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Practice Drills and Games


(Description forthcoming)




Up & Downs

A game for two or more players at the chipping green.
First player drops a ball around the chipping green and names a hole to chip to. Player can chip/pitch to the hole with any club. If the player holes out the chip/pitch they get 2 points. If player does not hole out chip then the player has one opportunity to putt. If the player holes the putt and gets Up & Down they get 1 point. If the player fails to get Up & Down they get 0 points. The remaining player(s) have to hit the same shot and try to get Up & Down. Players alternate selecting the next Up & Down shot. First player to reach nine points wins. A small bet per point or match is encouraged to add pressure.


Game can also be played by a single player. Pick a goal like getting 3 out of 5 attempts Up & Down from a variety of lies. You can not leave the practice area until you successfully complete your goal. This adds some real life pressure to your practice.


Alternate Tee Boxes


I don't really have a name for this game (suggestions welcome), but in order to spice up practice rounds and experience a 'different' course, I alternate tee boxes starting with whites (pros), then yellows (men) and then reds (ladies), returning to whites again on hole 4. It certainly makes you think your way around the course as you cannot automatically reach out for the club you usually hit off each tee as suddenly new dangers come into play on every hole. This game is especially popular for golfers that tend to always play the same course.


Putting Clock


12 balls are placed around a hole one metre (3 feet) away on each of the hour marks. The player must hole all 12 putts in a row before moving on to the same drill but from two metres (6 feet) away from the hole. The first drill is usually completed fairly quickly, but the second drill can take some time! For advanced golfers, make all 24 putts in a row before heading home for the day.


Driving Range


To spice up practice time at the range, pick various targets (for e.g. the 50, 100, 150 markers) and hit 3 different clubs to each target, say your 9-iron, 5-iron and 3-wood. This is a great way to learn how to hit different shots with different clubs and work on your creativity.


Play your local golf course at the range by imagining each hole as you hit shots. Change club as you would on the course and give yourself a score on each hole. Obviously, as putting is impossible you'll have to determine how many putts you make depending on how close you hit your approach shot and how good a putter you (think you!) are (e.g. 0-6 feet = 1 putt, 6-30 feet = 2 putts and 30+ feet = 3 putts).


Short Game and Putting Handicap Systems

Below you can find two links to two different Short Game and Putting Handicap Systems. The first one is from Pelz' Short Game Bible and arguably the toughest of the two. From my experience and feedback from my students, the second system is more popular, fairer and probably a better indicator of current level of play. As the name suggests, you can determine your short game and putting handicaps by hitting 10 balls from a number of different situations/distances. I make it a habit to put my junior golfers through the second system once a month to chart their progress and help me prepare their practice schedule for each month. The advantage here is that each player gets a personalized practice schedule based on their strengths and weaknesses. It also means that when they are with me for their weekly lesson, they will work almost entirely on their weakness(es) as I know full well that when they practice on their own they only work on what they like (or good at)!


My junior golfers love the system as it is a break from the monotony of hitting balls. You never have to hit more than 10 balls from the same place and concentration levels are also at their highest as each golfer suddenly gets very competitive. Most probably because the loser(s) have to pay the winner something, usually a brand new golf ball or breakfast at the next tournament.


(http://www.foremostgolf.com/Files/Short_Game_Handicap_System.pdf, http://www.gatewaypga.org/gui/gateway10/filedownload/RedZone.pdf)


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