Not many of us have managed to play much golf over the past week due to the incessant rain, so I took to the Internet to get some inspiration for my weekly blog and stumbled upon a short, sharp article in Golf Monthly in which Neil Tappin outlines some of the approaches that tour players take that ordinary club golfers don’t.
Here are the points he makes:
Properly Warming Up
We all know how important a warm-up is but how many of us actually do it? How many of us also warm-up before heading to the range or practice ground? I guess not many and that could limit your effectiveness and limit your game. The pros always stretch and warm-up sufficiently to make sure they are ready to hit balls properly.
100-Yard Pitching Technique
The pros will rarely hit a flat-out pitch shot with their most lofted club in the bag mainly because it takes away some of their control which is vital when around the greens. What the pros do is take a little bit speed off the swing to have more control over the ball flight within 100 yards.
Knowing Where They Cannot Miss
When building strategy for a hole the pros are very good at knowing where they absolutely cannot hit the ball. This is how they keep the big scores off their cards.
Start Lines When Putting
The pros are meticulous about making sure that when they are putting, they are starting the ball on the right line. They do so by using training aids and training techniques to make sure they aren’t pulling or pushing putts and you can do the same with simple gate drills and aids.
Understanding Your Game
The pros always have a clear idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are which gives them a framework on what to work on in practice and helps them build a strategy when out on the course. Amateurs could do with understanding their games more and then implementing what they know into practice on the range and on the course.
These days pros have a clear idea on how important the mental side of the game is because it controls everything and has an impact on performance on the course. The question is – are you doing work to try and improve our mental game? There are lots of things you can do to train yourself here, such as pressure practice, performance practice and also looking at how you process a round of golf.
Visualising The Shot You Want To Play
Seeing the shot in your head is something the pros do on every single shot they are faced with, but amateurs rarely do this. Doing so can help narrow your focus and give you a clear idea on the shot you want to play. It can also be hugely beneficial to your game because it acts as a positive mental rehearsal for your shot.
Practising With Purpose
Going to the range and just hitting balls without any clear objective is pretty much a waste of time. The pros are very good at making sure their practice sessions have a point to them and a clear idea on what they are trying to achieve. Additionally, performance practice can help create the same pressure situations that you experience out on the course too.
The pros clean their clubs after every shot they hit, not just the wedges. They know that anything trapped between the face and the ball will affect the outcome in terms of spin, distance, and so many other variables. Cleaning your club before you hit will create a more reliable and consistent outcome.
So, that should give each of us something to work on over the coming weeks and months, so we’re ready to start the new season with a new attitude!