What IS practice?

When it comes to practicing our golf swing, our putting stroke, our chipping, or really any part of our game, what is your definition of “Practice”?

Think about it for a minute. Most amateur golfers, if they were being honest, would define practice as going to the club, or to the range, and hitting balls for an hour, or going to the practice green and putting for 3o minutes, or some other definition that requires going to the golf course or practice range. To be completely honest, that was MY definition of practice as an amateur golfer for many years until I came on board as a member of the GGA team.

The problem with that definition of practice is obvious and very simple; it requires us to be at a golf course or driving range. And since we are all very busy, with a million things to do each and every day, it’s pretty easy to skip our practice session, because we have to load up the clubs, leave the house, drive to the practice facility, and all of a sudden a 1 hour practice session ends up taking 2 hours out of our day.

Today, I want to challenge you with a new definition of practice, along with a new way of thinking about practice.

Many moons ago, when I attended my first school with Todd and Tim, Todd instructed me to change my grip. During the school, I could never get the grip to ‘feel’ good, so at the conclusion of the school, I asked Todd, “What should I do to get this grip change correct?” His answer was a little surprising, but in retrospect, exactly right – “When you get home”, he said, “I want you to put a club beside your couch and while you are watching television in the evenings, I want you to pick the club up, grip it correctly, feel what the correct grip IS, and then put the club back down. And I want you to repeat this process over and over while you are watching television, as often as you can.”

I followed Todd’s advice, and for the next 2 weeks, I kept a club beside the couch, and every few minutes, I would pick the club up, grip it, and then set it down. I did this several times every evening, and without my even knowing it, in about 2 weeks, the grip that felt SO bad while I was at the school was feeling “normal”.

My question to you is this – When I was sitting on the couch, picking the club, gripping it, and setting it back down, WAS I PRACTICING?

Very simply, yes, I WAS practicing. I learned a very valuable lesson from that experience, and it’s one I want you to incorporate as well.

You do NOT have to be hitting balls to practice, in fact, some of the best practice you can have is AWAY from a practice facility. Whether it be in your living room, bedroom (if the spouse will allow it), in the garage or basement, ANY time you spend working on correct fundamentals qualifies as practice.

In conclusion, our definition of practice at GGA is this – Any time spent working on fundamentals, regardless of location, time, or conditions, qualifies as practice.

Rethink your practice, spend some time practicing away from the course, and you’ll be surprised at the amount of progress you can make in a short period of time.

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