Work on different shots (low, high, etc..) as you would have on the golf course (into the wind, downwind, cross wind.)
Hit a targets, check distances (to the best of your abilities hitting range balls).
15 minutes (about 25%) Practice with Your Driver
Use an alignment aid to check alignment.
Work on different shots (high, low, etc.)
If you hit a lot of fairway woods / hybrids off the tee – give them some time during this session.
Do not “shot gun” this practice. Pick a target, tee up a golf ball, check alignment, and hit. Do again as if you were on the golf course.
Work on tempo, check alignment (and ball position).
Work on different tee heights and ball positions for different shots (high vs. low) – down wind us into wind.
As you see, this type of practice (Practice A) is not the practice to build or change your swing. This type of practice is again the practice to get ready to play or to keep your game in “playing mode”.
If you are one that wants to perform Practice Type B and Practice Type A in season, you must give yourself enough time for the Practice B sessions to take effect (typically about 3 weeks of continual practice to create a new habit) and also give yourself enough Practice A time to get ready / comfortable for those upcoming rounds.
It is difficult to mix Practice Type A and Practice Type B in the season. We recommend if possible – perform Practice A in those months you are playing a lot of “important” rounds and Practice Type B when those rounds don’t “matter as much….” or even better – those months when you aren’t playing.