It's a new year, which means for the next week or so, golfers across the world can think about all the things we're going do differently this year to make us better golfers.
A common theme you'll notice around these parts is that were trying to focus on things that are actually doable in the new year. Small, productive habits that you can repeat. That's the basis of our one percent challenge (which you can check out here).
Here's something that popped into my social feed over the holidays that I think falls into a similar bucket. It's a difficult drill to do, but convenient enough to do it anytime you find yourself on a driving range. And better yet, there's some good science behind it that'll will help.
What is it?
It's a quadrant drill, or a four corners drill. It's a popular drill that's used be lots of great golf coaches, like Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher Andrew Rice. Basically, golfers will intentionally hit five shots...
- Low and off the heel
- High and off the heel
- High and off the toe
- Low and off the toe
- In the sweet spot
Obviously, that's easier said than done, and if you can't do it in five swings, take a few more until you accomplish the task.
Why would I practice mishitting it?
Because this is how the human brain works the best.
The same way driving your car between the lines requires understanding where the left and right lane markings are, we work at our best when were understand where the guardrails are. It's the same reason why Sahith Theegala practices shanking the ball. Know how not to do something, and you'll find it easier to know how to do the thing you actually want.
And besides, it only takes a few golf balls.
I'm not good enough to try this
Yes you are! That's the whole point.
No, you may not be able to do this on your first try, but the act of trying (and failing) will make you a better golfer. And better yet, you don't have to overhaul your swing mechanics to try it. That's not what the quadrant drill is about. Instead, this is about creating clubface awareness.
The more aware of the clubface, the more you'll hit the ball on the screws. And to get there, you have to start searching for the corners.