By Chris Foley
In each issue of Tee Times, we present a practice plan, drill, or game that is designed to help you create a great practice situation and help you practice for performance.
Practicing for performance must include the following elements.
1. The drill, game, or exercise needs to create awareness and be engaging. Things like changing targets frequently, creating different sensations or feels, and pushing you out of your comfort zone
2. The practice needs to be measurable. When we measure our practice, it gives us a true gage of how we are doing. From day to day we can track improvement or regression.
3. There needs to be consequence in practice. We need to compete while we practice. This is what truly bridges the gap between the range and the golf course. The practice experience needs to be closer to the actual golf course experience.
If you are lucky enough to attend the Ryder Cup at the end of this month, something that you will likely see if you observe players on the practice range or putting green is that they have a “practice station” set up or using different tools to make their practice more efficient.
On the Practice Range
TrackMan Golf – the radar-tracking device allows the pros to get immediate feedback on things like distances, ball speed, spin rates, club path and face angle. Using this feedback they insure that their feel and mechanics are in line.
Alignment rods – the majority of players will have alignment rods or clubs laying on the ground to make sure that they are aligned properly and that they have the correct ball position. You may also see them stuck in the ground to monitor swing plane.
On the Putting Green
Putting Alignment Mirror – this is the number one practice tool on the PGA Tour. Players check eye position, putter face alignment, and shoulder alignment. Players will also use it to set up a “gate” to swing the putter through to insure contact with the sweet spot of the putter.
Slot Trainer – my personal favorite! Place the template on the green lined up at the cup. Place tees to create a putting gate and use a Sharpe to draw a line to align the putter face. This tool allows the putter to be perfectly aimed and the perfect path.
Putting Arc or Edge Rail – Players place the heal of the putter against the arc or the rail and by swing the club back and through creates the perfect arc of the stroke.
By using tools such as these and setting up a practice station, your practice time will be much more productive and performance based. This will help you take your range game to the golf course.
The putting tools mentioned here are all available from Eyeline Golf. www,eyelinegolf.com
I welcome your feedback and questions. Please contact me at cfoley@ChrisFoleyGolf.com, 218-820-9426. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisFoleyGolf and look for more great practice tips on #PracticeForPerformance Thursdays.