Golf Practice - For a European Tour Player

Iain Highfield GLT Golf
  • Author: Iain Highfield
  • GLT Innovator and Mastermind
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So many people want to know how to play like a professional, but to play golf like a pro, you have to practice golf like a pro. Professional golf is not all Net Jets and Major Championships. In fact, not one of the professional players that the GLT team worked with made it to the Open! So how did the Tour players that are locked in a battle to keep their cards for next year spend their time if they were not there?

 

Some dropped down to the Challenge Tour, some took a well-earned rest, and some practiced.

 

Here is some insight into the kind of golf practice that team GLT helps golfers build: Practice that contains spacing, variability, challenge, and context. Practice that will eventually lead to swing changes sticking. Practice that allows for best ball striking to transfer to the golf course.

 

Watch this video to see why spacing, variability, and challenge are such important aspects of effectice golf practice!

 

 

Let's consider a player who is losing strokes with the driver and not making enough putts from 8 to 12 feet. He is also gaining strokes on the field with his wedges on a regular basis. This is the practice routine we would recommend:

 

Day 19 Holes Speed Variability Testing with the Driver on the Course

 

On every tee, hit 3 drivers - 1 at 40% speed, 1 at 60% speed, and 1 at 80% speed.

 

After you have hit 3 balls, pick them up, drop to hit 1 pitch from between 35 and 70 yards, and record your distance.

 

Move the ball to between 8 and 12 feet and attempt to hole out.

 

9 Holes of Stuart Morgan’s Game – Sharp

 

Hit 2 drivers off every par 5 and par 4 and keep your score: Hit the fairway = 0 strokes, Miss the fairway = 1 stroke, Big miss = 2 strokes.

 

Pick your balls up, move to a yardage between your 9-iron and lob wedge to drop, and play that ball out as normal.

 

Finally, drop another ball around the green and attempt to get this up and down, then play it out as normal.

 

Add all 3 scores up and see how you did. Your target score under 50 for 9 holes.

 

NOTE: Please pick a driver speed swing based on the speed variability testing on the previous 9 holes. This will help you continue to evolve your motor pattern as suggested by your swing coach but will add some form of outcome stress and context. This will result in higher transference of skill than just hitting the balls on the range.

 

 

Day 2 - 9 Holes Speed Variability Testing with the Driver on the Course

 

On every tee, hit 3 drivers - 1 at 40% speed, 1 at 60% speed, and 1 at 80% speed.

 

After you have hit 3 balls, pick them up, drop to hit 1 pitch from between 50 and 90 yards, and record your distance.

 

Move the ball to between 8 and 12 feet and attempt to hole out.

 

9 Holes of 'The Eliminator' with Draw Back

 

On the tee box, decide which side (left or right) of the golf course you will eliminate.

 

If the ball ends up more than 1 club length into the semi rough or in the rough on that side, you must give yourself a shot penalty.

 

On your approach shot, decide which side of the pin the ball will land. If it lands more than 4 feet away on the other side of the pin, you must give yourself a 1-stroke penalty.

 

Hit the first putt as normal, and if you have a second putt, draw it back 3 feet.

 

Your target score is level par for 9 holes.

 

NOTE: Play this game with 'Bubba Watson' style shapes based on our reflection from your last European Tour event.

 

Golf Practice: The on-course game 'The Eliminator' is explained in the video below:

 

Day 3 - 9 Holes Speed Variability Testing with the Driver on the Course

 

On every tee, hit 3 drivers - 1 at 50% speed, 1 at 70% speed, and 1 at 90% speed.

 

After you have hit 3 balls, pick them up, drop to hit 1 pitch from between 20 and 50 yards, and record your distance.

 

Move the ball to between 8 and 12 feet and attempt to hole out.

 

9 Holes of Stuart Morgan’s Game – Sharp

 

Hit 2 drivers off every par 5 and par 4 and keep your score: Hit the fairway = 0 strokes, Miss the fairway = 1 stroke, Big miss = 2 strokes.

 

Pick your balls up, move to a yardage between your 9-iron and lob wedge to drop, and play that ball out as normal.

 

Finally, drop another ball around the green and attempt to get this up and down, then play it out as normal.

 

Add all 3 scores up and see how you did. Your target score is under 50 for 9 holes.

 

NOTE: Please pick a driver speed swing based on the speed variability testing on the previous 9 holes. This will help you continue to evolve your motor pattern as suggested by your swing coach but will add some form of outcome stress and context. This will result in higher transference of skill than just hitting the balls on the range.

 

 

Day 4 - Rest day

 

Review your good shot journal and follow your physical conditioning program.

 

If you would like more information on effective golf practice, buy GLT's NEW golf practice book by clicking this link!

 

 

Day 518 Holes for Score

 

For the front 9, focus on speed variability every time you use your driver.

 

For the back 9, focus on shaping shots every time you use your driver.

 

Play 18 holes with one ball while keeping your score and stats.

 

NOTE: These 18 holes will determine the process goals that you take with you to your next tournament.

 

Range work is optional, but if you do want to use the golf range, make it purposeful.

 

Task 1: Take 1 practice swing while making the desired move slowly and deliberately  Take 1 practice swing while making the move that leads to poor shots in competition  Take 1 practice swing while making the desired move slowly and deliberately  Hit 1 ball at a target focused on the feeling of the correct motion  Proceed to task 2.

 

Task 2: Hit 1 driver with on open face (the error that you tend to make under pressure) leading to high right ball flight  Hit 1 driver with a closed face (the opposite error) leading to low left flight  Hit 1 ball with the desired ball flight  Hole a 12-foot putt  Repeat the entire task Proceed to task 3.

 

Task 3: Hit an iron shot to a target and record your proximity; see how many shots you can hit before you exceed 50 feet  Record your personal best and return to task 1.

 

Play a maximum of 5 rounds.

 

If you want to learn more about teaching through the use of effective practice, become a GLT certified coach by clicking this link!