One of the challenges that all golfers face is figuring out how to get the most out of their practice time. Dedicated junior golfers can invest as much as 25 to 30 hours a week practicing on the course, hitting balls, and working on their short game and putting. Learning to use this valuable resource effectively can give golfers a significant advantage over their competition.
The mistake I see most young golfers make is that they fail to plan out their practice time and don’t understand how to tie their effort back to their goals. Granted, in golf it’s not easy to measure progress on a daily basis and to understand the connection between practice and tournament play. The best way to turn your practice time into a benefit is to understand and follow the framework described below.
Golfers have to begin with clearly defined goals and then accurately measure their performance against their goals. It helps to use a statistical analysis program like the one we like – ShotbyShot – to understand where strokes are gained and lost. Once the analysis is complete, overall practice objectives can be laid out. Finally, the most important step in the process is deciding on daily practice tasks and objectives and formulating the right mix of block, random, skill-based practice, etc. (see the diagram which illustrates the different types of practice). Below is a brief explanation of each practice option to help you better understand how to design a practice plan.
All of the types of practice listed above have value. The trick each day is to figure out the correct mix and how much time to spend on each one. Planning your practice on a daily basis should take about 15-30 minutes but the benefits far outweigh the extra time invested. Your coach should be able to help you build your practice plans.
Jeff Isler shares his observations, insights, and experiences on the game of golf and those that play it at a high level.