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dave67az

Do you practice "correctly"?

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  1. 1. Do you treat each practice shot on the range with the same care you give to each shot on the course?

    • All or Most of the time.
      23
    • Some of the time.
      25
    • Rarely or Never.
      21

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52 posts in this topic

I was flipping channels last night and caught Michael Breed finishing up a segment.  Don't know for sure what the topic was, but it looked like he was telling folks something I've heard many times but often I find myself still not doing it.

I've always heard when you're on the range you should approach each shot like you were on the course.  Same routine.  Find your target.  Visualize the shot.  Take a couple (or however many) practice swings.  Step up to the ball.  Make the shot.

I used to be better about doing this on a regular range.  But the range I use now has automatic ball feeds so I don't even need to get out of my stance between shots.

After watching a lot of other golfers, I see them hitting ball after ball just like I was doing.

It woke up up a little and I've made a resolution this year to make sure every trip to the range is more productive and purposeful and not just trying to turn my golf swing into an aerobic workout.

I wonder...how many people do actually approach their shots on the practice range as though they were really on the golf course?

Do you treat your practice shots with as much care as you do the shots on the course?

- Dave

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I practice my shot routine on the range. The more automatic it becomes the less swing thoughts I have on the course.

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Because you were so kind as to add "or most of the time" to the first choice, I was able to vote A.  I certainly don't practice exactly like I play though.  Right now, for example, I'm working on one thing, and that is to try and bow my left wrist and cup my right wrist more at the top of the backswing and through from there.  So what I will do is take a couple of backswings just to the top and try and feel what that feels like, then hit a ball.  Then I drag another over and do it again.  Every few balls, I will also throw in a full practice swing.

I don't, however, run through my preshot routine on every ball like I'm on the course.  As far as a target is concerned, I lay down an alignment stick to start, and as long as I don't kick it, I don't have to realign.

At the end of my practice session, I will hit a dozen or so exactly as if I was playing.  I'll put away the alignment stick and run through the whole preshot routine.

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I put "All or most of the time" but have a major caveat: I do step back behind the ball, pick my target and usually an alignment point, then take my grip, align the club and set my stance for pretty much every shot.  However, since I usually hit multiple shots with the same club I am working on, I don't take practice swings before each shot unless I have a specific swing key I am trying to feel.

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I have never, ever known even the most avid player to even come close to what Breed was saying you have to do.  At my most serious I wasn't near that, and I'm certainly not doing that now.  95% of my practice is short game anyway, and I'm pretty serious about that.

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i really TRY to "practice the right way".  i think of it like free throws in basketball, or approaching the batters box in baseball...i can definitely see the value in developing a rythm and getting in a groove.

i am probably better about practicing the right way at the beginning of my range sessions moreso than at the end.

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I thought about this after I posted it, but I guess it would depend on what you're working on.  I mean, if you're working on something specific and are just trying to "groove" it (like Golfingdad) I guess it wouldn't make a lot of sense to go through the entire pre-shot routine every time.

It still amazes me how many golfers show up at the range and just hit-hit-hit (some of them with just the driver and nothing else).

I was getting in that habit for a while, and it got REALLY bad at one point.  I could burn through 100 golf balls about half an hour and have video evidence that it did little to help my swing.

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I've become militant about practice. I practice between 2-4 times a week in my basement dependent on family needs. About 30-45 mins per and rarely more than 20 balls. Lots of practice swings and feels per ball. Dedicated to not sucking anymore lol. Lots of work to be done and none of it can be accomplished thru machine gunning balls. A little discipline can go a LONG way.
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Good grief. I barely practice. Now they want me to practice properly?! Nope. Probably one of many reasons that I'll never be very good at this silly game! :-(
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When I practice I use alignment sticks so I don't go behind the ball to pick a target on each shot. I do not just hit balls, for each shot I'm working on something, during each practice session I hit between a 100 to 150 ball. I usually practice two to three times ever week during the off season.

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This depends on the type of drill. If I'm doing a tempo drill, the answer is no: I tee up six driver shots side by side and walk down the line and hit a shot about every 8 seconds, I'm not doing a full pre-shot routine.

Same if I'm trying to get the speed right on lag putts.

