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Crim

The how do YOU Practice? Thread.

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One thing I've noticed over my first year of being on this forum, is the disparity of how people practice.

I've seen some people say they start with 7 iron, some say they hit one ball per minute, some say three per minute, some don't stretch, etc.

This is me. You can be way more descriptive then mine.

Light stretch, maybe just a few minutes. I'll then take out the PW and hit 4 or 5 nice and easy 1/2 swing shots. If I have a lot of time, I'll go through each and every club. Otherwise I'll go from the PW to 7iron. I don't really notice how fast I'm going through the balls, but I know it's probably too fast and have to force myself to slow down sometimes.

From 7 iron I go to 5 iron. I really like to experiment with stance, grip, and ball position with the 5 iron because it's a great height and speed for me to get an idea of what the ball is doing.  If shots aren't going the way I want them to, I'll hit easy half swings to get the feeling of good contact again.

Since my woods and driver are usually what get me in trouble, I've been trying to spend a lot more time on these.

The only time I work on pitching, chipping, sand shots and putting is on the course. I'll generally pick a time really early in the morning, a couple times a week, and I'll go to the local par 27 and work on my short game. Obviously if someone is behind me I won't but 90% of the time I'm good. I won't stand there and rep a bunch of 3 foot putts, I use the course time to get a good feel of the greens and lag putting. I can practice short putting in my garage.

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I think the only consistent thing about my routine is it is inconsistent, although I stick with some basic principles, like slow practicing moves without a ball and video. We talk about routines but sometimes things change up at the range that make you adjust. I learned a lot about how to video myself this season. Getting real good with making best use of a camera, really wore it out. Taking vids middle to end of session is what works for me. Figuring out which to keep, which to delete, hand signals to indicate flight, etc...
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I learned a lot about how to video myself this season. Getting real good with making best use of a camera, really wore it out. Taking vids middle to end of session is what works for me. Figuring out which to keep, which to delete, hand signals to indicate flight, etc...

Nice! yes I need to video myself more. Have you noticed a big difference since watching your swing a lot? Can you make necessary changes pretty quickly?

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Crim,

I'm a lot like you. Here is my typical workout...

• Start with gap wedge and then hit 3-4 balls in order to my 4 iron.

• Then, I hit 3-4 balls with my hybrid, 4 wood, and 3 wood.

• Next, 3 balls with my 3 wood off of a tee.

• Then, I hit as many drivers as I need to feel comfortable.

• Finally, I hit 10 balls with my lob wedge, aiming at different targets.

(I like to use the lob wedge as a cool down from the driver, similar to an exercise cool down routine.)

****************

I have a second routine

• Hit a few short irons, mid irons, fairway woods, and driver (just to loosen up)

• Visualize the course I will be playing the next day, and play the shots from tee to green in order

(Example: hole #1 at my local club: hit 3 wood off of the tee, then visualize what club might be next, [8 iron to pitching wedge], based on ball flight of first shot. Then proceed to the second hole.)

NOTE: this normally takes about 36-40 balls since half of your shots on a course are putts.

****************

Short game routine

I like how you go to a par 3 to work on the short game, and I have done that many times. I also have a range in my area with a short game area, and that is even better. I have also gone to isolated areas of our public parks to hit short game shots.

When my daughter was on the high school golf team, we decided to put a synthetic putting green in the back yard.  We did it ourselves by following directions that I found online that included putting in drains and a limestone foundation. It took time to do it, but since we did the work ourselves, the synthetic green did not cost a lot of money, and reduced the time that I had to cut grass in my yard. Since we had room in the yard, there was also a chipping area that was functional. (I do have to admit that my wife made us use a mat to chip after we made numerous divots.) The first green lasted 12 years, and then last summer I installed a new one with some minor improvements.

