Practice With Purpose
By Paul Finch, Coach, International Golf Institute
When we practice for anything in life, we do it so that we can improve whatever it is we are working on. Golf is no exception and the range is the perfect place to focus and improve our game, so that when we get to the course, our game will be better and hopefully our scores will be lower.
The Sky Range at NSRCC has the technology that can help give you a better insight into your mid to long game, the subject of todays article.
This area of focus is as important as the rest of your game, however this is where lots of strokes can be gained or lost. I would like to share with you a few practice games that you can play on the range that will benefit you on the course.
Game No 1 - Hit It Close Or Not At All.
Equipment Needed: 30 Balls and Clubs for specified distances
Using the following distances 100, 140, 180, go through your normal pre shot routine and treat the shot as though you are plaing out on the course.
Play 10 shots to each distance, scoring points in the process. A ball finishing up to 5 metres of the set distance scores 1 point, hitting the correct distance scores 5 points. Anything outside of 5 metres is worth 0 points.
Record your scores everytime you play this game but only play this a maximum of 3 times a week.
Note the target distances do not have to straight in front of you.
Use the SkyTrak to note the distances but also pick targets to the left and right, just like on the course.
Game No 2 - The Dispersion Card.
Equipment Needed: 60 Balls, a piece of paper and a pen, clubs for specified distances.
Statistics are what we look at to help players improve. If we can get this type of feedback in every lesson we do, then we can ultimately pin point swing faults quicker and leave more time to fix them.
On your paper mark out the tee, a fairway and the target.
Using the distance 100, 140 and 180, hit 20 balls to each target and record every shot by plaing an X on the paper to record where it lands. The feedback from this drill will give insight into your “big miss”.
Game No 3 - The Fairway Finder. (Pic 3)
Equipment Needed: 30 Balls, Driver, Fairway Wood and Utility.
On the SkyTrak, the range setting offers measurements such as distance, clubhead speed and many others, however for this game we are focused on the offline measurement. you have a fairway to split in half that is 15 metres wide. Within a practice session, use 10 balls with each club to try and find the fairway. Each fairway hit scores 10 points.
Record your stats and again make sure you treat it like a normal shot, pre shot routine and focus are crucial.
These games can be played as focused practice or with friends as a challenge. It is always good to head to the range not just to loosen up before a round but to also work on your skills. Having a dialled in mid to long game will hopefully have you hitting the ball closer to the hole and also be more accurate from the tee.
Have fun with these, see how you get on and hopefully after a few weeks practice you will hopefully see the results in signing for a lower score.
Paul Finch has been a member of the British PGA for the past 10 years and has held various positions within the golf industry. He thoroughly enjoys coaching and this has been his passion throughout his career. Read more about him here!