My Golf Practice Diary
Below is my golf practice diary. I’m the creator of the Golf Drills Practice Planner which has hundreds of professional golf practice drills to choose from. I hope that sharing my diary will help inspire you to keep your own diary.
In today’s practice, I focused on the following areas:
I’ve been working on releasing early at the top of the swing versus spinning out with the shoulders at home and in the gym. The swing feels sustainable because the early release feeling massively reduces the pressure on my back. I had a back operation several years ago, so have to build a back-friendly swing.
At one point during today’s practice, I laughed out loud because the shots were so consistently good and felt effortless (someone else was on the range and probably thought I was mad).
I can see why Jack Nicklaus was such an evangelist for the early release from the top as a “feel”. When looking at Jack’s swing, you won’t see an early release. It’ll look like a late release. But what you feel, and what you actually do during the swing, and two completely different entities. This is why most of the time it’s so important to “exaggerate the feel” you’re after.
Pick A Go-To Shape
When I played college golf, I never had a go-to “shape”. I kinda just tried to hit the ball straight. Crazy. Yes, I know. During today’s practice, I was determined to “pick a go-to shape”, and I picked a draw. This is my natural shot. Today I felt confident that my ball would draw every time.
With the driver, I’m allowing a 10 to 15-yard draw as my go-to shot, so that I can aim down the right and know with fair certainty that the ball will draw.
Knowing I’m going to draw the ball opens up 50% more fairway than trying to hit it straight. And that obviously makes the game much easier.
One-Shot Every 4 Minutes
One of Mike’s tips is to only hit one shot every 4 minutes when on a range.
This helps simulate playing on the course (walking between shots). I applied the 4 minutes per shot routine today and loved it. During the 4 minutes between shots, I would either stretch, visualize the shot from behind the ball, take slow-motion practice swings to ingrain the feel I was after or nibble on a banana.
I have to say with no exaggeration that the “4 minutes per shot” routine was a bit of a revelation. It made the practice more deliberate, more fun, and less physically demanding.
4 Part Formula
I implemented this 4 part formula on every shot:
1) Behind The Ball
Get behind the ball and practice the swing needed for the shot.
2) Duplicate the FEEL
Over the ball, I simply duplicated the FEEL of the practice swing with ZERO verbal commands.
3) Hold The Finish
If the ball went where I intended, I watched the ball land and stuck the finish for a few seconds. This replayed the good FEELING. It imprinted the good feeling directly into my DNA.
4) Post-shot Practice Swings
If the ball didn’t go where I intended, I made a few practice swings until I made the swing I wanted.
60 Degree Wedge: 85 Yards
Before it rained I managed to hit enough balls on the practice ground (not the range) to be able to measure the maximum distance I can hit my 60-degree wedge (with 90% swing power).
It was 85 yards.
The next time I get to the practice range, I’ll measure the distances I hit for my 56 and 52-degree wedges. I will then hit shots with all three wedges to find my favourite wedge distance (e.g. 90 yards), so I can hit to those distances on Par fives and short Par fours.