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It varies depending on what I worked on at my last lesson, but it's generally along these lines. - A few minutes of stretching (mainly back and shoulders). - 10-15 balls with either my gap and/or pitching wedge, usually start with 1/2 swings and work up to full swings. - 40-50 balls replicating the drills at my last lesson, specific drills vary of course but they typically inovle a 7 iron, 3/4 swing, focusing on one aspect of my swing. - 20-30 balls with my driver. usually start with 1/2 swings and feet together and slowly work up to full swing with a normal address. - if I have any balls left, I'll hit to a few to targets with a handful of clubs. Usually I'll go PW, 8i, 6i, 4H, 5W and 3W. Short game practice is much more hit or miss for me but it usually just involves chipping/pitching in my backyard. One little drill that I've found helpful is a "ladder" drill that my instuctor showed me, basically you take 3 balls and try to pitch each one slightly farther then the one before.
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[LIST] [*] Start by stretching quickly. [*] Hit a few shots with my wedges, move up to my 8-iron, 6-iron, 3-iron. No video, just trying to make good swings, building on whatever I'm working on. [*] Take out the 6-iron, video a few swings. [*] Check the video to see if I'm on the right track. [*] Continue what I was doing or make necessary corrections. [*] The range I've been going to recently is irons only, otherwise I'd end with some drivers. If I need to make driver-specific changes, I'll go through the same progression that I did with the 6-iron. [/LIST]
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I have two different practice modes

At home I work on Evlovr drills ... at least for 20-30 minutes off of a mat and hitting practice type balls ... they so far have been basically half swings, just ingraining the motion.

About once I week I go to the range to hit real balls.  I usually start with a wedge and work my to a driver ... then I mix and match from there.

Putting is done at home on my putting green ...

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Stretch with two long irons held together, Miguel style
Left arm only swings, no ball
Slow takeaway, hips forward drills
Small swings with teed up PW, square pinch style, just make good contact.
GW, 8i off mat (yuck)

Then I move to driver fairly quick in my routine, I want to get to that club with some energy, waiting until the end is very wrong IMO.

I hit for targets from here on, not just hitting balls, always a target.

I go driver until I hit my spot, no more than a few balls, then hybrid/long iron, mid iron, wedge, I play holes, mixing up the clubs, but never more than a few balls per distance.

I finish with small chips/pitches, again, always a target.

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It depends if it is a complete practice session (no round of golf following) or a small bucket before a round.

Before a round

- I get a 25 ball bucket (around here, most courses have a small bucket where they hand count 25 balls)

- Stretch a little

- Hit 3 little chip shot with 60 wedge

- Hit 2 full swing with 60 wedge

- Hit 5 ball with 9 iron (2 half swings, 3 full swings)

- Hit 5 ball with 6 iron (only full swings)

- Hit 5 ball with 5 wood (only full swings)

- Hit 5 ball with driver (only full swings)

I only use this practice time to get "used" to different club length before teeing off. I saw overtime, that when I tee off without this small routine before, my first hit with a certain length of club, I usually miss hit (fat/thin/whatever). With this small practice, I usually score 2 to 3 shots lower on the first 3 holes (computed stats for my local course with and without this practice, 2.84 strokes difference in first 3 holes (par 5, par 3 and par 4), while the reste of the round is pretty similar (0.4 strokes difference). So simply getting used to hitting with various length seems to help me.

For a full practice, I usually take one or 2 big buckets, depending on how much time I have to spend at the range, and the only thing I do consistently, is I start with my 6 iron until I can hit 5 good shots in a row with it (to my standards, that are probably quite low for some of you). +/- 10 yards horizontal dispersion from my target line, and at least 140 yards of distance (I usually get around 160 with a good hit, so I give myself a 20 yards margin). After that, I usually switch to the clubs which I had problems recently on the course. Once I start to hit well with a club, I switch to another club I had problems with. At the end, I keep the last 5 balls (10 if I took 2 buckets) for chip shots practice.

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I was able, with the aid of another web site, to set up a practice area, that allows me to hit shots 20, 40,  55, 75, 90, 125, and 155 yards. The balls fly to the same landing area which is composed of blow sand, and is about 2500 square feet in diameter. I suppose I could even add a 175 yarder in there if I wanted. The blow sand does not allow much roll, so I get a good idea on my carry with the clubs I use.

