OK, so you got out of work at a reasonable hour and if you went straight to the course, you’d have about 20 minutes to practice before you have to be home in time for dinner.
What does your usual 20-minute practice session look like? We’re guessing you buy a small bucket, hit one or two 8-irons to warm up, and then rip driver for the next 17 minutes. Is it fun? Yes, of course. Driver is always fun. But is it helping your game? Not really.
This practice session, on the other hand, will.
Jason Guss, one of our Best Young Teachers out of his golf academy in Bath Township, MI, says to start at the putting green.
“Put four balls on the green about 5 feet away,” says Guss. “When you make three out of four, you’re done. Then, pick two chips just off the green. You have to get them both up and down, in a row before you can move on.”
That completes the short game portion of your abbreviated practice session. If the clock hasn't struck 20 minutes yet, move on to the range.
Guss says to hit the following shots, in this order: driver then pitching wedge, driver then 7 iron, driver then 5 iron, driver then hybrid, driver then 3-wood.
You can only move on to the next shot if you’ve hit your shot solidly. If you don’t hit it solid, you have to start the whole sequence over. Also, make sure you’re doing your full routine with each shot.
So, what do you gain by doing this besides getting in some focused practice?
“By varying the club every time you hit, you’re simulating a round of golf,” says Guss. “By having to start over after making a mistake, you’re adding pressure. The short game piece has the same added effect of pressure, which most people don't include in their practice.”
The more you practice with added pressure, the less daunting it’s going to be when you have to get up and down to win a match against your buddies.