How To Practice “Right” on the Range with Less Practice Balls!

by Max on Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

If you asked me how to practice “right” on the range with less practice balls, you could probably start learning by hitting 1 golf ball over and over as I showed you couple years back.

Seriously though, that’s only going to get  you far enough to get good at hitting a trick shot and even more seriously, let me tell you how to practice “right” on the range with less practice balls.

First of all, something interesting happened to me today.  I hit up the grass range today and started making some horrendous, humongous divots.   I’ve actually been doing this for awhile now, all through this year and especially on the golf course.

Before when I used to strike the ball pure, I barely even made any divots nor did I feel nothing else but the clubhead hitting smack in the square of the golf ball, nothing else, perhaps few hairs of grass.

Anyways, I’ve been sorta mindlessly banging balls on the range for quite awhile.  Of course, hitting a lot of balls can help to you a certain extent but after you reach a certain level, you need to focus on “quality”, not “quantity”.

I’ve just realized that even me, myself, I love hitting a jumbo bucket every time I go out on the range (135 balls) but today because I also had a dinner appointment to make, I hit a regular (90 balls) bucket.

Because I had limited number of golf balls, I had to make the most of each ball.

So, this is how I hit every golf ball since I could only hit 90 balls today:
(also “how to practice with quality”)

1. Visualize the flight of your ball.

2. Make two practice swings thinking about what you are working on such as I want to not “dip” my whole body on the backswing.

3. Align, get comfortable, hit the ball.

4. Analyze your results.  If you hit it perfectly straight and at your target, pat yourself on the back.  If you didn’t, make a mental note of what you did wrong such as big divot, banana slice, duck hook, etc…etc…

5. Repeat from 1 to 4 for about 5 to 10 balls and if you are doing something wrong , you should see a pattern here.   Really take a long pause and try to analyze what you did wrong, you should be able to find it.

For me, that pattern was that I was making these huge divots plus it hurt my hands because my clubhead digged so much into the ground.

So, I stopped after 10 golf balls and analyzed what the heck was I doing.   I went through my “check list” of things that can go wrong.

Usually, fat shots mean that I didn’t do a proper takeaway, perhaps not rotating my clubhead to the right enough.  But the thing was, I was doing that properly, I’ve been really focusing on my takeaway for the last whole week!

So, then I thought it was perhaps my follow-through, I tried couple different follow-throughs (such as swinging a bit more inside-out) but still same result.

Next, I tried changing my backswing a bit flatter, perhaps I was swinging too vertically?

I kept making HUGE divots.   Then, it hit me!  While I was trying to change my backswing to be a bit flatter, I noticed that on my backswing, I would dip my shoulders about 3-4 inches so I can get into position, or at least it felt naturally comfortable for me to do that.

I have absolutely no idea how I started dipping my shoulders (or the whole upper body) that much.  I think perhaps because I haven’t took a video of myself lately.  (which I despise to do so, I think video should be only reflection of your results, you shouldn’t use video to fix your swing although I have been guilty of doing that most of my life.  Trust me, video drives you nuts!)

Finally, I started getting my backswing in the correct motion of rotation without dipping.  Immediately, I noticed that I no longer made those weird, thick divots but very shallow ones and none for my longer irons.

Later today, I was up at my parent’s house and went into the swimming pool to also practice the correct motion.

It’s actually a really good exercise to really feel the correct backswing.  Or if you can imagine yourself standing in a pool with just your chin touching the top of the water, then try to make a backswing with your whole body turn without getting your nose wet.

I know, I was crazy and I actually just did this about 100 times in my parent’s pool and I think I’ve got the correct motion going.

I’ve actually never had this problem of dipping my shoulders on the backswing but I believe while I took couple years from golf, somehow my body picked up some bad golf moves.

Anyways, tomorrow will be a huge day to really get my golf swing together, I feel like I am almost there, back where when I was shooting 4 or 5 under par.   Well, it’s always work in progress.

And yeah, don’t forget the next time you go out on the range, buy less balls, I bet you will try harder on every shot.

P.S.  One more tip, if you are hitting your ball wayward and simply cannot figure out what the heck you are doing wrong, try doing a “slow-motion” swing very, very, very slowly. (without hitting a ball of course)

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