Get the Basics Right
Most golfers don’t set up their practice sessions in a way that will help them retain and transfer skills to the golf course. More often than not, they go through the motions hoping that something good sticks. This is why the phrase, “I can’t take my range game to the golf course” is heard so often.
Fortunately, setting up an effective practice session is one of the easiest tasks to do. All that is required is a slight adjustment.
The Top Two
There are two vital components to making practice useful. The first is making sure that there is more than one task, which require using more than one golf club.
The second component is having more than one place (environment) to practice in.
A Sample Lesson Plan
Task 1: Working on putting distance control
Drill: Putt from the middle of the putting green with your eyes closed. Roll the ball within a putter length of the fringe of the green.
Area: Putting green
Task 2: Working on pitching
Drill: Set up six different distance targets. Hit one golf ball into each target with only one swing per target.
Area: Right side of the practice ground
Task 3: Working on tee shots
Drill: Hit the golf ball from left to right and a certain height in the air. With five attempts, judge your success on the number of shots that peaked above your desired height and moved from left to right your desired amount.
Area: Left side of the practice ground
Why Practice This Way?
Setting up your practice like this provides the interference necessary for golfers to remain in the cognitive and associative stage of learning. It also allows the context of the multiple environments to help shape the acquisition of the skills being learned during the practice. Learning is very specific which means the practice environment has to represent the playing environment for maximum transfer of skills. The environment’s role is vital in this process, and it must provide varying levels of unpredictability.
Try setting up a practice like the one above. You’ll see a benefit long term when you need to produce those skills in a tournament.