This is the last week of the challenge and we're going to be
covering what we can do the day of our round to best prepare
ourselves for success.
Our first practice session has to do with determining what our
shot pattern for the day will be. This is important because
we don't want to be working on our swing while we're playing.
You have to work with the shot pattern that you have that
Once arriving at the driving range we have to build our practice
station. Place an alignment rod along your intended foot
line, parallel to your target line. To make the station
even more effective, place another rod, perpendicular to the first
to form a T. This rod will represent your ball position.
You can do this with club if you like or you can use alignment
rods. These are the ones I have. There
are three rubber grommets on one of the rods - two for foot
position one for ball position, so then you won't need the extra
rod forming a T.
This station is important because it will ensure that you
consistently align yourself in a similar position during every
portion of the upcoming exercise.
Now that the practice station is in place, let’s get to
5 Ball Iron Test
Using your practice station as a guide take out your PW and hit
5 balls at the same target.
***I know I don't normally
advocate for repeatedly using the same target, but what we're
trying to do is find a pattern, and realistically most people won't
continually reset their practice station every time. So for
that reason we will work in blocks of 5 shots per
DO NOT hit these shots rapid fire, this is still a no rake and fire
zone. Stand behind the golf ball before every
shot and complete your pre-shot routine.
Repeat this 5 ball exercise with your 6, 7, 8, and 9 iron only
changing targets when you change clubs. When you change
targets please make the necessary adjustments to your practice
Now it’s time to bring out everyone's favorite weapon, the
driver. First I need you to visualize a fairway out on the
driving range. Clearly choosing targets that represent the
left and right most edges of the fairway. Now hit 10
shots at this fairway. Don’t forget to take your time and go
through that pre-shot routine before every swing.
Keep track of your shot pattern while you're completing this
exercise. This will tell you what pattern to play throughout
your round that day. Just like Vegas, I want you to play
the odds. When push comes to shove I want you to play
the shot shape that you had from this exercise and don't try to fix
Practice #2: How to shoot the score you
One of the best pieces of advice ever to come through the
podcast was from PGA instructor George Roy, and it dealt with how
to stay in the moment and not get overwhelmed by your score,
whether it's good or bad.
George's advice was to create smaller goals that keep you
focused on the task at hand, rather than looking too far down the
Here's what you
Set goals for the specific number fairways, greens you will hit
from those fairways, and the number of up & downs you will make
from the greens you missed. Here's an example from
- Hit 50% of your fairways = 7
- Hit 60% of the greens (from the 50% of the fairways) = 4 (two
- Get up & down 70% of the time from the greens you've
missed = 9
Add that all up and it equals 13 pars and 5 “others”. Assuming
you can keep those “others” to bogeys you’ll be on a roll!
This does assume you two putt every hole (Yes, I realize
how big of an assumption that is but this is for the sake of easy
math we'll let it fly) you would shoot +5 over 18 holes.
You might wonder
why shouldn't I pick a number?
There's two big
reasons: pressure & limitations.
- Picking a specific number adds pressure as you progress through
your round. Your subconscious golf mind will be aware of your
position in relation to that score. If you get behind the pace
needed to achieve that number, the pressure can mount quickly.
Pressure leads to stress, stress often leads to tension, and
everyone knows that tension leads to poor performance. (Insert your
Star Wars dark side joke here) Even if you have successfully let go
of all those issues you still are more likely to take overly
aggressive risks that could lead to even more disastrous outcomes.
(IE: going for sucker pins)
- Even if you’re doing great and you manage to stay ahead of the
pace needed to achieve that goal, you’re more likely to rest on
your laurels down the stretch. If my goal is to shoot par and I’m
two under at the turn, it’s really easy for me to mentally take my
foot off of the gas pedal and say “I can afford to shoot +2 on the
back”. All of a sudden after the round is done I’m looking at
missed opportunities that could’ve lead to a FANTASTIC round. My
goal was even par or BETTER, not to just
settle for even par and forgo anything surpassing that.
Practice #3: Following your A.V.E.nue to
There's three things that pros do drastically more often than
the amateur golfer that leads to their mental success. They
Analyze, Visualize, and Execute every shot. What do I
- This is the step that most people do pretty well at.
Analyzing is taking in your surroundings and deciding what
will affect the shot. Wind on an approach shot, break on a
green, cold temps that shorten ball flight, etc.
- Here is where people start to have difficulties.
Visualizing is a commonly skipped step that most people have
trouble with or skip altogether. If you don't know how to
visualize your shot, verbally describe what your're trying to do.
Talk out exactly where you want the ball to land and how it
- This is where people REALLY struggle. By execute, I mean
staying committed to your shot. This is exactly what we
talked about with the Think Box/Play box drill. Whatever
decision you made in that Think Box you have to stay committed to
it. Staying committed to your shot is absolutely vital to
consistently hitting the shots your want and
therefore, executing your plan.
This is something that we're going to track too.
Every hole I want you to look at each shot and give
yourself a point if you analyzed properly, give yourself a point if
you visualized, and give yourself a point if you executed. So
if you had a 5 on a hole and you did all of your analysis correctly
then you get 5 analysis points, f you properly visualized you
would get 5 visualization points, and if you stayed committed to
every shot then you would get 5 execution points. Here's
a spreadsheet a downloadable spreadsheet to help you track your
That's all we have for this fourth and final week of our
30 day challenge. Remember to share your results through the
There will be a short survey coming out sometime soon just
asking what you thought of the 30 Day Challenge. This is the
first iteration after all and I'd like to keep it rolling forward
and improving. As always, I'll see you in the short