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Al Vorster

The 4-3-2-1 Practice Drill

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A simple way to simulate the Golf Course pressure on the driving range... Follow these steps to simulate the pressure of the course on the driving range.


Step ONE: After your regular stretches, warm up with 12-15 shots. Hit these shots with a relatively short iron. Small swing with a slightly assertive routine.


Step TWO: Use FOUR golf clubs. Long, medium-long, mid and short. A good combo will be as follows: 9-iron, 7-iron, 5-iron, FW-wood OR driver, 4-iron, 6-iron, 8-iron.


Step THREE: Make groups of golf balls as pictured above: 4-3-2-1.


Step FOUR: Hit four shots with the shortest club (9-iron). Three shots with the mid-club (7-iron). Two shots with the med-long club (5-iron) and lastly one shot with the long club (FW-wood).


It is 10 shots covering various distances. Get the percentage and be true to yourself. 70% is a great result! Why? Note the following… The shorter shots are ‘easier’ as it is clearly an easier club to hit than the 5-iron. So make these shots count and make sure you get on the scoreboard here. You’ll need it later. By the time you get to the last three shots you are hitting more difficult shots and you feel that pressure, as on the course. Also, on the course you are hitting the very long clubs a lot less than the mid and shorter clubs. This simple drill simulates all of that and you are actually practicing with a purpose. Remember to go through your whole routine before every shot. It’s all about taking the course to the range, not the other way around! Go for a specific target and be honest with yourself. Does the shot count or not? This form of practice also takes time, so you are not wasting time by hitting shot after shot and practicing mistakes!

 

Tip-4321.JPG

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This will be a fun way to finish up my practice time at the range.  I do my best to work on very specific parts of my swing each time I am at the range but I do like to have fun and try to hit some shots.  Normally I play (in my head of course) a couple par 3, par 4, and par 5s with my last 30 balls or so.  I hit various shots with irons that would be a par 3 distance at courses I normally play.  Ill aim and hit a driver knowing its a short or long par 4.  I give myself a 3 club swing depending on how good I hit my Driver.  For instance, If I know I am playing an imaginary long par 4, I will think 5, 6, 7 iron in my head.  I will swing my driver and if I hit it short but where I was aiming, ill hit a 6.  If I hit it right where I was aiming and far, Ill hit a 7.  If i missed my line and distance, its a 5.  Then if I dont hit my iron at my aiming point, ill pull a wedge and practice a pitch.  I also do short par 4s and chose like 9, P, G as my iron selections based off my drive.  The par 5 is the same concept but with a 4w, 3h, 4i.  Then I will chose my 3rd shot usually with some very short irons and even GW, 54, 60 sometimes.  

I like to do this method because it gets me to get some practice in with all the clubs and really give me some mental game pressure practice and is also kinda fun too.  I am sure that was all confusing but it makes the range a little more fun for me.  Getting out there and just hitting shots doesn't really do much with the exception of a full swing overhaul like I am going through now.  I am trying to get muscle memory for the new swing so I have had the last few range sessions just working on my standard swing.  I was thinking about my range game last time and am glad I saw this post as I am going to get back to playing some fun stuff at the end of a session

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29 minutes ago, iacas said:

Why not reverse them so you get more work with the more important clubs? Driver, etc.?

I think the driver and longer clubs are certainly important, but the mid and shorter irons are in my book the most important clubs. If I missed the fairway with the driver, I'd like to know that I have a good chance of hitting the green after a recovery, and if I do hit the fairway, I still want to hit the green to try make the birdie. Also, on a course you'll hit driver only 10 or so times where the shorter clubs are hit all the time. Would like to know your thoughts @iacas :)

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33 minutes ago, iacas said:

Why not reverse them so you get more work with the more important clubs? Driver, etc.?

I was actually thinking the same thing, I'm much more confident as the number on the club gets higher. For the most part I don't even pull out the lower clubs at the range other than working on my wedge game.

 

1 minute ago, Al Vorster said:

I think the driver and longer clubs are certainly important, but the mid and shorter irons are in my book the most important clubs. If I missed the fairway with the driver, I'd like to know that I have a good chance of hitting the green after a recovery, and if I do hit the fairway, I still want to hit the green to try make the birdie. Also, on a course you'll hit driver only 10 or so times where the shorter clubs are hit all the time. Would like to know your thoughts @iacas :)

Or, if you worked on the driver more you wouldn't end up missing the fairway as much.

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7 minutes ago, Al Vorster said:

I think the driver and longer clubs are certainly important, but the mid and shorter irons are in my book the most important clubs.

They aren't. I don't want to get off topic in your thread, so I've kept this short, but check out LSW.

7 minutes ago, Al Vorster said:

Would like to know your thoughts @iacas :)

My thoughts are that longer clubs are more important, statistically, quantifiably, etc. There's more "Separation Value" to be had in them.

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13 minutes ago, iacas said:

They aren't. I don't want to get off topic in your thread, so I've kept this short, but check out LSW.

My thoughts are that longer clubs are more important, statistically, quantifiably, etc. There's more "Separation Value" to be had in them.

Agree with iacas :-)

Edited by Jameson

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My experience is if I can make good contact and ball flight with a long club (FW, Dr, down to 5 iron); if I do that and then grab say a 9 iron it is easy to make a good shot with the 9 iron.  For me the opposite is not true.

When I practice with longer clubs I'm improving my ball striking with all clubs.  Makes sense to me to practice more often with the longer clubs.

(Except when I'm working on some specific swing element, then I mostly use a 7 iron, always have.)

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Don't get me wrong here. The purpose of this drill is more to gain mental strength rather than the technique for any club you choose. Since it is harder to hit the last (longest) club, you get only that one chance by the time you get to it to up the % of the result. The idea is that you have already completed your practice with the clubs you are working on and then do this drill to see how that practice relates to a pressure situation simulated on the range.

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Note: This thread is 1553 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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