How do you practice?

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jasonfish11
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How do you practice?

Postby jasonfish11 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:23 pm

As many of you know or realize, I spend way more time on the range than the course. It is hard for me to find 3-5 hours right now to spend but I do my best to keep my game sharp with 30-60min a day.

As most of us know a good range session doesn't always translate to the course. So for me I try to play as many "games" on the range as possible to increase the pressure and penalty for a shot. Also it takes something that can be rather tedious and boring and can make it slightly more enjoyable.

What games do you play on the range that I (or others but I'm selfish) might be interested in?

Here are my favorite.

Putting - attempt to make 20 3' putts in a row, then lag 20 straight 30' putts inside of 3'. This gets really hard when you are on your 4th try to make 20 straight 3' putts and you have just made 18 of them.
Chipping - 18 holes par 36. 1 ball, putter and chipping club of choice. How many strokes does it take me to get the ball into the hole 18 times from random positions.
iron play - I just pick small targets and try to land 7 of 10 balls on it with random clubs. Also if I'm having a good day where that seems easy, I pick a way to work the ball (high fade, high draw, ect)
woods - 7 of 10 fairways (I make my fake fairways pretty tight).
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby GBOGEY » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:33 am

I need a new practice regimen for the off season so I'm interested in the responses. To date the pressure games (make 7 out of 10) haven't worked for me, but I think I need something like that if I'm ever going to take my game to the next level. My off season focus (sad to mention the off season, but really only 2 months away) will be driver and hybrid tee shots and driver and hybrid tee shots. I'm pretty happy with the rest of my game right now.

I don't practice as much as I used to. I think I used to average about 1.5-2 range sessions per round, now its probably the opposite in season. I do know that my range sessions are more useful when I script them ahead of time. So before I go I will map out how I will work through the bucket, i.e., start with 25 chips and pitches, then 20 short irons and hybrids changing clubs at least every 5 shots, etc. I always try to start with 20-30 chips / pitches and end with a similar number of short game shot practice.

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Re: How do you practice?

Postby bryan k » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:52 pm

Well....there are a lot of different ways to practice depending on what I'm practicing.

Usually, when I'm working on my long clubs, I work on trying to move them back and forth. I'll start trying to hit a few straight. Then I'll try to fade a few. Then I'll slowly start working them to the left until I'm drawing them. I'll go back and forth until I get tired. Of course, when I'm not hitting my long clubs well at all, I just work in form and trying to make solid contact. When I'm not hitting these clubs well, I take a lot of practice swings in between actual swings. When I'm working on draws and fades, I typically don't take any practice swings.

With my irons, I usually try to pick a point and hit it right at that point. My biggest struggle right now is trying to keep my swing plane from going over-the-top with my irons (doesn't seem to be a concern with the longer clubs), so this is pretty critical. Since I'm working on form, I take a lot of practice swings between strokes.

With my putter, I usually grab five balls and work on a single distance around the hole. I start at five feet. Then I move back to ten feet. Then I move back to fifteen. After fifteen, I usually go all the way out to about 40 feet. My goal isn't to sink any putts. My goal is to simply get the distance right.

With my wedges, I do a variety of things. If I'm on a practice green, I'll get a bucket of balls, dump then out, and do the same shot over and over until the bucket is gone. Then I'll go pick them all up, go find a different shot, and repeat.

There is also a range close to my house that has a basket 75 yards out. I have been known to get a bucket of 100 balls and spend an hour trying to hit the bucket.

To me, practicing my wedges is the most fun. It's probably the reason why I spend the most time doing it. IT's probably also the reason why it is, by far, the best part of my game. I believe that consistent wedge play is worth about 5-6 strokes on my handicap right now. The fact that I'm hitting my putter really well right now probably accounts for 3-4 more strokes. The fact that my irons and long clubs are so inconsistent is the reason why I'm still in the double digits.

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Re: How do you practice?

Postby jasonfish11 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:54 am

So I gave this one a try this morning given how poorly I hit my driver.

http://www.golfwrx.com/327676/game-of-the-weekend-100/

I scored a -75.

1 ball in the FW
1 ball on the edge of the FW (I counted it as rough but was right on the line)
8 balls ended in either North Carolina or Washington DC some where.

