Practice Like You Play

There is a saying that the longest 100 yards in golf is from the practice tee to the first tee.  Reason for this is that there are NO signals on the practice tee but there are many on the golf course that you are playing.  Another reason may be that on the golf course we have ONE ball and the success rate goes down significantly.  On the practice range with multiple balls the success rate is increased greatly, which makes us at ease while practicing.  Most golfers then on the range will hit multiple shots with the same club trying to groove that particular club for the apparent usage on the golf course.  While this strategy is not faulty, it does not although set us up for a better ONE ball success rate on the course.  Change your practice strategy on the practice tee to increase your ONE ball success rate.

You can actually play a round of golf on the practice tee, using your imagination to lay out a course, going through your pre-shot routine and hitting the shots required given the situation you have created.  Place your bag next to your hitting station with the full compliment of clubs you would use on the course.  Try to avoid just bringing a couple of clubs to your practice session.  The hole you might be playing should have specific yardage; it might be an actual hole you have played, one you have seen or heard about.

Say it’s a 420 yard par four that’s a slight dogleg to the right.  You choose your driver and attempt a fade; you catch it solidly but drifts just outside the boundaries of your imaginary fairway, coming to rest in the right rough.  You have 140 yards left to the green but you have to hit the ball high over the trees that guard the dogleg.

A seven iron does the job and you finish high and let it fly over the trees but just short of the green.  You’re left with a medium trajectory pitch shot of about 20 yards which you hit to four feet and make it four your par.  Next is a dogleg left 540 yard par five with water down the left side.  Picture these holes on your head with great imagination to effectively play out an imaginary hole.

This strategy will help prepare you for a better ONE ball success rate and should ultimately lower your scores in return.   Have fun and the best of luck!