How often do you practice?

I heard an interview with Michael Phelps saying that for swimming for every day off it took two days to get back to where he was. I’ve been practicing more and have noticed I feel much more comfortable and have much more control than before (this was very little). Do you see the same? How often do you practice or even play?

I have found for me, personally, the more practice time I spend on the range, the worse I get. I spend too much time focusing on mechanics and not enough on hitting shots. I have just never been the type to be able to “play a round of golf” on the range. I have had periods of my golfing life when I go to the range 3-4x per week and it just never translates to the course and my handicap usually heads north.

I prefer to walk 9 holes and hit multiple shots so that my practice actually simulates the game. I try to do that 2-3x per week when the days are long enough and weather is good enough.

I do spend time on the practice putting green and chipping green just doing some block practice stuff usually a couple times a month and that seems to be enough, but I am trying to figure out a schedule for the summer where I work on this a little more often.

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I am a relatively new golfer, only playing for 2 yrs. I feel like I need to hit balls at least a few times a week or my striking starts to get sloppy. So I have made the time 2 days a week, usually tues and thurs. About an hour of chipping 50 yds and in, and at least one lg. bucket of balls going through my irons and woods. If I am having trouble with a certain club or technique I will focus more on that for the day. If all is going ok, i’ll just run the drills my coach showed me at my last lesson. I usually play every Saturday, so I will go about 1 to 1-1/2 hrs early to warmup hitting a bucket of balls and putt for 30-40 min. If I had more time I would practice everyday, just not in the cards right now. Any time I get a chance I will throw in another round.

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What’s your hcp at right now? So far while I’m practice I’m doing very little mechanics wise. It’s mostly setup stuff and following up with skills challenges/practice.

That sounds like a decent routine. How has it been working so far? Are you happy with your progress?

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Yeah I feel pretty good about it. I feel if I had more time I would get better quicker. I seem to do better if I stay focused in my practice. Some days though it doesn’t matter, I just don’t have it. Like today I was having trouble with my irons, I kept hitting behind the ball. My practice swings would be good, divot in front of my line. But every third ball or so i hit would still be fat. I couldn’t seem to get it, so I just shifted focus to my woods and worked on them. Other days I can’t hit my woods, but my irons are on fire. So I spend more time them

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If you can picture your favorite or most often played golf course in a hole-by-hole fashion, you can play a round of golf on the driving range.
We do that quite often when the weather is not suitable to get on the golf course.
You’ll practice by estimate the distance and the direction of your tee shot, give it an honest assessment of where the tee shot will end up on that golf hole. By the direction and the distance you could estimate where you would have been on the golf course, pick your next shot from there. You can mark down where you would land on the green and mark it down for the practice green if you care to do that ( pre-assign the location of the pin prior ). Be honest, if you know your next golf shot would be a penalty shot or a chip back onto the fairway. A driving range with clearly marked yardage markers will help.
we often end the imaginary golf hole by the time we get to the green, but a few of us will mark down the position of golf ball on green to finish the putting on the practice green.
A perfect lie for each shot, what could a golfer ask for more?
I first practice this by playing the round in bedtime. It is definitely better than counting the sheep jumping over the fence. Most the time I would fallen in deep sleep before I could finish the 3rd or the 4th hole in my mind.


When I was playing better I would practice 2-3 times per week. Chipping, putting, full swing and I would work on specific things. Every so often I would just “beat balls” to work on tempo and de-stress, but I usually had a plan I followed.

I always had a hard time playing a hole on the range. I would work on shots that I felt I wasn’t good at. For a game I would try to hit every club in my bag at a certain target. If I could hit almost all my clubs at least close to some yardage marker I knew my tempo and clubface control were decent.

I have had almost no practice lately and only played 3 full rounds and 2 9 hole rounds, but I’ve done ok. I work on putting in my office using some aids. I have room to swing the rope in my office as well. I have hit balls into my pop up net a few times each week. It’s not the same as getting to the range and practice green, but it seems to help as I’ve played ok considering it’s April and I’m really busy with work and family stuff.


