“I want to be more consistent.” I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this when a new GolfTEC student walks into our Improvement Center. During their Swing Evaluation, golfers often list this consistency at the top of their golf wish list. This article is about how I perceive the meaning of the word ‘consistency’ as it relates to golf, and how your practice routine may help you shoot lower scores.
We all have a general understanding of what consistency means for various daily activities. In golf, the word can have a few different interpretations. You can have consistent scores, consistent shot patterns (both good and bad), consistent problems with your approach to practice, consistent feelings of doubt standing over the ball…the list goes on and on.
If your goal is to shoot lower scores more consistently, your practice routine starts to become more important. Practice makes permanent, and you really should practice how you play. This means you need to have a relaxed but focused mindset, have a specific plan or list of goals for the day, and make every shot count. Here are a few simple rules to follow that will allow your practice sessions to become more productive and give you more bang for your buck.
- Always have a goal in mind when you practice.
- For example, if you are working on your short game, don’t just pitch and chip the ball over and over. Set a goal to get all of your shots within a 4-6 foot radius of the hole. Give your practice a purpose.
- When working on mechanics, don’t worry about where the ball is going. Work on your golf swing, not hitting shots. Work towards developing a feel to use while on the course.
- When working on hitting golf shots, always go through your pre-shot routine, have a target, and always switch clubs allowing for a two club gap (8 iron to 6 iron, or 6 iron to 4 iron).
- Practice course management and controlling your golf ball.
- READ the situation, PLAN the safest and easiest shot to hit, and EXECUTE what you are trying to do without being afraid to fail.
- Leave the driver in the bag and focus on irons and wedges from 100 yards and in.
- PGA Tour average from inside 100 yards in 15 feet.
- Lots of easy pars and birdies come from having a good wedge game to put the ball close.
- Love thy putter and love thy wedge
- Don’t neglect them. Show them lots of attention, even if it’s doing indoor drills for 20 minutes each day.
These rules to approach your practice routine should help, but remember what Albert Einstein said: “Problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them.” If you feel lost with your practice routine or golf game, talk to your local GolfTEC Coach.