How to practice: Working through the bag

Published 15/04/2010 08:00:15

If you get the opportunity to attend a Tour event, either side of the pond, you will notice how meticulously the players prepare for their forthcoming rounds while on the practice range. The following two-part guide demonstrates the best ways to practice before a competitive round - even if it's just you and your mates.


Pre-round practice routine

Begin by removing all the clubs from your bah and laying them out in ascending order on the ground. Starting with your lob or sand wedge, work through your lineup of clubs hitting three or four shots with each. Now hit five shots with your driver, as you will probably need to use this regularly on the course.

When you have finished this process , go back and hit a few more shots with any particular club that you did not really feel comfortable with.

To finish, hit a series of wedge shots to your ideal lay-up yardage. This helps you feel comfortable hitting wedges from 100 yards in, which is a key area that will have a huge bearing on your momentum when you reach the course.


Half wedge shots

One of the hardest shots you can face on the course is the half wedge shot. Making a soft, compact swing and a crisp strike to find the perfect distance requires nerves of steel. As you are more than likely to face this tricky scenario at some stage during your round, it is worth preparing for it whilst practising on the driving range.

Hit five or six shots to a target that lies around 50 yards away. As the pressure is off you should find a clean strike easier to achieve. This simple drill helps you set a positive mindset for a tricky shot once you are on the course.


Hold your finish

Many amateurs hit one ball on the range after the other, without taking the care to see where they end up. But if you watch each shot, you gain a feel for how you are striking the ball and how it is travelling - for instance the current wind conditions or the club you are using.

Hold your finish position until the ball lands, because this also promotes a rhyhmical, balanced swing.


Sensible practice

Make sure that you do not speed through this process too quickly and resist the temptation to hit too many balls. You need to get to the first tee fresh and full of energy - but also free from mental doubt and anxiety.

Part 2 of this guide is coming soon - stay tuned by subscribing to our email newsletter or our RSS feed . Alternatively, follow us on Twitter .


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