How to prac­tise with pur­pose

The win­ter can take the edge off your game. P GA Ad­vanced Pro­fes­sional Craig Lea of­fers five prac­tice drills de­signed to sharpen your game for the new sea­son and mon­i­tor your im­prove­ments through­out the year.

Golf World (UK) - - THE SPIN -

DRIV­ING 20-ball ac­cu­racy test

Find a quiet hole on the course or set your­self up on the driv­ing range where you can use flags or other tar­gets to imag­ine a 20-yard wide fair­way with five yards of semi-rough on ei­ther side. Hit 20 balls with the aim of find­ing the fair­way. Walk away from the ball and go through your full pre-shot rou­tine be­fore each shot to build good habits and make it feel like it’s for real. Give your­self five points if you hit the fair­way, two points if you hit the semi-rough and mi­nustwo if you find the rough based on where your ball fin­ishes. Add up your score, record it and try and beat it the next time.

IRON PLAY In­creased ac­cu­racy

Set your­self up on the driv­ing range where you can hit to a va­ri­ety of flags or spe­cific tar­gets from your pitch­ing wedge to your long­est iron or hy­brid. Choose five tar­gets or yardages and hit 10 shots to each one so you’re us­ing a va­ri­ety of clubs through your bag. Give your­self one point for ev­ery ball that finds the green or lands within 10 yards of your tar­get. Add up your to­tal score out of 50. For more de­tail, you can also note down any trends such as ball flights and com­mon misses.

PITCH­ING Shot dis­per­sion

Set up on the driv­ing range or short game area where you can pitch to a flag or spe­cific tar­get from 40, 60, 80 and 100 yards away. Hit 10 balls from each yardage or to each tar­get with the club you would usu­ally use for this shot on the course and go­ing through your full pre-shot rou­tine for each shot. Do this one yardage at a time. Mea­sure and record the dis­tance each of the 10 balls fin­ished from the flag and cal­cu­late your av­er­age – and try to im­prove on it in ev­ery ses­sion. Try ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent clubs from dif­fer­ent yardages to find the most ac­cu­rate.

CHIP­PING Club chal­lenge

Set up on the short game area so that you can hit shots from a va­ri­ety of sit­u­a­tions – chip and runs, flop shots, rough, tight lies etc. Hit three shots from each from five dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions – one with a lob or sand wedge, one with a gap or pitch­ing wedge and one with a mid or short iron. Award your­self 10 points if you chip in, five points if you get it within two feet, three points if you get it within four feet and one point if you get it within six feet. Record the points for ev­ery shot you play. This will help you iden­tify which shot is most ef­fec­tive in any given sit­u­a­tion, as well as help you im­prove your over­all short game.

PUTTING 45-putt chal­lenge

Find a flat area of the prac­tice green that al­lows you to putt to it from up to 40ft away. Hit putts in or­der from 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 feet and re­peat this five times. Then hit 10 putts from a three-foot cir­cle around the hole and 10 putts from an eight-foot cir­cle. That’s 45 putts in to­tal. For the long putts, give your­self two points if you hole it and one point if it fin­ishes within two feet. For the two shorter dis­tances, give your­self one point for ev­ery putt you holed. Add up and record your to­tal score and aim to im­prove with each ses­sion.

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