When and if the weather changes I will hit balls into the net everyday. I practice without club in front of the mirror daily. Maybe 15 minutes. I can tell on course. I’m praying to get through the first few holes because our tee time is so early, I get to the course about 40 minutes ahead, and just get to stretch, putt a bit, chip a bit, swing a club and we’re off. Our club opens tee times at 6am the week prior and by 610am they are gone if you want to play in the am. For me, the more I practice the more consistent I become with my striking.


Right now it is 2.9 down from 6.6 last August.


I’d say that’s working!

Congratulation, that was huge from less than a year ago.
My journey was much tougher. At some point it was just hanging on to prevent from sliding backward.

15-16 years ago, when the home launch monitor was at its infancy, One of the guys in our group has the set up in his daylight basement. the space was set up for dancing with disco ball and built in surround sound, TV screen on each side of the wall ( except the side with walkout door and windows ).
Back then the top system starting at $60K, report4d Tiger Woods had one in his mansion.
This guy had two grown children so he dunk his savings into this monito with set up that we could play a round of golf with software to several famous golf courses.
It was a hit during the wet and cold months. Although it was fun, with food and drinks close by and a comfortable couch, but it was not golf.

I don’t even consider a round golf at those unwalkable golf courses counts for real golf. But that is just me.

Maybe, I was born a century too late.

Thank you. This is how it really has gone

Step 1 - I have a very good friend that has played a handful of Korn Ferry events, one PGAT event and won mulitple times on the now defunct Tarheel Tour and Hooters Tour, along with 2 SC Opens. He has told me for years that I need to get off the range and just go play 9 when I practice and also has told me to try to get into groups where I am the worst player as often as possible. The last year or so is the first time I have actually made an effort to do just that. This part has been quite easy as I was usually going down to the range for a couple hours when I went anyway and now that my wife has started playing we usually play on Sunday afternoons where I may not have before. I also found a group of scratch players that I weasled my way into and play with them at least once a week.

Step 2 - I also tend to be a bit of a club ho, which wasn’t helping my game. That same friend told me for years that I needed to find what worked for me club wise and at least keep those specs intact. I literally was the guy that would go from Mizuno muscle back irons to Ping G series. Always searching for something. I also did this last year and went to a good fitting where I could understand what works for me and why, then “stay in my lane” in respect to equipment. This I thought would be nearly impossible for me to do, but I have accepted it for what it is and have really found that it is easier to predict and repeat shots when you have clubs that fit and don’t go on ebay after every bad round. The satisfaction of the lower handicap is much better than the high of new clubs.


Awesome. Your friend had generously shared his own experience with you, and you had the opportunity and the resources to follow up on the advice.
Not many of us will have the time and the resources to follow up on what we need to do. Majority of us would be satisfied at being the best golfer among our friends or groups that we golf with.
It is very tough competing on the second circuit. But it is a good place for the dream casers to test the water to find out whether they are good enough to move onto the big show.
Not many golfers could reach the level of below a 5 index so you are already in an elite group of golfers. If circumstance allows, you might wish to give it a chance to go scratch.
Your friend’s most valuable piece of advice was for you was to golf with those better than you are. It is a lesson taught by hands-on method. I had learned so much during the first year playing with golfers close to + index. It is not that much a difference because they’ll miss the fairways and greens and miss some short putts. It is the ability to bounce back and not have those dreaded bleeding holes to ruin the score.
A fine line between an 8 and a 2 index. One thing I could not improve was the distance. That will be for the next life.

100% agree. Most average golfers don’t understand it takes time, and it takes just having every facet just a little better. There is no one thing that will get you there. I think the advent of strokes gained and the systems like arcoss and shotscope have demonstrated just how fine of a line it is. And if you don’t have time, you have to accept it for what it is.

I think modern golf instruction actually has hurt in some way because many of the teachers now teach you how to swing and not how to play the game. I live in Myrtle Beach (aka the golf capital of the world) and I am pretty plugged into the golf industry folks. I do not know of one “good” teacher in the area that even offers playing lessons. They may have it on their menu or website, but they don’t actually do it. They want to stand on the range all day and keep collecting hourly lesson fees because it is a more efficient business model. Add that to the fact that you can literally go on hundreds (if not thousands) of golf publications, youtube channels, social media accounts, the golf channel, etc. and find all of these tips to try. However those tips may not apply to you at all and could , in fact, be harmful to your game. They are generic content fillers designed to generate some interest and often are sponsored by a product, or published by someone that doesn’t necessarily even know what they are talking about.

