“Golf With a Game Plan” by Timo Schlitz
“Golf With a Game Plan” is a little booklet that has 30 exercises that can be performed while practicing. The exercises are broken down into the following categories:
Putting - 4 focus on being accurate on shorter putts (inside 10’)
- 6 focus on lag putting/3 putt avoidance
Chipping - 3 that basically have you trying to get up and down in 2 strokes
- 2 that have you practice landing the ball in specific spots
Bunkers - 2 (1 is proximity to the pin and the other is trying to get up and down in two strokes).
Pitching - 3 which all have you play pitches from various positions with the goal of getting as many pitches inside a certain radius of the pin.
Driver - 4 exercises
Irons - 1 exercise that has you hitting whatever club you want to hit a specified target.
On Course - there are 5 exercises where you play 9 holes of golf, but with a twist each time.
For what it’s worth, most of these exercises are credited as being taken from some accomplished golfer (Tiger and Phil just to name two).
The book gives you estimated times for each exercise. Based on the estimated times, the 25 exercises that are not On Course exercises comprise of about 5 ½ hrs of practice. So, for most of us that practice for 1 or 2 hrs at a time, we’d have to choose which exercises to work on during each session.
Each exercise is labeled with a “Standard” rating of 1 to 6 (a rating of 1 being the easiest and a rating of 6 being the most difficult). As I became more familiar with the book, I am not sure this rating system was necessary. Why? Because each exercise also gives you a target score based on your handicap level. Whether an exercise was rated a 3 in difficulty or a 6 in difficulty, you still have a specific goal to meet based on your handicap.
As for the goals the book sets… Again, I am guessing they are good guidelines, but just that, guidelines. For all putting exercises and for the full iron shot exercise, 11 handicaps down to scratch golfers have the same goals (the other handicap grouping are 26hdcp to 12 hdcp and 36 hdcp to 27 hdcp). You can see an example of this in BENtSwing32’s second pic in the post above. That seems like a very wide range of talent to be shooting for the same level of proficiency in each exercise. For the other exercises, the handicaps are differentiated a little more, but there’s still a decent gap in each grouping. So, instead of using these goals as being set in stone, I’m thinking one could simply set their own goal based on where they fall within each handicap grouping.
One important aspect of each exercise that I haven’t directly mentioned yet, but I’m sure you’ve surmised based on what I’ve said so far is that each one is set up like a game where you score points. I think this is the cool part of the exercises as it gives you an idea of how you are progressing with your game. It gives you a way to very clearly see whether you are improving or not. If at the beginning of the season you were only able to consistently sink 3 consecutive putts in the “Circle Putting” exercise, but by the end of the season you are consistently sinking 8 in a row, that’s tangible results. I like that!
I believe this book provides an outstanding array of short game exercises that can help any level of golfer to focus on honing in their 40 yds and in game (including putting). It would work especially well for those folks that like to keep score during their practice sessions. Even for those that don’t, I still think this would work well. I also believe this book could help one from mindlessly hitting one practice shot after another and make each shot be hit with a purpose. Something that I struggle with...
There seems to be a gap in exercises between the 40 yd distance and the full iron shots. When I start using these exercises this spring, I’ll be adding in some practice for partial wedges from 50 to 80 yds. Also, the iron and driver exercises aren’t anything new. Basically, you need to pick your target and try to hit an imaginary green (or fairway with a driver) based on where your target was.
If you would like to have an inventory of very good exercises to perform for your short game, this would be a great book to have. For me, at least, I think it’ll provide some structure to my practice and will also give me the ability to track my results as the year progresses. I will be using this book this year!
One note to Timo – For the Worstball Chipping exercise, the German “Ziel” has been printed instead of “Goal”.