The PRACTICE Initialism: A Series (Part 1)
A Quick Bio
I have been teaching golf with GOLFTEC for over 11 years and have given over 18,000 lessons. I’m a Certified PGA Member in Teaching and Coaching and have received a GOLFTEC award for outstanding achievement 5 times.
The PRACTICE acronym isn’t really an acronym. It’s actually an initialism I have created based on years of my own research on the best golf practice routines that lead to shooting lower scores. These are subject to change, and some might be a little corny, but through my experience, the more a player can implement these strategies the faster they get better. All of these strategies are stolen from other people and I try to give credit where credit is due, so I apologize if I forgot any one person or group of people.
In this series, I will cover this initialism in its entirety. This will include: Purpose, Random, Autonomy, Constraints, Transfer, Isolate, Challenge Point, and Expectations. Here are the first two, but stay tuned for more!
Concept: To say practice needs to have some sort of purpose is a giant understatement. Not only should there be some sort of purpose to your golf practice, but every shot, and even every practice swing, should have some sort of purpose to it.
Application: A way I help my students find their purpose in golf practice is to help them establish a goal within each practice session. According to Sir John Whitmore in Coaching for Performance, the best way to establish goals is not to base them off of previous experience, but to think about your aspirations and work backwards from there to establish your goals. In order to develop a practice goal, or in other words, create your purposeful practice, don’t think about or react to your previous golf practice. Stay focused on your main objective of contact, score, shape, etc., and break it down from there. A good way to do this comes from Adam Young: watch what your ball does, know what causes that, implement a little bit of the opposite, and repeat.
One of the best ways to implement this purposeful practice concept would be to establish a specific time frame or objective you are trying to complete. It might be something along the lines of 30 minutes to hit 10 shots on the green from 200 yards away. Another option might be to make every 4-foot putt after hitting a chip shot 9 times in a row. In all honesty, it doesn’t matter what the objective is as long as there is one. On a swing or shot level, making sure to keep that one objective in mind will help you on the golf course.