The good news is I have no where to go but up. I just can't square my club face at impact with that damn club.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby legitimatebeef » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:15 pm

Hit a few balls this morning. I took along a driver for the first time in a long time--been hitting only 6i and up lately. Trying to rebuild slowly. But I tried a kind of jasonfish approach. I hit only ten drivers and tried to make em count, and I logged em.

push slice
weak hook
regular draw
push slice
center
push slice
center
weak hook
right center
center (kind of low)

All over the place. I think 5/10 of those would've found fairway. It's more about the big misses though. Hate those push slices.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby legitimatebeef » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:15 pm

Also I think we have hit rock bottom now. We are literally describing our range shots to each other.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby srogers13 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:38 pm

That may be the problem, you are playing range, and not golf.
I will stand in the fairway, I want to be out of your range.

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Re: How do you practice?

Postby legitimatebeef » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:51 pm

srogers13 wrote:That may be the problem, you are playing range, and not golf.


Screw you man.

It's called playing golf-swing. :oops:
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby jasonfish11 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:18 am

jasonfish11 wrote:So I gave this one a try this morning given how poorly I hit my driver.

http://www.golfwrx.com/327676/game-of-the-weekend-100/


I pretty much do this every time I go to the range now. So maybe 3 times a week for 5 weeks. Today I got out of the negative numbers for the first time with a big fat 0 :facepalm

I was -25 with 4 balls left, hit the first 2 of those into the FW to get to -5, then hit one that was a slight miss to get to -10 then hit the last right down the pipe and walked off the range to go to work.

Maybe I will see a positive number sometime.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby bkuehn1952 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:38 pm

When I hit balls, I typically simulate playing a round at Leslie Park (or another very familiar course). Tee up the first shot, visualize the fairway on #1, where the trees are and the fairway bunker. Try to hit toward a spot on the range. Then depending on the result I may punch out, hit 3-wood to get back into the hole (par 5) or layup with a hybrid if I hit a good drive into the "fairway". Essentially walk through the course hitting the shots I would expect, other than little chips/pitches, sand or putts.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby jfurr » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:26 am

bkuehn1952 wrote:When I hit balls, I typically simulate playing a round at Leslie Park (or another very familiar course). Tee up the first shot, visualize the fairway on #1, where the trees are and the fairway bunker. Try to hit toward a spot on the range. Then depending on the result I may punch out, hit 3-wood to get back into the hole (par 5) or layup with a hybrid if I hit a good drive into the "fairway". Essentially walk through the course hitting the shots I would expect, other than little chips/pitches, sand or putts.


I enjoy doing this too.
I'm gonna hit a provisional
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby legitimatebeef » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:57 pm

jfurr wrote:
bkuehn1952 wrote:When I hit balls, I typically simulate playing a round at Leslie Park (or another very familiar course). Tee up the first shot, visualize the fairway on #1, where the trees are and the fairway bunker. Try to hit toward a spot on the range. Then depending on the result I may punch out, hit 3-wood to get back into the hole (par 5) or layup with a hybrid if I hit a good drive into the "fairway". Essentially walk through the course hitting the shots I would expect, other than little chips/pitches, sand or putts.


I enjoy doing this too.


That's kind of gay.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby legitimatebeef » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:51 am

There aren't many targets at my shitty range, but there is a small mounded green at 150 yards. Lately I will make myself hit it twice in a row before I can leave. Last night I upped the stakes and declared that three in a row would end the session. I hit a few warmup wedges then set about hitting the target. It didn't take that long to get the three in a row. Total balls spent: 14. That's probably the shortest range session ever, but rules are rules so I dropped the mic and left. Surprisingly it was satisfying (and productive hopefully). I'll probably try this again tonight.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby GBOGEY » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:59 pm

Tried something different today. So I have two separate projects for the next two "non-playing" months. 1. Improve my driver, particularly my ability to hit it both ways; 2. Get better from 150 and in, which is really two separate projects a. Improve wedge distance consistency; b. Improve short iron direction/eliminate the hook.

First session the other day didn't go so well, so today I decided to focus on one issue at a time - nothing the entire +100 ball session but wedges and short irons, changing clubs every 3-5 shots. I think I made a lot of progress, at least in understanding the source of some of my misses. Next range session will focus solely on driver.

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Re: How do you practice?

