Preparation & Mental Approach
1. 2. 3. 4.
Have a Plan ! Each practice session should have no more than one or two very specific goals before you even get to the course (example: Improve Lag Putting, Driving Accuracy, Better Greenside Bunkers percentage, etc…)
The Goal for each practice day can be decided based on your personal Progress log and what needs ‘attention’ at any specific time. Or it can be a team Goal decided by players and Coaches. The Goal should be measurable.
Bottom line, ALWAYS mentally prepare yourself by having specific practice plan goals prior to starting practice, and then aim your practice at meeting these practice plan goals!
When it’s time to tee off, knowing you put in smart planned out practice will allow you to free your mind from playing ‘Golf Swing’ and let you go confidently go play the Golf course!
1. Grip (holding the Club) – see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13YQij6uuZA
2. Setup & Posture- see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX_j9l3XI3 8
3. Alignment, Aim, Target Line – seee video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhI5zosdBIs
4. Takeaway/Backswing – see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K29P6D2nAk4
5. Downswing – see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LedM4ub8QuM&t=51s
Understand your Swing
1. There are many dif ferent golf swings because there are many different body types. Also, swings vary due to personal preferences on Ball flight, Shot shape, Swing path, etc..
2. But no matter what the individual swing looks like, great golfers consistently IMPACT the ball similarly: see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmdmb-mqUVE
Note: Hand & Head position of the Instructor at Impact.
3. Learn how your own swing works and how you can improve your consistently arriving at impact correctly. And whatever your own personal golf swing looks like, professional instruction & proper practice will help you with your impact position!!
Your Golf game Goals – Personal Evaluation & Progress Cards
1. Typical weekly practice sessions will be aimed at tracking & evaluating individual Progress logs.
2. Breaking into threesome’s or foursome’s each group will exchange scorecards with another member of your group (similar to playing in a match)
3. We will have various stations groups will rotate through and take turns recording 9-18 shots at each station:
➢ Lag Putt (1 putt = 2 points, 2 putt = point)
➢ Mid range putt (1 putt = point)
➢ Short Putt (1 putt = point)
➢ 30 yard chip/pitch (chip-in = 2 points, inside 15 feet = point) ➢ 15 yard chip (chip-in = 2 points, inside 10 feet = point)
➢ Greenside chip (chip-in = 2 points, inside 5 feet = point)
➢ 9 iron shot (solid strike near target line = point – on your honor)
➢ 6 iron shot (solid strike near target line = point – on your honor)
➢ 3 iron/Hybrid shot (select a ‘fairway’ on the range – in fairway = point) ➢ Driver (select a ‘fairway’ on the range – in fairway = point – Group vote)
4. You will record each other’s result on that day’s scorecard, sign & date it, and turn into me. We will return your ‘score books’ so you can carry in your bag and use at individual practice sessions.
Driving Range Sessions (individual, 2 or more players)
1. Driving range sessions can be used for several different practice reasons: ➢ To warm up prior to a match or tournament
➢ To work on one or two specifically planned goals
➢ To practice by simulating competition with yourself or teammates
2. Do not begin Range session until you are Mentally prepared (see first section above ‘Preparation & Mental Approach’
3. Do not begin before warming up physically with specific static & dynamic stretches, then Tempo drills, Impact bag, 9o’clock swings, One arm drills, etc.. make your own individual warm up routine!
4. Do not ‘shotgun’ balls one after another! You don’t do that on the course so don’t do it on the Range. For each shot go through your routine: Setup, Alignment/Aim, Tempo, Finish.
5. Here are a few fun and productive range sessions :
➢ Play a ‘pretend’ 9 holes. Use your imagination to replicate Fairways, Doglegs, Par
3’s, etc from your favorite courses. Be honest and let the quality of your shot dictate your next shot. Example: if you hit a great drive then give yourself a 9 iron next shot, but if you hit only a mediocre drive then give yourself a 5 iron next shot. If you mis hit a shot then penalize yourself like you would on the course. Make the 50 yard yellow basket your putt, if you hit it close or in then count it, if you hit it poorly you must putt again. Be creative and keep score to see what you would have shot if you were actually playing 9 holes!
