New Year’s Day. We get this fresh-start outlook on life, this resolve to be better. We renew our gym memberships, and, for a moment, we commit to putting in the work.
Masters Monday leaves us feeling the same way. The weather (at least here in Brooklyn) has finally begun to turn from ‘Sprinter’ to Spring, and after watching the game’s greatest shine their brightest on the most beautiful course on the planet – we feel inspired.
We need to harness this fleeting optimism and excitement and put it to practical use. We can’t let it start fading away (oh, because believe me, with each passing second, it is). We should dub this Monday “National Golf Practice Day.”
And so, in honor of Springtime and a newly tailored Green Jacket, here’s a new installment of Practical Practice to help give some direction and structure to this eagerness to better yourself on the range.
A round of golf challenges you at every turn. It is essential to challenge yourself when you practice. Jordan Spieth hit 270 shots at Augusta. Not one of those shots was overlooked or underestimated. Not one came without calculated consideration, thought, and preparation.
On the range this week, think about that. Place yourself in difficult situations that you may encounter while actually playing. You hit very few shots from perfect lies out on the course, so why only practice those? Hit from awkward stances and poor lies. Hit shots out of divots. Create little games during practice to help push yourself and structure your sessions. Say to yourself, I’m going to put three of these five balls on the green. Once you accomplish that, go for four. Also, don’t go at it alone all the time. Having another person to practice with will add purpose and pressure to your swings.
Remember – quality over quantity. Practicing with purpose focuses your mind on the task at hand. You can only achieve that consistent swing when your brain is engaged in full focus mode. And remember, for most golfers, 60% of shots come from around the green. So devote 60% of your time on your short game and you will see your scores consistently drop.
And as this golf season wears on into the summer months, remember how you felt on Masters Monday. Don’t let that feeling escape you, as those New Year’s resolutions often do.