Postby joe jones » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:23 am

10 putts, 10 chips 10 sand shots 1/2 bucket driver and 7 iron. If I can't correct my swing by then forget it. Not minimizing the value of range time but my days a s a range rat are long gone.

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Re: How do you practice?

Postby jasonfish11 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:26 pm

jasonfish11 wrote:
jasonfish11 wrote:So I gave this one a try this morning given how poorly I hit my driver.

http://www.golfwrx.com/327676/game-of-the-weekend-100/


I pretty much do this every time I go to the range now. So maybe 3 times a week for 5 weeks. Today I got out of the negative numbers for the first time with a big fat 0 :facepalm

I was -25 with 4 balls left, hit the first 2 of those into the FW to get to -5, then hit one that was a slight miss to get to -10 then hit the last right down the pipe and walked off the range to go to work.

Maybe I will see a positive number sometime.


So I did this again today. I wound up with a +50. 7 in the FW, 1 miss way right, one slightly right and one slightly left (both were right on the edge of the "FW").

With things feeling much better going to the range is a lot more fun now. I noticed I've started hitting some goofy shots around the green when I'm chipping. Like left handed shots, massive flops (ones that travel <10' laterally), odd lies in the bunker, ect. Today I dropped a couple balls in the green side bunker. I hit 5i out of it to practice hitting out of a FW bunker, the chipping green is next to the range so if no one is on the chipping green I can hit into the range out of the bunker. Also the lip is higher than most FW bunkers so I had to get a 5i up quickly. I was successful on both although neither were great accuracy wise. Then I tried to hit the 5i out onto the green (like Seve when he talked about practicing bunker shots with a 3i). I actually got it up over the lip and onto the green and it rolled out to about 5' from the hole. That has to be one of the best bunker shots I've hit in my life.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby GBOGEY » Wed May 04, 2016 9:37 am

I had more fun at the range yesterday than I've had in a while. Last weekend I had a situation where I thought my 100 yd wedge might have problems with a tree in front of me, so I aimed left of the flag. Side story, instead of left I pushed the shot right OVER the tree - it was a really big tree and I didn't know I could hit the ball that high - ended up on green 20 feet right - proud moment.

So one of my range objectives was to see how much a could curve a wedge shot to the right, so I starting practicing hitting massive fades. Then it occurred to me that there's another hole where I frequently end up on the left with tree trouble, so I practiced hitting massive hooks with my 7i. Then took out my 5i and hit several slice/hook punch shots, which are also often useful on my home course.

Anyway, I probably hit 40-50 balls just practicing various recovery shots with various amounts of curve involved. Not only was it useful, but it was a lot of fun.

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Re: How do you practice?

Postby sjduffers » Mon May 09, 2016 2:31 am

Yes. Good plan. I agree it's fun when it works and it can also be frustrating if it doesn't work out...
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby jasonfish11 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:34 am

So we received about 12" of rain Monday-Wednesday. Numerous streets were blocked with standing water, there was 4-6" of water in the middle of my neighborhood that I had to drive through to get out.

The bad news is the course I go to before work has closed the range and course the last 2 days. The good news is the practice green is open (and still being mowed?).

So I've fully switched to looking at the hole when I putt. I'm 100% committed to this style. The one downside I have is I have less consistent contact with the ball on the center of the club face.

So for the last 2 days I really just worked on a gate drill (2 tees just beyond the toe and heel of the putter). The first 15-20 putts I hit one of the gates on almost every one of those attempts. After changing some of the feelings I have while putting, I'm now able to putt through the gate 8 or 9 times out of 10 w/o hitting a tee.

My speed control is absolutely amazing now. The putt dispersion when I send 3 balls to the same target 30 plus feet away is so small. I think from now on I'm spending 10 minutes before each round putting through a gate just to make sure I have that same feeling. The combination of focusing on my target and having consistent contact seems to be extremely beneficial for my putting. I'm super excited to get out to the course on Tuesday (where I'm sure it will all fall apart). I can't remember the last time I was this excited about my putting. For the last 5-10 years I felt like Bernard Langer, just trying anything possible to feel confident on the greens and I feel like I've finally got there.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby legitimatebeef » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:53 am

jasonfish11 wrote:My speed control is absolutely amazing now. The putt dispersion when I send 3 balls to the same target 30 plus feet away is so small. I think from now on I'm spending 10 minutes before each round putting through a gate just to make sure I have that same feeling. The combination of focusing on my target and having consistent contact seems to be extremely beneficial for my putting. I'm super excited to get out to the course on Tuesday (where I'm sure it will all fall apart). I can't remember the last time I was this excited about my putting. For the last 5-10 years I felt like Bernard Langer, just trying anything possible to feel confident on the greens and I feel like I've finally got there.