➢ Practice with 10 balls at a time and set a goal (8 of 10 great Drives, 10 of 10 solid Wedges, etc…) Keep starting with a fresh 10 balls until you meet your goal or finish the basket of balls. Or play versus one or two teammates, loser does pushups or buys Cokes in the grill afterwards!
➢ Go through your bag! Start with Sand Wedge and hit one shot with each club in succession all the way up to Driver. Have a specific target for each club and give yourself a YES or NO after each shot. Keep going through your club rotation until you hit a YES with all clubs. If you fail, pick it back up next Range session. Record your results, if you fail, pick it back up next Range session and try to improve.
6. Final Range Tips :
➢ Do not ‘dominate’ the Range, be courteous, share spaces and keep voices low.
➢ Do not get distracted! Be 110% confident and mentally tough on the Range,
take your time and block out distractions (voices, other golfers, mowers, etc…)
➢ Do not ‘over-hit ’ … If you hit 20 or 30 perfect shots then stop! you’re grooved in,
go Chip & Putt which is what you really need to be working on anyways!!
Short Game Sessions
Wedge Tips/Drills – See/feel where you are putting the Clubface on the ball:
1. Follow your Pre shot routine & Setup/Alignment tips above under ‘Swing Basics’.
2. Keep weight balanced more on heels to prevent hovering or leaning too far over the ball, which could end up putting you too close to the ball and lead to mis hits, shanks, chunks, etc…
3. ALWAYS plan out your Chips based on Green speed & up/down hill lie. After considering these factors, ALWAYS establish a ‘landing point’ on your target line to aim for. Do not just randomly ‘hit & hope’, make sure you really focus on your ‘landing point’.
4. Box Drill : If you are struggling with skulls/shanks/chunks set up a golf club box (long skinny box) about 2 inches outside your ball directly on your target line, You will get instant feedback, if you come into your wedge shots too much from ‘outside’ you will hit the box before your ball, if you come into your wedge shots too much from ‘inside’ you will hit box on your follow through. Practice until you are hitting solid wedge shots without ever making contact with the box!
5. Towel Drill : If you are struggling with wedge consistency try rolling your golf towel up lengthwise and placing an end under each armpit. Take short pitches or chips with the towel in place (it will likely fall out upon follow through which is okay). The goal is to improve tempo and keep your body and arms in sync so your arms don’t outrace your body or visa versa.
6. 3 Tee Drill : If you are wanting to improve actually Seeing & Feeling where your wedges are contacting the ball set up 2 Tees in a ‘gate’ for your club to pass through and 1 tee in the middle of the gate. Practice swinging through both the middle tee and the inside tee at the same time WITHOUT contacting the outside tee. After succeeding numerous times replace the middle tee with a ball and use the same strategy of hitting the Ball and the inside tee without contacting the outside tee. Eventually remove the tees altogether and just ‘imagine’ an inside tee is still there and you should really see & feel your club’s ‘sweet spot’ moving through the ball.
7. Single Hand Drill : many times done as a warm up, or to help see & feel the Club face impacting the ball. Find space away from other players since you will likely hit some stray shots and mis hits at first. Pick a fairly close target to start out maybe 10 yards away, and set up as you normally would with both hands on the club. make several practice swings and feel your hands & body working in sync. Then place only your Lead hand on the club with your rear hand on your hip, try to chip the ball to your target. You will note immediately that keeping a square clubface and fully releasing your body & club in sync is required. Continue until you can comfortably chip to your target with only your Lead hand, then repeat with your rear hand. Once you feel comfortable with each hand, extend your target out.
