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Golf Strategy School Podcast

Golf Strategy School Podcast: Where 18+ handicaps come to learn how to break 90.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Apr 30, 2016
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 day.
 
Practice #1: DETERMINING OUR SHOT PATTERN
 

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 work.

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 target.***

 

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 station.

The Driver

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 it today.

Practice #2:  How to shoot the score you want

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 road ahead.

Here's what you do:

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 George:

  • Hit 50% of your fairways = 7
  • Hit 60% of the greens (from the 50% of the fairways) = 4 (two putt pars)
  • 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.

  1. 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)
  2. 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 success.
 
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 mean?
  • Analyze
    • 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.
  • Visualize
    • 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 would release.
  • Execute
    • 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 progress.

That's all we have for this fourth and final week of our 30 day challenge.  Remember to share your results through the Facebook Group.  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 grass.
 
Cheers!
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