If I'm practicing a full shot, then yes, I line it up by the numbers.

I suspect Breed may have been exaggerating to enourage precision. Too many players  machine-gun a 60-ball bucket in 15 minutes and call it practice.

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I always use alignment rods as well. I will work on one swing thought and go from there as I progress. Then I always use about a dozen balls and then I act like I am playing the course. At this time I take my time and act like im on the course. I use my pre-shot routine and try to not think of anything when i swing except just a smooth tempo.
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Even if Breed advice is sound it wont matter.

If your technique is flawed you cant expect that would work to produce scores you want.

you still will blow up holes and the score will be about the same.


You can practice to improve technique or target pratice.
just not both at the same time.

when your technique becomes more solid you do more target practice.

either way your scores go down.

Having bad technique and doing target practice isnt a good idea IMO.

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52% say they practice correctly? 5.2% would be closer to more accurate. Seriously.

I've posted some things - both the "5 S" thread and some videos in my My Swing thread - showing how to practice effectively. Virtually nobody does this.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

Good grief. I barely practice. Now they want me to practice properly?!

Nope. Probably one of many reasons that I'll never be very good at this silly game!

+1

But I would be proud to play your handicap (also a bit proud to play mine )

I only go to the range to warm up. Play a lot of practice rounds.

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I voted rarely.  Not due to intent, but more from lack of knowledge.  I take the poll to partiallly mean,  "are you ingraining (practicing) the correct movements?"  To this I would answer, "Not sure."  That is why I voted rarely.

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Originally Posted by 14ledo81

I voted rarely.  Not due to intent, but more from lack of knowledge.  I take the poll to partiallly mean,  "are you ingraining (practicing) the correct movements?"  To this I would answer, "Not sure."  That is why I voted rarely.

I think you might have misinterpreted the poll question.  It wasn't so much about whether you are "ingraining the correct movements" as it is ingraining a solid, repeatable pre-shot routine.  Unless that's what you mean by "movements".  It's not about the swing or correcting any mistakes in the swing--that's an entirely different issue.

A few people have suggested that taking your time with every shot on the range, going through the entire pre-shot routine just like you were on the course, is a waste of time if your swing itself is flawed.  I have to say I disagree.  The idea that you can't ingrain a pre-shot routine until your swing is flawless is admitting that you don't think a pre-shot routine is even necessary, in my opinion.

As far as I'm concerned, it's like telling someone if they have a flaw in their backswing they shouldn't be worrying about their stance.  The pre-shot routine is a fundamental part of the swing, just as the stance and grip are a part of the swing, in my opinion.

"This consistency is what makes the pre-shot routine a crucial psychological tool. Because the goal in golf, whether a 3-foot putt or a tee ball, is to create a consistent, repeatable swing, it is a great advantage to program your mind to signal your body to make this motion in a consistent manner. The reason every professional golfer utilizes this powerful tool before every shot is they understand this fundamental truth: the pre-shot routine pre-sets your mind and body for success. Don't underestimate its importance, as non-professional players too often do."  -- Tom Patri

http://www.mentalgamecoaching.com/IMGCAArticles/Golf/PreShotRoutine2.html

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Originally Posted by dave67az

I think you might have misinterpreted the poll question.  It wasn't so much about whether you are "ingraining the correct movements" as it is ingraining a solid, repeatable pre-shot routine.  Unless that's what you mean by "movements".  It's not about the swing or correcting any mistakes in the swing--that's an entirely different issue.

A few people have suggested that taking your time with every shot on the range, going through the entire pre-shot routine just like you were on the course, is a waste of time if your swing itself is flawed.  I have to say I disagree.  The idea that you can't ingrain a pre-shot routine until your swing is flawless is admitting that you don't think a pre-shot routine is even necessary, in my opinion.

As far as I'm concerned, it's like telling someone if they have a flaw in their backswing they shouldn't be worrying about their stance.  The pre-shot routine is a fundamental part of the swing, just as the stance and grip are a part of the swing, in my opinion.

I meant that I am not sure of exactly "how" to fix my own swing flaws.  I may think I am doing the correct things to fix them, but they may very well be wrong.  Similar to learning anything without the proper instruction.

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