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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Cragun's 2016

Golf Academy
June 25, 2017

Practice Like A Pro
Ty Armstrong
PGA Professional, TPC Twin Cities

To steal a line from Allen Iverson "PRACTICE, PRACTICE MAN WE TALKIN' ABOUT PRACTICE". Even though that was said in jest that is an important part of any sport to practice and practice the right way. The biggest thing that I see between a pro's practice session and amateurs is professionals practice with a purpose and amateurs just tend to go out and hit golf balls.

What I mean by this is they both know what they are to work on based on the lesson or lessons that they just had with their instructor. The pro will go out and even though things may not be going right and they are not seeing the results that they want right away they still keep trying to do what their instructor ask of them. They are able to do this because that is there job and they can spend hours a day hitting golf balls. The amateur does not usually have the luxury of practicing all day to get it right so if things do not go right, right away then they tend to give up on them and try something else and by the end of their range sessions instead of working on that ONE thing, they now have several swing thoughts.

The other big thing that I see is that pros are always working on their alignment and making sure that their posture and alignment are correct. The way your posture and alignment are is usually going to dictate the shot you are about to hit 80% of the time. If you have been lucky enough to see a professional golf tournament you see that they usually have some kind of alignment aides down on the ground to help them. Next time you go out to the range see how many of the amateurs are doing the same. Not many I bet.

The other thing that separates the professionals from the amateurs is the pro tends to try to make his weakness a strength. It is just human nature to want to practice what you are good at and to not practice what you are poor at. Because that is not as much fun and it takes more time and effort. This is usually seen in the short game. The old adage you DRIVE FOR SHOW AND PUTT FOR DOUGH are usually true. Even though the drive sets up everything on that hole, if you are able to get it up and down around the greens over 50% of the time as an amateur your score would probably dramatically change. I know that hitting that driver in the sweet spot on the range feels so good, but it also counts the same as a 6-foot putt. Pros in a 3-hour time frame would tend to spend 2 hours on short game work and 1 hour on their golf swing. Amateurs in that same time frame would tend to hit ball after ball until they felt like they had it down pat which could take 2 hours or more and then go over hit a few chips, then hole a few putts and call it a day.

So if you can get out to the 3M Championship watch and observe how the PRO's practice, because if you can somewhat emulate them in their practice routine I believe it will help with your scores.





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