The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

Today I am going to discuss practicing, that thing that we all do to improve our games. Everything I am going to talk about today, pertains to people that have played the game for awhile. Certainly, anybody who is just starting to play golf is going to have to hit balls and practice to learn the game. The biggest myth about practicing, is that there is a way to bring your range game to the golf course. In fact there are books and articles that say, let me show you how to bring your range game to the golf course. These same people, probably have some nice swamp land in Florida, that they would like to sell.  Let me just say, so everyone can end their frustration, that it is impossible to bring your practice range swing to the golf course.  What would you think of an article that would claim that it would show how to bring your interstate driving into the neighborhood. You would think that the author of that particular article had lost their mind. Thats the way to look at practice. On the range you are hitting shots every 40 to 60 seconds even if you are taking your time. On the golf course you are lucky if you are taking shots every 5 minutes and sometimes the time between shots will be even longer. There are so many differences between hitting balls at a range, and hitting them playing golf that there is not enough space in this blog  to go through them. Its just like driving your car on the interstate at 65 to 75 miles an hour in open or even somewhat conjested traffic and getting off the interstate and driving in your local neighborhood. If you even tried driving 65 to 70 miles an hour you would either get arrested or kill somebody before you got very far. This idea of practice not equating with results is not new. Even the pros will talk after a really low round that at the pactice tee they couldn’t seem to do anything right but then when they got to the first tee something just clicked and they started to hit the ball great. The reverse will be true when somebody else has a bad last round and talks about how great they were hitting it on the range and then when they got on the first tee everything just fell apart. Even in other sports you will hear the losing football coach talk about how his team seemed to have a great week of practice only to be blown out 31 to 7. Players get very frustrated when they have a really have a good session at the range the night before and then when they play, the game just gets worse as the day progresses. So forget it, practicing is not going to automatically make you into a better player and it is not surprising. You should play a least 3 times as much as you practice if you want to have any chance of improving. Its not that your practicing wrong or the wrong things, its that you can not fool your brain into thinking that the two things, playing and practicing have anything to do with each other. The brain knows that when you hit a bad shot on the practice tee that you are going to pick another ball up and make the adjustment right away without moving. On the golf course you are going to have to chase that errant shot and the next time you have exactly that same shot may be 24 holes from now. So should we practice at all. Of course we should and in the next blog I will tell you how to get the most out of it and what the true benefits of practicing are.

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One Response to The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

  1. brianpenn says:

    Love your analogy about driving on the interstate/neighborhood; makes total sense and I completely agree about the frequency of the swings on the range not matching up to that of the course and how hitting balls every 40-60 seconds does not simulate game condition. On the other hand, I’ve found that hitting 100 3-foot putts the day before I play and taking care to execute my standard pre-shot routine on every one very much helps my confidence over the short ones in the subsequent round. if you could address in your practice post, I’d be most interested. Thanks!

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