Your 2019 season starts now…

Yes, the 2018 season has only just finished but if you want to make 2019 your best year ever than you should start taking steps in the right direction today!

What type of winter golf practice are you going to embark upon in readiness for next season?

Important Note: Putting the clubs away and dusting them off in the Spring is a sure-fire way to get off to a slow start!

If you have kept statistics for your golf this past season, now is the time to review them so you can set a plan to improve your game this winter.

  • Hitting a low percentage of fairways?
  • Having trouble finding greens in regulation?
  • Missing too many short putts?

Your stats will tell the tale, and let you know what areas to focus on as you practice.

If you haven’t kept detailed statistics simply look back and reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses. Identify where you feel the biggest improvements need to come from and spend some time working on those areas.

This is the time when I discuss with my clients a winter plan which will involve fewer playing rounds with increased technical work on specific aspects of the game.

This usually involves a greater focus on blocked practice as opposed to randomised practice.

So, what is the difference?
Have you ever noticed that you hit the golf ball great on the driving range, but when you go to the golf course, it’s the complete opposite – just terrible?

Why is that?
A customer at the range commented to me as they were leaving recently.. “When I’m at the driving range I hit the ball great; but when I go to the golf course, I really struggle to repeat what I was doing on the driving range.”

First, let me tell you about blocked practice.

Blocked practice should be used when changing a certain part of your swing or when trying to learn a new movement.

This would be when you have a large bucket of balls and you hit all of them to the exact same target with the exact same club.  

You aren’t really working on your routine or doing much visualisation.

Instead, you are trying to get a feel for the new swing and get comfortable with it.

For many of you this is exactly where you will need to start you winter practice plan if technical flaws have caused problems with your consistency this season. 

Once the new move feels natural and you are not thinking about the swing as much, that’s when you would move onto random practice.

Random practice is completely different than blocked practice.

In random practice, you are never hitting the same shot twice.

An example of this is when you are going to practice hitting a 7-iron to one target, a 4-iron to a different target, and a pitching wedge to another target. This forms the basis of our 54 ball driving range practice game (Game sheets are available free of charge – just ask at the counter when you get your range balls)

The ideal goal in random practice is to simulate on the driving range what you will be doing on the golf course.

Random practice is used once you feel you comfortable with a swing change.

You are not standing over the ball thinking about it. It’s automatic.

Studies have shown…

People who use blocked practice typically have better practice sessions in that they are much more confident and happy when they leave the driving range.

This is largely because they have successfully hit the same shot over and over again.

The one downside to these “better” blocked practice sessions is that when they take it to the golf course, their performance is not as good as those people who employed random practice.

Generally, people who use random practice typically leave the range saying, “Oh, I hit it just OK.” However, when they go to the golf course, their performance ends up being much better than those who used blocked practice.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I want to play better on the course!

Here is a good analogy for you…
If you ask someone, what is 6 plus 9, for a split second they have to think about it, calculate it, and hopefully give you an answer of fifteen. If you immediately asked them the same question again, they have to think even less because they already ‘know’ the answer. Then if you continue to ask them the same question they won’t have to think at all about solving the problem, they already know the answer.

This is what happens with blocked practice: You hit two or three 7-irons in a row and groove a swing pretty quickly; consequently, you stop testing and challenging yourself – you go ahead and continue to hit ball after ball.

What is happening here is that you are not challenging yourselves enough in practice and you actually stop learning.

Therefore, when you go to the golf course it’s a lot more difficult because you have not practiced effectively.

I’ll leave you with a final thought: The most important thing to remember when practicing is to always be learning and challenging yourself.

You want to make your practice as difficult as possible, so that when you go to the golf course, you’ll be ready.

Make 2019 your best ever season…

To highlight the technical aspects of your swing that you need to change over the winter, and to improve the quality and productivity of your practice sessions then get in touch with us.

The 1 hour initial lesson with one of our PGA Professionals is just £30 and is a complete game analysis using industry leading technology in The Golf Studio at Dunes. We use a GC2 with HMT that provides us with highly accurate ball flight and clubhead data as well as C-Swing video analysis so we can show you exactly what you are doing.

Telephone 01346 510693 or use our new online lesson booking system at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson

Dunes Golf Centre is open Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 12pm to 4pm.