My practice area has hazards, in the form of a block building, trees, shrubs, make shift bunkers, and a dry wash that is my water hazard....when flash flooding occurs.  I can also practice short chips, and pitches as needed. Due to the lack of turf, except for my sandy lies, I hit everything off of a mat. The only real issue I have is I can't practice my putting. About 40 feet away from my landing area is a 120' drop off into a dry wash. If I miss my landing area, there is always a good chance with the longer shots the ball will go over the cliff.

I can even practice uneven lies as needed.

After some stretching I start out with the shorter shots, and progress to the longest shot. After that, I start hitting from different distances every couple of shots.

Another thing I sometimes do, is when I am out hiking, I will take a piece of small matting, my trusty, well used, 6i, and some golf balls and hike down a dry wash, hitting balls as I go. The 6i is not part of my gamer set. I just pick a target, and swing for it. That is usually an 8 mile walk, round trip for me

Hitting off a mat is not a good way to practice, but it is better than nothing.

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For the 4 years I was playing golf before August 1, 2014 -

Hack at balls like a wild man trying to manage 25+ swing thoughts simultaneously and hope I got better. Through sheer number of reps and athletic ability I became a mid 80s golfer, but hit a wall about two years ago.

After August 1 -

Stretch for 5 minutes.

Work on two specific drills suggested to me through evolvr to eliminate lateral hip movement-

1) Place semi-deflated basketball between left hip and wall and take backswings focusing on full hip rotation, preventing ball from falling to ingrain the feeling of no lateral hip movement. Do this for 30 minutes a night 3 days a week.

2) Put ball away and try to mimic same motion in space at 1/4 speed of normal swing. Do this with camera to see progress. 30 minutes or so. Hit wiffle balls.

When I go to the range once or twice a week, I'll only get a bucket of like 50 balls and make it last for two hours by working on drill 2 and hitting half swings. The final 15 or so balls I hit full shots. All on camera. They look better but still not good enough.

Also work on maintaining constant grip pressure with stronger grip in fingers and keep proper stance (feet flared and narrower).

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Most of my practice is done off the range.

For the full swing, once I know the specific piece I need to work on, I'll practice drills in the comfort of my living room. There are a lot of drills you can perform without holding a club in your hands. It's also important to monitor your movements periodically with a mirror. I'll usually work on a motion by doing slow motion movements, exaggerating the feels I need to work on, and I'll do it often (often is an understatement. I do it all the time and almost everywhere I go). @Lihu has seen me do some of this type of work.

Once or twice a day, I'll go outside with a club and do the same type of practice. I used to hit balls into a net before my net broke, so now I just make practice swings. Once a week or so, I'll go to the driving range to film my progress. When I do that, I'll always warm up with a good stretching routine, followed by swinging my Orange Whip Trainer. When I'm loose, I'll go into whatever I planned on working on for the day. I'll film periodically through the session and check my film to see if I need to make any adjustments to what I'm doing. I'll take any adjustments I need home and repeat the cycle.

For short game and putting, I don't have to do the slow motion movements because I'm pretty comfortable with where my mechanics are at. I have to practice these in a practice area a a course because I need to practice how shots will behave on the course. If I'm having problems with my mechanics, though, the slow motion stuff at home works great.

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I play golf.

Same here. Probably to my detriment. I keep saying that I need to practice more but I keep ending up on the course instead. :-P

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Nice! yes I need to video myself more. Have you noticed a big difference since watching your swing a lot? Can you make necessary changes pretty quickly?

I can make changes relatively quickly but I forget them quickly too. The camera is great at reminding you of that. To get myself to stop turning the shoulders at 90 degrees it has been very useful. I have to feel like I'm taking way less turn than I feel I have to. I don't think I could have shortened my swing without a camera.

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Then how do you work on your Key #1 piece? ;-)

Poorly, I'm afraid. :8)

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I try to do mirror work at my work gym everyday for at least a few minutes.  I work on the drills I get from my Evolvr lessons.  I also have a golf specific fitness workout that I use as part of my overall weight training workout.

When I go to the range, I work on the drills for the most part with slow swings.  I will work up to full speed, but generally only do a few of those.  I average about 1 range session a week during the season.  I will do short game work if time allows, but that is more of a strength for me, so I focus on my priority piece first.

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