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zenbudda

On the practice range: Quality vs Quantity

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I'm not sure if my question is more philosophical or scientific in nature (maybe both).  But I keep hearing people say "it's not how many golf balls you hit in a day, it's how much focus you put into each hit that counts" (or something like that).  My response to that is, "how exactly can one quantify what quality focus is on the driving range?".  So let me try to narrate a practice range session:

preface:

75 balls

bag full of clubs

already loosened up (stretch etc)

no wind

normal conditions

practice routine:

pick out 5 balls

grab pw

before hitting each ball, stand behind the ball, find your target line, grip your club comfortably, take an easy swing perpendicular to the target line

staying focused on the target line, approach the ball, staying behind at least 2 club head widths, take your proper posture and stance, and take 2 smooth practice swings, visualizing a smooth swing, perfect contact, and a desired flight path (fade, draw).

line up "on the ball" and take your swing

hit your 5 balls

grab 7/8 iron, repeat

grab 5/6 iron, repeat

grab 3/4 iron, repeat

grab fairway wood, repeat

grab driver, repeat

analyze any flaws you may have witnessed (beginning trajectory, flight path, launch angle, distance, accuracy), and go back through your club selection and focus on correcting those flaws.

go to the practice green with 5-10 balls and chip/putt using same method above.

so, is this quality practice?  thoughts?

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In real golf you get time to walk, joke, laugh, think before your next shot.  It's pretty difficult to keep a steady focus like you describe for each shot consecutively.

I prefer the Fred Shoemaker/Tim Gallwey approach where you try to concentrate on one thing throughout the swing - it could be a dimply on the ball, blade of grass out at the target, intermediate target, trajectory, whatever.  The moments when you fail to concentrate on that 1 thing would be "short circuits" or lapses.  IMHO these often happen at swing transition.

I don't think your routine is wrong but I'm skeptical most people can make the focus equal for ball 1 as ball 75.  In other words it COULD be quality practice but not many seem able to pull that off.

Practicing concentration within the 2 seconds of the golf swing can tell you a lot about your swing and also give the brain time to breathe in between.

You can apply that practice to hitting big hooks, big slices, etc., on purpose.

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I'm not sure if my question is more philosophical or scientific in nature (maybe both).  But I keep hearing people say "it's not how many golf balls you hit in a day, it's how much focus you put into each hit that counts" (or something like that).  My response to that is, "how exactly can one quantify what quality focus is on the driving range?".  So let me try to narrate a practice range session: preface: 75 balls bag full of clubs already loosened up (stretch etc) no wind normal conditions practice routine: pick out 5 balls grab pw before hitting each ball, stand behind the ball, find your target line, grip your club comfortably, take an easy swing perpendicular to the target line staying focused on the target line, approach the ball, staying behind at least 2 club head widths, take your proper posture and stance, and take 2 smooth practice swings, visualizing a smooth swing, perfect contact, and a desired flight path (fade, draw).   line up "on the ball" and take your swing hit your 5 balls grab 7/8 iron, repeat grab 5/6 iron, repeat grab 3/4 iron, repeat grab fairway wood, repeat grab driver, repeat analyze any flaws you may have witnessed (beginning trajectory, flight path, launch angle, distance, accuracy), and go back through your club selection and focus on correcting those flaws. go to the practice green with 5-10 balls and chip/putt using same method above. so, is this quality practice?  thoughts?

That's great if you have the time except for one thing: you didn't mention WHAT you are practicing. What, exactly, is your hypothetical golfer working on?

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Honestly I stop practicing once I have a achieved my goal for that particular exercise. Example if I do weight forward drill and hit 5 or so balls and see on the impact tape the ball is coming off the face where I want it to I stop hit a few with a full swing and move on to something else. I can't imagine hitting 75 for any reason. I the goal has been reached with one club probably not going to change with another. Likewise if I am practicing something and it isn't going well that day I stop.

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