Practice makes permanent, not perfect

Published 25/08/2009 15:47:32

Every coach or teaching guide in the world will tell you you have to put the hours in on the driving range before you can pull off good shots on the course and get a low handicap. But when is practice good practice and when is it making bad habits permanent?


Get a lesson


If your swing is so errant that you never hit a ball the same way twice, get some lessons from your local pro. Even if it's reasonable but you want to take it further, get some lessons. I'm not in the golf pro's circle and I don't profit from this. But it will save you money and make your game better in the long run. Lessons are expensive true, but you might not need many to save the fundamentals of your game before it's too late.


Work through the bag - not just the driver


Whacking the big stick time and again will leave you sore and probably won't improve your striking all that much. Sure you have to use the club but how many times do you hit it on the course? Don't you use your pitching wedge an awful lot more? Then practice accordingly.

Also remember to hit the clubs you are having most trouble with so you gain confidence with them. Not being confident in a shot on the course will generally result in a poor finish.


Overcompensation can wreak havoc


Have you ever hit a push shot right and decided to aim further left only for your next shot to go so far left you stopped following it? You're overcompensating for an inherent swing problem.

It could be your feet, shoulders, grip or even your swing rotation. But the worst thing to do is to overcompensate and make things worse.


Remember the range isn't a golf course


Range mats can give a false impression of how good your swing is. They're springy and your club won't get buried in them. Fat shots won't be anywhere near as disastrous as on the golf course - where you might take a lump of soil out the ground.

Also the balls used might give you more spin than the ones you're used to.


Film your swing


Get a friend to film your swing if you can. Then you will be able to see the mechanics of your swing and analyse what's going wrong.

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