AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, MPCC (Shore)



Practice smart

Here's what you should do when you only have 1 hour to practice

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Keyur Khamar

When it comes to trying to improve your game as a working stuff, time is of the essence. You've got to squeeze every little bit out your time at the range when those fleeting opportunities do arise.

So...how do you do that? That's what we asked a couple of our resident low handicap editors, former college golfer Drew Powell and Senior Game Improvement Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen, to hear how they navigate the problem.

Drew says: Cover all your bases

Drew Powell, +2.6 handicap

How am I spending my time? Working on a little bit of everything.
I’d start with 10 minutes of putting technique work, working on set-up and start lines.

Add in another 10 minutes hitting longer putts, dialing in the speed control.
Then, I’d work through the bag on the range for 20-25 minutes, spending the majority of time on the wedges and short irons, but making sure to hit a few drivers as well.

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Jure Gasparic

I’d finish with 15-20 minutes in the short game area, hitting a variety of chip and pitch shots from different lies. I’d make sure to work in a few bunker shots as well.

The point is, if I have limited time, I don’t want to neglect any part of my game. With just an hour to work with, the focus is on staying on top of every part of my game—not making some big technical change.

Luke says: Focus on the basics

Luke Kerr-Dineen, 1.3 handicap

I think it's important to accept the reality of the situation. If you've only got an hour to spare for practice, you're not going to make big, overhauling changes to your game.

With that in mind, when you hit the range keep an eye on your fundamentals. I put a club on the floor down the target line, and another one perpendicular to it between my feet, pointing at the golf ball to check my ball position, like you see below. I start small, hitting lots of little chip shots before working my way up, hitting at least a shot with every club in my bag. Keep track of how your ball is moving relative to the club you've laid on the ground. You're going to need to play that, not fix it.

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I'll probably do that for about 30 minutes, then spend the other thirty on long putts. I drop three balls at 15, 25 and 35 feet, then putt them each to the hole, and then start again.

Remember, you're not trying to throw a hail mary here. You're just trying to move the ball forward. You're not trying to change anything, you're just trying to understand what you're working with.