Be Deliberate In Practice
By Chris Foley
This season my column in Tee Times is going to focus on playing the game of golf and on course strategy and approach to help you score better.
If you watched any of the “On the Range” segments from the Open Championship or have the opportunity to attend the 3M Championship something you would see is that when players are on the range, they are very intentional in everything that they do. They don’t just hit balls; they have a plan or purpose for everything they do.
When the tour player goes to the range before a round it is generally not practice. It is to get loose and ready for the round. They are preparing for the day and the shots they are going to have to hit. They start with the short clubs and work their way through the bag to the driver. On the putting green their priority is get a feel for the speed of the greens.
Following a round is when a player will practice and work on the golf swing or putting stroke. If they struggled with an aspect of their game on the golf course, they focus on that in their practice session.
The common thing you will see between a warmup session and a practice session they will almost always have some type of “practice station” set up to give them feedback or to make sure they are maintaining their set-up alignments.
Players will have alignment rods on the ground for body, shoulder alignment or ball position. They may be using Trackman or another radar device to monitor the clubface/path relationship or distances. They may have other training aids to encourage different feels and movements in the swing. On the putting green you will see mirrors to check eye and shoulder alignment. Aids to monitor the shape of the putting stroke and tools to make sure the ball is starting on the indented line.
By warming up and practicing with this type of intent it is much easier to take their range game to the golf course. Apply this type of intent to your range sessions and your on-course game will improve.