Focused golf practice: Rules for concentrating on each shot for better play

GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jim Murphy shared his thoughts on focused golf practice, which should help amateurs concentrate more on each shot

Use these tips for a more focused golf practice plan.

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The only way to see improvement in your golf game is by practicing. Then again, ask any pro player or Top 100 Teacher if all golf practice is created equal, and they’ll remind you that it’s very much a compartmentalized process.

So what does that mean?

According to GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jim Murphy, it means understanding how to practice the right things, the right ways, rather than just going to a driving range without a plan of attack.

Sure, it’s fun to bomb drives for an hour at the range, but how is that improving your overall game? Similarly, if you’re already strong in the short game, spending 45 minutes on a flop shot might not be the best use of your time.

To help understand how to get better in all aspects of your game, Murphy gives four tips below to make your golf practice more effective and more productive. Check them out and start using them to your advantage — fewer strokes on the scorecard should soon follow.

1. Take your time and go through your routine on every shot

Way too frequently, I see players out there beating balls one after another, almost as fast as they can. I wouldn’t define that as golf practice; this is called exercise.

True practice means having the same characteristics as you would out on the golf course. It means simulating your setup, your thoughts, and your aim and alignment.

So when you’re at the range, be sure to take your time between shots — since this is how it will be on the golf course. Use a variety of clubs, and go through your routine prior to hitting a shot with each. This should help you mentally prepare for situations during a round.

2. Pick a club and a target that you can hit

When you’re practicing on the range, pick a target that you can hit a certain club to. If the driving range you practice at has flags and greens, hit different shots to those spots, which will help you identify the distance and accuracy when it comes to club selection.

Remember, a major goal at the driving range should be to simulate on-course simulation. So don’t just aim at general areas and hit your ball. Instead, be specific. Aim small, miss small.

3. Focus your attention on the complete process

I always remind my students to practice like they’re playing. What I mean by this is to go through the routine on each and every shot, exactly like they would do on the course. After going through the routine and you’re ready to hit the shot, focus on the complete process.

Feel your swing, and don’t think about the outcome or the result. Simply focus on the process of the swing.

4. Learn something from every swing, shot, and result

After hitting a practice shot — whether the result is good, bad, or merely playable — be sure to learn something from it, and make mental notes in order to do better for the next one.

I see many amateurs hit a shot, and then they tell themselves everything they didn’t like about it. They didn’t like being so far left or right. They hit it too thin or too fat.

Many times, this leads to even more inconsistency, because every shot is just reacting to the last one. So be more proactive with your golf practice with every swing.

Every player wants to get better, and practicing is the only way to do so. But having a more focused golf practice plan will help you reach your goals faster. So be sure to use the tips above and start seeing instant results.

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Nick Dimengo Editor