Short Game Sessions (cont)
Practice games chipping/pitching :
1. Pitching to 50 & 75 yards buckets on the Driving range: 2 or 3 players per range spot, each Player has teammate(s) at separate range spots, for example 9 players would split up into three 3 person teams with ONE teammate from each team at separate range spots. Each range spot grouping will rotate hitting 25 shots each to the 50 and then 75 yards targets. Opponents will track each others scores, Straight in the target bucket equals 3 points, one or two bounce ins equal 2 points, hitting the target but not going in equals 1 point. Skulls and Grounders DO NOT count! Add up all 3 team members scores, losing team collects all range baskets and returns them to Pro shop!
2. Play ‘Horse’ – yup, just like the basketball game! 2-4 players decide an order of play, the first player Chips from their chosen location and every other player follows. If the first player ends up closer than the following players then the following players get a letter. But As soon a any player gets inside the first player that player immediately take control and can move to their own chosen location, play proceeds until only one player is left without being a HORSE…
3. Individual Chipping : Do not stay in one spot and chip an entire bucket of balls, that just does not simulate real on course play. Plus you will never be able to see how your chips react when the green if covered with balls. Instead, take 5 balls and start with greenside chips until you get 4-5 up & down, move to medium chip until you get 4-5 up & down, then end up at a longer chip/pitch shot until you get 4-5 up & down. This is very CHALLENGING and will simulate real golf by emphasizing the importance of every shot. You may not accomplish the entire Drill, but it is fun and develops mental toughness and inner competitiveness!
4. Match Play: Multiple players, flip a tee to select honors, Chip & play out your own ball, change locations nine times to represent a 9 hole match. Play ‘Match Play’ rules. For more than 2 players play ‘skins’ (low ball gets the point or ‘skin’, one tie all tie and the point can carry over to next hole)
5. No Chipping Green or Range spots available? sometimes practice facilities are crowded but you can always find a patch of grass away from the crowd and play ‘Poison’ or ‘Knockout’ using water bottles or range baskets as targets.
Putting Sessions (Individual, Multiple players)
1. Short Putt Drill: Set up 4 separate locations surrounding the hole, each appx 3-4 feet out. Have a partner kneeling beside the hole with 2 balls in his/her hand, place another ball down at the first location and take your putt. Your partner places another ball on the same spot at your first location while you are resetting. This drill should move along quickly with putts in rapid succession, it is one of the few times that we don’t emphasize going through a complete pre shot routine because the idea of this drill is simply ‘force of repetition’. Putt 25 putts at each of the 4 locations surrounding the hole, have your partner keep track of your ‘makes’. Switch positions with your partner and keep his/her score. Set a high individual goal (90%) and also compete with each other!
2. Lag Putt Drill: Individual or multiple teammates. When Green is fairly open, find 2 holes reasonably far apart, and simply assess the putt like you would in a Match (uphill, downhill, left break, right break, speed of greens, etc…). With ONE ball only, how many 2 putts (or one putt if you’re lucky!) can you get in a row? take your time and mark your ball and go through your routine. Concentrate and be Confident! Do this drill for 30 minutes, individually or versus one or two teammates.
3. Around the World (clock drill) : Place 5 tee pegs in a circle anywhere from 5-15 feet from the hole. Name one specific tee as your ‘Starting point’, you have ONE try to make your first putt so you can move on to the next location. Once you make from first location you move to location #2. if you miss your location #2 putt you can stay at that spot until it is your turn again OR you can ‘chance it’ and if you then make it you advance to next location. But if you miss your ‘chance’ you go back to the starting location. Take turns with 2-4 players until you have a winner! Be creative with your tee locations, make it fun!
4. Crowded Green? If Putting Green is crowded find ONE open hole and share with teammates, there are many practice drills up to 4 people can do while sharing ONE hole. If NO holes available on the Putting Green, find an open space away from people on the Green and set up Tee gates or Water bottles and practice to those.
