Improve Your Golf: Play Less & Practice More

By John Campbell

Most golfers who play the game for recreation or in competition have a desire to improve.  The irony is that so many fail to appreciate the importance of practice in achieving that goal.  Some who play golf regularly only ever pick up their clubs when they play the traditional eighteen holes.  When they find this a struggle, the tendency is to try to find a solution while on the course.  This seldom produces results.

For anyone who is serious about improving their game, practice is a must.  If the best golfers in the professional world feel the need to practice, how much more so the weekend or recreational golfer.  While the very thought of practice leaves many feeling cold, the benefits could mean it is time well spent.  Practice may not make perfect, but it will help.

Finding time to practice might be the main stumbling block for golfers who want to improve, but even limited opportunities can make a difference.  If finding time is the issue, make sure that during practice, the focus is on the areas of your game that require more attention.  Do you struggle with your chipping around the green?  Are you a chronic three-putter?  Pinpointing the main fault in your game determines what you should be doing during practice sessions.

It is very common to see golfers on the driving range pounding balls with the driver.  However, if the real cause of high scoring on the course is down to a poor short game, then this needs to be given priority.  Spending an hour at your local course chipping around the green will be more advantageous to improving your game. 

If you were to study your scorecards and discover that the total strokes includes numerous three-putts, spending some time practicing your lag putting should be the obvious strategy.  Whatever area of your game is adding strokes due to poor execution, this should be given priority during those times you have available for practice.  While it may be more enjoyable to be hitting buckets of balls on the driving range, identifying the problem areas of your game and working on them is more likely to reduce your handicap.

The notion that spending less time playing golf could actually improve your game may seem a strange one.  The point, of course, is that if you only ever play golf and never practice, the likelihood of improvement is slim.  Working on specific areas of your game can make all the difference. If you are someone who loves to play golf and you want to lower your handicap, spending less time on the course and more time on the practice area could be the answer. 

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