I will admit, I am skeptical! Absolutely amazing is pretty strong language. Look forward to reading the follow ups.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby jasonfish11 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:56 am

I understand the skepticism.

To be fair its only been 2 days of practice. So I'm mixed with confidence and skepticism myself, but I'm trying to focus on the positive instead of trying to figure out when the other shoe will drop.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby DougE » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:48 pm

Looking at the hole works very well, in theory. I have putted lights-out on the practice green looking at the hole and am amazed at how close you can get it when you let your subconscious take control. No different than tossing a ball to someone 20 yards away. Your instincts take over and allow you to usually get it pretty close to them. Like when playing catch. You don't have to figure out how far to throw, or in what direction, your eyes connect to your inner senses, which do the math and just tell you how hard and where to throw it. And remarkably, it is usually pretty damn close.

Putting is the same. The problem is, you are so conditioned to look at the ball, that it is hard to "let go" when it really matters. I have proven to myself over and over on the practice green that getting lag putts close by looking at the hole works extremely well. However, on the course, when it really counts, it is much harder to trust. I have tried it in real rounds on occasion and been able to get it close.....but I still have trust issues with it.

I can not even think about trying it on short putts. On the contrary. When I putt short ones, I line up, take one look at the hole, re-align if necessary, take another look, then I don't look at the hole from the time I start back until after it drops...or should have dropped.

If you can overcome the fear of missing the center of the putter face when looking at the hole instead of looking at the ball, I believe this method works more often than not on long, confusing lag putts where the speed, and multiple breaks are hard to consciously read.

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Re: How do you practice?

Postby sjduffers » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:48 pm

I believe you can get the best of both looking at the hole (better speed) and looking at the ball (better contact) by moving your eyes back and forth along the line of the putt (arc and all), as long as the moving go the the putter back happens as a continuation of that eye movement when the eyes go back from the hole, along the line of putt and arrive at the ball. Don't keep the eyes following the putter though: that is counter-productive. When the eyes arrive at the ball, look at the ball, while moving the putter back in continuation. It works great for me: I am a good lag putter and a fairly decent short putter.

I see way too many players frozen over the putt, staring at the ball, unable to move and when they finally do, the motion is jerky, out of rhythm and sometimes along the wrong path.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby jasonfish11 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:47 pm

I've been looking at the hole for nearly a year now. So I have no issue doing it in practice.

But I've always had 2 issues with the actual process that I've tried different ways to fix:
1) I leave short puts short of the hole. Looking at the hole causes me to try to stop the ball at the hole. Meaning 50% of my misses should be short. My resolution is from inside 15' I look at the ball like a normal person.
2) Inconsistent contact. I have less consistent contact looking at the hole than looking at the ball. This causes 1 of 2 things: 1) I leave puts woefully short (1/4 the way there) or 2) I subconsciously crush it to make up for the poor contact.

Even with those 2 items I was still lag putting better than before so I kept looking at the hole.

But now that I've thrown in gate practice it seems to have almost immediately changed the feel of a successful swing. Knowing that feel makes it so much easier to reproduce.
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Re: How do you practice?

Postby jasonfish11 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:01 am

So now that the weather (and my golf swing) are getting better. I'm going to start playing 3 holes before work instead of just hitting range balls. The course I practice at said they would be ok with me paying for a large bucket but then just playing 3 holes. I'll likely play 1, 8, and 9 (par 4, 3, and 5).

It will likely be the same 3 holes every time so I have some ideas to keep things interesting. But willing to take other advice if anyone has interesting 3 hole practice routines.

1) 2 ball best ball
2) 2 ball worst ball
3) Driver only from red tees (excluding par 3s)
4) iron only from tips (excluding par 3s)

I'm actually really interested in seeing what my score difference between 1 & 2 is. Any other thoughts on keeping things interesting so I'm not just playing the 3 holes blindly?
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