5. Knockout: No hole needed, 4-8 teammates. Set up a 3 foot circle with ball markers, quarters, etc… Pick a medium length starting spot (20-25 ft). Flip a tee for honors. Putt your ball to get inside the circle, if you make your putt you immediately get to putt another ball, and keep putting until you miss the circle. If you knock your own ball out, tough luck, pick it up. But all balls you get in the circle stay! As soon as you miss the circle retrieve your missed ball and go to the end of the line. Decide how many ‘rounds’ you want to play before you start the game, and once the last player putts in the last round, whoever has the most balls, or even one ball left in the circle Wins! It gets competitive, you’ll see! And there is some blocking & knocking strategy. Bottom line, this drill forces you to think pace, feel, strategy and become a fairly aggressive putter!
Playing (on course) Practice games
1. Straight 9 hole matches (3some or 4some), Individual stroke play or teammates, total low gross score wins!
2. Best Ball matches:
a. Teams vs Teams, Teams vs Coaches, Teams versus a Specific scoring goal
b. ‘Orange Ball’ – each team has one Orange ball that each player on their team must play at least one (1) hole with and count as the Best Ball. return the orange ball at the completion of 9 holes without losing it and deduct an additional 5 strokes.
3. Scrambles (2, 3, or 4 person teams):
a. Straight Scramble – Everyone plays their team’s best shot until ball is holed.
b. Modified Scramble – Everyone plays their team’s best Drive then plays their OWN ball in from there until all balls are holed. Take the lowest score of all teammates.
4. Penalty matches:
a. 2-4 person teams, all playing their Best Ball format.
b. Each penalty stroke or 3putt adds a stroke to the team score for that hole, plus disqualifies that Player from being able to count their score on the next hole .
5. One Club Matches:
a. 4 person teams, playing Scramble format.
b. Team decides ONE club per teammate that must be used for the entire round, for example PlayerA plays 3 wood, PlayerB plays 6 iron, PlayerC plays Wedge, and PlayerD plays Putter. This will take strategy & teamwork to decide each teammates strengths and also what would be the most effective 4 clubs the team should use.
Golf Fitness – Today’s Golfers are Fit & Athletic!
1. We will have weekly conditioning sessions centered around golf flexibility & strength, including pre Match and pre Range warm up.
Take a look at how fitness has played a part in the success of today’s best Golfers:
see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db4xSFCfYeU see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbpjY9DjMgs
Clinics & Personal Lessons
1. Throughout the Season we will have weekly Clinics and Advanced lessons including many of the following areas:
➢ Greenside Bunker Play (How to use or not use ‘bounce’ in soft sand, hard shallow sand, deep high bunkers, long range greenside bunker shots)
➢ Fairway bunkers – technique and execution
➢ Trouble shot s (Scrambling, Assessing the risk/reward of your shot – do the Math,
how can you get in the hole most efficiently.
➢ Flighting the ball – and playing in the wind
➢ Working the ball – fade setup & swing versus draw setup & swing
➢ Rules – Know the Rules, Use Rules to your Advantage!!
➢ Understanding YOUR swing – know how your own individual swing works so
you can count on it and fix it when you get out of sync.
➢ Club Fitting – Personal club fitting session, Demo Days, Wedge fitting for gaps,
lofts, bounce.. How important might this be for you?
➢ Tee shots – Keep your ball in play!! Don’t just blindly grab Driver off the tee,
assess the distance & shape of the hole, then take a club that you will be 100%
➢ Short gam e – up & down from Everywhere… Phil Mickelson was once said to
have been able to get up & down from the ‘World’, or basically from any lie, anywhere… You need to practice to where YOU build similar confidence around the greens!
➢ Ball striking – Hit more greens and you’ll make more Birdies, simple as that!
➢ Technical Swing Evaluation (Advanced individual) – Establish specific Goal –
What do you want to achieve and why? (Examples: Consistency in ball striking, Improve alignment/aim, Solve your biggest ‘miss’, etc…)