Practice Tips from Alf Callowhill
06 MAR 2020
First of all, most practice sessions are different than a warm-up. When you head to the range before your round, you’re typically trying to get the body ready and find a feel and ball flight for the day. In this case, I’d recommend finishing the session by playing three holes in your mind (#1,#2,#3 Copperhead for instance) and hitting shots to the targets as a way to prime yourself for the round and that nervous first tee shot.
But we are here to talk about practice. I like to break it down into four specific segments:
1) Determine the Goal
Let’s say the three options for your goal are Technical, Performance or Maintenance. I’d recommend the majority of your practice during the season to be Performance-based (testing, games, competition) and the least of your practice to be Technical-based.
For this example, I’m going to focus on Performance and I’m going to play the 36 Shot Challenge (found HERE).
For most people, I’d recommend doing a dynamic warm-up before you start hitting balls as I prefer to be ready to move for the first ball strike rather than warming up by hitting 25 balls. The idea is to be ready once you play the game.
3) Complete the Task
In this case, I play the 36 Shot Challenge. I’m probably hitting one ball every 45-60 seconds as I’m not trying to rush through the game. When I test myself, I’m trying to get in the same frame of mind as when I compete on the course. If I can, I’d like to make the practice more difficult than the actual game, although nothing is better than actually playing on the course.
Record your score. Make some notes on how you felt or what your swing feel was. You can also make notes on your mental or emotional awareness during the practice. If you had a particularly good session, write down any swing keys or thoughts that you had. These notes can prove to be useful during the inevitable tough periods of the season.
One last thought: ditch the phone. This is your time to practice and train in an effort to reach your goals. Take the phone out of your pocket and leave it in your bag on silent.
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