Developing Golf Skills and Improving Performance

Evaluation, comprehension and a deep commitment to golf practice will allow you to know what golf practice goals you are working towards and how to get there.

Few
people enjoy doing anything poorly and golfers are always passionate
about developing their golf skills and improving performance. While
it is sometimes difficult to see immediate results from practice and
learning on the golf course, there are many benchmarks of success
that are achievable and rewarding.

Many
professional and amateur golfers set skill-development goals and then
craft an effective practice system to meet those goals.
Professionals in particular, use on-course performance information to
analyze strengths and weaknesses in their golf games and then set
practice goals based on this information. This is an effective
strategy that works for golfers of all levels.

First,
keep a record of vital statistics while you play a round of golf.
This is rather easy to do if you simply record a little extra
information on your scorecard. Basic performance statistics focus on
four areas: hits on the fairways, greens, putts and short-game
skills. The first two statistics provide an indication of full swing
mechanics; the last two identify player skill within the crucial area
100 yards from the green – the touch shots. Identifying the
strongest and weakest areas in your game will allow you to take the
second step; setting goals.

If
you don’t hit the fairway very often, it is difficult to get the
ball on the green and give yourself a chance to make a putt for a
good score. Missing the fairway means finding your ball in the
rough, in the trees, in a hazard or out of bounds. If your game
analysis shows that you hit a low percentage of fairways, then this
may be an area where you can construct a practice goal. Once your
practice goals are set, you are ready for the third step; practice
for improving performance.

Golf
practice involves comprehension, a deep commitment and evaluation.
In other words, you must know what you are working towards and how
you are working towards it. You must be committed to achieving that
goal and be willing to put in the necessary time, and you must
monitor your progress so that once you achieve that goal, you can set
and pursue the next goal.

If
you were to set a routine goal such as hitting 50 percent of fairways
and accompanied that goal by the practice goal of hitting 13 out of
21 practice fairways, you could establish a schedule and monitor your
progress.

Next,
commit to a regular practice time each week. Begin by taking
practice swings in your living room to evaluate your mechanics, but
even better, plan on spending an hour or two several evenings a week
at a practice range, working on drills. Practice your golf with a
goal in mind, because practice without purpose achieves nothing.

Finally,
have a mechanism in place to monitor your progress. To see if you
can hit 12 out of 20 practice fairways, go to the practice range,
take 20 golf balls and see how many you can stroke into a fairway.

Skill
improvement doesn’t always need to be firmly united to performance,
especially for the novice. Developing and achieving practice goals
on a practice putting green will speed your progress toward becoming
an accomplished putter.

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