Practice For Improvement

Practice For Improvement

Posted in the Golf Forum

Since: May 12

Burbank, CA

#1 Aug 31, 2012
Practice is one of the most misunderstood concepts in (or out of) golf. "Practice makes perfect" is the old adage -- and it is not true. Perfect practice makes perfect is true. The right kind of practice will make you better; practicing the wrong ideas or even the right ideas in the wrong way will make you worse.

I ask my students to limit their practice of full shots to 25 balls a day.

It is so tempting to go out and hit 250 balls with taylormade rocketballz irons and think you have done something to improve your swing and your game. Most of the time you can hit the BIG bucket in less than an hour by having at least three balls in the air at all times. This is not productive practice, it is counterproductive practice. It often causes the golfer to "try" things with his swing - and get thoroughly confused. Hitting millions of practice balls may make some golfers better, but it destroys more golfers than it improves. It's reasonable to hit some practice balls and do a lot of putting and pitching practice. However, it's more effective to understand the correct concepts than to be a tireless practicer.

Learn the swing with a practice swing
and confirm with a ball

As an aside, the balls you hit before you play are not practice. This is simply warming up and finding out how your shots are going today. Warming up is important because each day is unique and you need to find out how things are going right now and make your game plan accordingly.

To practice your swing with taylormade rocketballz irons, make practice swings at home without a ball for 15 minutes every day. Use a 5- iron and simply swing correctly. This will help your swing become the swing you want. Learn the swing with a practice swing and confirm with a ball. Don't try to learn the swing by swinging with a ball.

I watched Jimmy Ballard help Dave Hill in January 1977 in Phoenix. Ballard had asked Hill to do something very specific with his swing. Dave kept practice swinging and practice swinging. Finally Ballard asked Hill to hit a ball with taylormade rbz irons. Since Ballard hadn't said he was doing the change properly with the practice swing, Hill asked, "Why?" "When I get it right with the practice swing, then I'll hit a ball," Hill told him. That makes perfect sense. The ball is often intimidating, and hitting balls does not promote learning a new thought. Get your thoughts organized, then hit a few balls. Stop trying to hit balls to get your swing right. And if you start hitting shots poorly, stop. Go back to practicing your swing without the ball until you sense that your swing is back on track. Only then should you go back to hitting practice balls.

Why do I ask you to limit your range practice to 25 balls a day? Hitting lots of balls with taylormade rbz irons can be very detrimental. A typical golfer goes to the range with the intention of getting better. He hits a few wedges, moves to the mid and longer irons and then on to perfect the dreaded driver. The first few go all right, and then things start to go haywire -- just a little at first, then some real hooks, slices and miss-hit shots. Now he is off to the races. The bad shots create that "What's wrong?" question, which is quickly followed by the really bad thoughts of trying to "fix" the swing that he believes is causing those bad shots.

More information welcome to

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