Practice. We are talking about practice, man.

img_3440

28 September 2016 (Pasadena, CA) Thank you Mr. Iverson for that classic response. Practice? I wonder what percentage of “golfers” practice? I don’t mean the blokes and gals who go out and hit balls for entertainment. I see you all out there. Driver first club out of the bag, 40 oz. can of suds at your side, you travel in packs of three or four. No problem, go out and have some fun. Release that stress after an 8 hour day. But you ain’t no golfer. I’m talking about the folk who are out there midday, 100 degree weather, hitting 1 or 2 large buckets honing their craft. Now you might think these midday range rats are all retirees killing an hour of time before their 3 pm dinner and 5 pm bedtime. Not the case. Now there are a few of those at every range, and many are damn good golfers. But I’m talking about a slightly younger breed who are either off work at that time or people like me who have a gig where I can golf and practice midweek. We are out there working. Alignment sticks and range finders at the ready, power drinks and high end golf clubs part of the arsenal. I see you…you see me. We watch each other, compare form and execution from a distance. Occasionally we strike up a conversation about swing plane, club fitting, favorite courses, golf travel. But mostly we are there doing exactly what Mr. Hogan beckoned us to do, “work it out in the dirt.” I am fortunate that I get to play once a week (I wish it was more like two or three times a week). I also practice once a week. My routine is generally the same every time. Large bucket, grass range (usually a course/range just north of Pasadena, Altadena Golf Course). I begin with a sandwedge. There is a 50 yard target and I hit half my bucket at that target. I take pride in my short game. It makes up for a lot of shortcomings in other areas. Youngsters will sometimes ask why I hit so many sandwedges, I tell them it is a scoring club. They ignore me and pound buckets of drivers as if distance related to size of phallus. Most of them are limp. I hit my wedges bouncing balls off my target. I move up to the 100 yard target, 10-15 gap wedges. 125 yards, 150 yards and then 170-175 where I spend about 20-25 balls with my 4 hybrid. The hybrid is an important club for me because I don’t hit fairway woods. It is my “fairway wood.” I have to be on with it. Gents in my group are capable of smoking 200-225 3-woods. Advantage them. Hence, the emphasis on short game. I end with my driver. 10-15 drives working on tempo and accuracy. Next I go to the short-game area and hit shots from 10-30 yards. Chips, pitches, flops, bump and runs. Creativity is a must on the course. You have to be able to envision all the possibilities around the green. Again, scoring shots. Finally, about 30 minutes on the putting green. Mostly spent from 10 paces in. If you can make those puts with regularity, you can compete with longer hitters. 1 day a week is all I get. 2-2.5 hours. Odd thing is, the farther I space my practice day from my playing day, the better I do. I can’t practice on Thursday for a Friday match. It has an adverse effect. It probably has something to do with muscle fatigue. Plus, the California sun will beat you down. In conclusion, every shot must have a purpose, a target and every practice session must have a goal or you are just a “bucket pounder.” DON’T BE A BUCKET POUNDER. I always know the courses I am playing that week and rehearse the shots I will have to hit the first three holes like a scripted football game plan. This is how I do it, what is your practice plan? I’d love to hear it…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s