Per­fect prac­tice makes per­ma­nent

Inside Golf - - Instruction - Brent Ger­man Brent Ger­man is a AAA Ac­cred­ited PGA Golf Pro­fes­sional, based at Al­bert Park Driv­ing Range in Melbourne. Call Brent on 0412 533 555 and let him em­power you to ex­cel your golf po­ten­tial. More tips can be found at www.brent­ger­man­golf.com

PRE­PARE

1. WARM UP! Stretch your mus­cles in your legs, back, arms and shoul­ders. Hold two clubs to­gether and swing slowly as nor­mal af­ter this to warm up even more. 2. As Greg Nor­man did, start with a short iron and work up through the bag (the driver be­ing the last club). The shorter club will en­able you to ease your­self into hit­ting shots and there will be less chance of in­jury. 3. Aim at a tar­get and use clubs/ align­ment sticks laid on the ground (one near your feet line and an­other a few inches from the ball just out­side the tar­get line. i.e. Tram track align­ment. 4. Chip­ping and putting is 50% of your score, so give it 50% of your prac­tice time.

FULL SWING

1. Aim at a tar­get, and us­ing 10 balls as a skills test, see how many you can get within a 15-me­tre width. Al­ways try to beat your best score. If you man­age to get 10/10 a few times then de­crease the width to 10 me­tres. 2. Af­ter you have warmed up, for your prac­tice to be­come more re­al­is­tic, pre­tend you are play­ing a round of golf on your home course. Hit the clubs you would nor­mally ex­pect to hit at each hole in or­der. 3. At each tour­na­ment prac­tice day I have been to, a large per­cent­age of the pros go through their pre-shot rou­tine on each shot on the range so they can make it nat­u­ral in com­pe­ti­tion when you need your swing to work un­der pres­sure. 4. Fo­cus on what you are do­ing. 50 balls with full con­cen­tra­tion on each prac­tice swing and shot is bet­ter than 100 just bash­ing balls (I see this reg­u­larly on the range). 5. Work out how far you can hit each club so you can take your prac­tice to the course. Go to a flat prac­tice ground on a calm day, hit 10 balls, pace out the dis­tance, re­move the best two and the worst two and work out the av­er­age dis­tance. If this is not pos­si­ble, you can do this with a GPS mea­sur­ing de­vice as well.

AROUND THE GREEN

1. Aim at var­i­ous tar­gets and vary the length and type of shot to in­crease your feel. 2. With chip­ping, use 3 balls and chip at the same flag from dif­fer­ent lies. 3. Throw 5-10 balls in a bunker and play them all as they lie. 4. Play­ing against a friend, give each other lies around the green and in the bunker and play near­est to the pin.

PUTTING DRILLS

The Clock Drill: Place 4 tees around the hole 2 or 3 feet away (the length of your put­ter) at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock (as pic­tured).

Us­ing one ball only, see how many you can get in a row. Al­ways try to beat your best score as this will sim­u­late the pres­sure of com­pe­ti­tion when you are putting to beat your best score.

Spend most of your time prac­tis­ing these putts. Tiger Woods in a year had 4,211 putts from 3 feet in prac­tice and in com­pe­ti­tion; and he only missed 2 putts. Long Range putts: Now that you have the clock drill tees in place, see how many balls in a row you can get into the 3 foot cir­cle from long range ( say, 20 feet) , al­ways try­ing to beat your best score each time you prac­tice. Match­play: Play match­play with a friend on the putting green. Adding pres­sure to your prac­tice will hold you in good stead when in com­pe­ti­tion. Sin­gle Stroke­play : Us­ing one ball only, do as many 2 putts from long range as pos­si­ble in a row. Small Hole: Prac­tice aim­ing at a ball at home on the car­pet or at a tee on the putting green.

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