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chief523

Can you practice too much?

6 posts in this topic

I recently started going to the driving range after not playing for a few years and on and off for the past 9 years(not seriously, except for a year or so). Been to the range 5 times with the 4th time being yesterday and 5th this morning. Topping has been my problem but yesterday I felt great, and out of 90 balls I topped 5-10, some thin shots, some clean shots.

Figured I go again today and I started out pretty well, but by the middle-end of the bucket I was topping a lot of shots. Not sure if I got impatient or lazy, but it was definitely frustrating. I plan on playing a 9 hole in a few days, should I just hit a few balls at the range right before?

Thanks

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Originally Posted by chief523

I recently started going to the driving range after not playing for a few years and on and off for the past 9 years(not seriously, except for a year or so). Been to the range 5 times with the 4th time being yesterday and 5th this morning. Topping has been my problem but yesterday I felt great, and out of 90 balls I topped 5-10, some thin shots, some clean shots.

Figured I go again today and I started out pretty well, but by the middle-end of the bucket I was topping a lot of shots. Not sure if I got impatient or lazy, but it was definitely frustrating. I plan on playing a 9 hole in a few days, should I just hit a few balls at the range right before?

Thanks

I think there is such a thing as too much practice, but it really depends on the quality of the practice. If you are working on drills and actually having "constructive" practice sessions then you can probably go as much as your body can hold up to. However, if you are out there just swinging away then you may be ingraining some poor habits or just wearing yourself out with no real benefit.

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Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop

I think there is such a thing as too much practice, but it really depends on the quality of the practice. If you are working on drills and actually having "constructive" practice sessions then you can probably go as much as your body can hold up to. However, if you are out there just swinging away then you may be ingraining some poor habits or just wearing yourself out with no real benefit.

Agreed.  Just constantly going to the range to hit balls, with no actual plan, can certainly be detrimental to your game.  And I also agree that if you are practicing well, (like this: http://thesandtrap.com/t/54840/simple-specific-slow-short-and-success-the-five-s-s-of-great-practice/0_30 ) then you can go to the range every day, or multiple times a day - so long as you are ALWAYS practicing like that  - and be productive.

Personally, I find that if I go every day, I start to lose a little focus.  There is some going thru the motions that starts to creep in, and once I am doing that, I am wasting my time.  Ideally, I'd go practice (or play) every other day.  Doesn't always work that way, but I try.

So the bottom line, to me, is that as long as you have a plan each time out, and can stay focused each time, then there should be nothing stopping you from going as often as you want.

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I agree with the other comments already posted, and add to always practice with a purpose. Once you achieve that purpose, then stop for the day or for a while. For instance if you hit 5 or so in a row the way you want, then quit and end on that positive note. Also if you practice a long session and are not achieving the purpose, stop for a while and refocus.
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You need to consider the fatigue factor in practicing. This involves both fatigue on a given day, and cumulative fatigue over a week of lots of golf activity.

When you're practicing, take a break about every 15 minutes just to let your muscles rest. Be sure to drink water while you're practicing. Some tips on practicing from assorted pros I know:

  • Practice your driver and fairway woods first. These long clubs put the most pressure on your muscles than shorter ones, so go to the "big dogs" after your initial warm-up.
  • It's OK to do form drills, where you hit several shots quickly to work on timing. But, also hit some shots where you line it up, and hit it individually. Switch clubs every few balls. Otherwise, you'll lose your pre-shot routine if you just pound out 10 balls a minute.
  • Fatigue can also be mental. As others have said, practice with purpose. If you get done the day's task, pack it in.
  • You don't have to hit balls to practice. You can work on form drills, stance and set-up at home, even in-doors.

There's also cumulative fatigue. If do golf three days in a row (practice + play), I'm a pretty tired by end of day three. It shows up in more missed shots on day three. If I'm playing two days in a row, I will only hit a small bucket for warm-up on day 2.

If I have time to practice after a round, I will usually eat lunch and rest a little before I start. Then, I try to work on one or two corrective things, and then stop.

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Thanks for all the comments and the link. The 4th time I went I really felt I was being productive, and the next day I felt I was completely wasting my time.

The next time I go to the range I will make sure to have a purpose and not just hitting balls. Since I'm playing a 9 hole this week I'll probably split a small bucket at the range with a friend, take it slow, and focus.

WUTiger: Great info, it seems I was doing the opposite on most of what you wrote haha. Fatigue seemed to be a factor especially toward the middle/end of the bucket, started with my pw, instead of switching clubs every few balls I was trying to hit a few nice shots in a row before I switched.

Will have to see how it goes this week at the course.

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