Amateurs practice 1 thing way too much, according to this Top 100 teacher

What should recreational players spend time practicing?

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If you’re a recreational player looking to improve — and let’s be honest, who isn’t? — then it’s important to use your practice time to focus on an aspect of the game that will yield results.

But according to GOLF Top 100 Teacher Carol Preisinger, there’s one part of the game that amateurs are spending way too much time on: the driver.

“We’ve been seduced by speed,” Preisinger told me at GOLF’s recent Top 100 Teacher Summit at Pinehurst. “Speed is fun, and that’s fine. Everybody wants to hit it farther. But you’re only going to hit your driver 14 times in a round.”

Carol baseball swings
Want more solid contact? Try doing this before each shot
By: Carol Preisinger, Top 100 Teacher

According to Preisinger, players should analyze their rounds to hone in on weaknesses. Ask yourself: Where are you tallying up the most shots? Is it because you’re missing greens, or three-putting too frequently?

“If the average golfer is shooting 90-100, then they need to be working on solid contact off the turf, 30 to 40 yard pitch shots,” she said. “Because that’s the average distance when they miss a green, right or left. And then, speed on the putting green.”

So instead of spending time blasting drivers on the range, the next time you find yourself with an opportunity to practice, Presinger suggests working on pitch shots instead.

“Those pitch shots need to get closer than 50 feet from the hole,” Presinger said. “That’s where bogeys turn into double or triple bogeys.”

Ready to sharpen your short game? Click here for three drills that will help you hit the ball closer to the hole.

Need help unriddling the greens at your home course? Pick up a custom Green Book from 8 AM Golf affiliate Golf Logix.

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Jessica Marksbury
Golf.com

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.