Why being inconsistent in your practice is the real key to consistency on the course

woman on driving range

Want to improve? It starts with changing up your practice habits.


Recently I met with a new student and asked him what his goals were for the lesson and for his golf game in general. “I want to be more consistent,” he said, without missing a beat.  

I wish I had a nickel for every student who said those same words to me: “I want to more consistent!” Everyone wants to be more consistent, from the 36-handicapper to Tour pros. And while we pros may have better misses than the average amateur golfer does, we want to eliminate misses from our game as much as you do.

I discussed two main concepts with my new student as we started the lesson. The first is that we are all, pros and amateurs, consistently inconsistent. To train ourselves better to perform on the course (rather than on the range), we need to incorporate more random practice. In other words, we need more variability in our practice routines. Pia Nillson and Lynn Marriott, the founders of the golf training Vision 54 schools say this:

“Variability is the one constant in golf. The game is variable and YOU are variable … so make sure you train with variability so your performance can be more reliable. During your practice sessions, be sure to change clubs, lies, targets, types of shots, etc., so it matches what the game of golf is like ON the course. A real easy choice is to train more ON the course, but even if you are working on a specific technical drill, you can still do the drill from different lies and with different clubs.”

The second main concept regarding consistency is that we need to do a better job of goal setting for our golf games. “Be more consistent” isn’t a goal, it’s a fantasy. Real goals are metrics-driven. Otherwise, how will we know we’ve met them?  

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One thing I like to ask my students at the start of the season is, “When we meet at the close of the season in October, how will we know whether you’ve met your goals or not?” What are the metrics for improvement? Do we want to drop three handicap strokes during the season? Do we want to hit more fairways? Have fewer putts? And how will we measure more fairways and fewer putts? Are we keeping a statistics log of some kind? Those of you who truly want to improve will start thinking in these specific terms instead of vague terms like “be more consistent.”

We can all improve our golf games if we spend our time practicing in variable or “inconsistent” environments, working on the scoring aspects of the game (wedges, putting) and setting goals for ourselves that are clear, identifiable and metrics-driven. Add to that mix some quality instruction from a pro that you trust, and your game is sure to improve.

Monique Thoresz is one of GOLF’s 2024-25 Teachers to Watch and is the Director of Instruction at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, NY.  You can find her on Instagram at @MoniqueThoresz_Golf.  For more tips from Monique, click here.

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