Rant over…

Very true to the current trend.
Most if not all of the younger generations were educated in a 2 year degree. They came out using the same teaching method, a majority of them in this to get a paycheck. Same as any other industry.
Old pros in this because they love the game and stuck with it for life, the teaching was something to supplement their income. The modern teaching would be the major income source for some.
The teaching method is too mechanical, often times they teach one way to everyone.
I realized that long ago when a friend reminded me that most of the guys of his age could not turn their hips as he did already. It dawned on me of what I had already know. Teaching style of text book method will not work for everyone. We are build differently. Except for a few fundamentals of golf swing remained true for most of us, not every golfer should be taught the same way.
This is why the group lessons is not for advanced golfers.
I know a guy who sent his son to a renowned local teaching pro for lessons when his son was in the high school golf team, He sat in for the lessons and come back asking me why is that and why is this… Some of the stuff he observed didn’t apply to him. He was working for the high tech industry and believed that everything could be sourced the same way. He hangs around between 15-19 index in the last two decades. Which I believed he could easily be much lower than that. He practiced and played the game a lot with both his sons, so there is no lack of chance for improvement.
We should not use the fixed teaching mode for all golfers because we’ll not be teaching to robots with artificial intelligence.

You hit it on the head! I decided in 1983 I wanted to learn to play this game, my baseball career was over, I wasn’t tall enough to play basketball, I hate bowling and one could take softball and shove that! My golf teacher was old school… my first 2 lessons consisted of me buying the pro lunch and we just talked about family, the game, why I wanted to play etc. He said pretty much, str8 out do you wanna play the game or beat balls. I can do either… One is just go to range, the other approach was not what I expected. Lesson #3 when I thought I was going to “finally start learning something” I came with my bag to the range and Mr. Bishop said…“hey Sonny, where do you think you’re going?” Grab 4 balls and your putter and meet me on the putting green, where I proceeded to do endless drills from 3 and 4 feet out. Guess what the next lesson was? Same drills but added some more distance to the drills. I didn’t hit a full shot with a 7 iron until lesson #6…LOL! His playing lessons were about managing your A-game, B-game, C-game and managing your situations, I cannot tell you how invaluable that knowledge is to this day. How things change?

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All I could comment is, someone had dropped the ball or lost the enthusiasm for the game.
Either this fellow didn’t believe the girl mentioned has potential to be better to further his reputation, or something else.
A student, nonetheless a paid student, should be given the same quality of attention as a touring professional.
Big names in coaching has one thing in common, they demand big time fee. I heard some ridiculous fee charged by a few teaching professionals who have tour golfers ( or past your golfers ) in their stable.
Very sorry to say, even if we should not change our instructors like spinning wheels in hope of a miracle; because there should not be much difference except for the fees schedule, but loyalty does not pay in these days.
Her parents should have kept her in sight, ask her about her game every week instead just pay the fee and expect great things to happen.

Good observation with trained, experienced analytical mind would be a good mentor to this youngster.
I feel these days, too many fall into the trap of “maximizing” the potential in profit, drawn up by those who really did not understand the game. They run the teaching institute as a “business” instead of a nurturing greenhouse for the students.
As some clinical schools including a few classes for business management before they graduate the students and expecting them to get a loan to start a successful business. The business model they taught in the classroom is decades old, not including the huge changes we’ve been experiencing in the last decade.
Same with schools of golf. The newer generation of teaching professionals should study and understand the traditional way of teaching combining with the classroom technics they learned to be successful.
The lack of person to person connection with the modern technology has a lot to do with the attitude instilled in the younger generations. Tough to grow up in the world of messaging, social media, online schooling…
I’m glad you could lend a helping hand to this young lady. Hopefully there is still time for her to prepare for college golf.

When I went from a 30 to a 9 HC, this was basically my routine. I took a lesson in the Spring, then hit a couple of large buckets a week all Summer. The lesson helped me have something to work on, but I was definitely not in the weeds from a mechanical point of view. The repetition was key to slightly better ball striking and keeping the penalties to a minimum.