>There’s an instructional piece on golf.com right now which allegedly will teach us hackers how to practice like a pro. While this is a worthwhile goal, and the problem he identifies is real (“You go through a bucket of range balls like a wave of locusts through a cornfield”), the methods prescribed in the photo sequence boggle my mind a bit.
It goes south already in slide 2, whe we’re told in explicit detail how to get the ball from the bucket to a point in front of your feet. Call me naive, but I don’t think this is a skill that even the most uneducated hacker needs to work on.
In slide 3 we go into the actual striking of the ball, but there’s no mention of a practice swing. If we are to replicate on the range the way we strike the ball on the course, shouldn’t we take at least a practice swing, to get a good feel for our balance and rhythm, and to better help us visualize the shot without the pressure of the ball? Besides, practice swings are free. I find I get more value out of time on the range by buying a smaller bucket of balls and taking practice swings.
By slide 6 the swing is done and we’re now being told, again in excruciating detail, how to transition the club out of your golf grip and into a casual non-swinging grasp of it. You may think I’m overstating the verboseness of the descriptions, but this is what it says: “As the ball comes to a stop, remove your right hand from the grip and allow the club to slide down the fingers of your left hand until it feels light and balanced in your hand.” Are you ******* kidding me?
Slide 7 describes how to migrate the club from the casual grasp with the left hand, and gripping it with the right hand, preparing to strike the ball again.
Again, I do agree with the premise that we should practice better, but we’re not going to do it by focusing on the minutia that’s covered in this article. If it was up to me it would go something like:
- Pick a target.
- Take a practice swing while you visualize striking the ball towards the target.
- Hit the ball Take your best swing at the ball.
- Evaluate your shot: If it went on target, remember the things you feel like made this happen, the things you did right in the swing. That way you’re more likely to repeat those things in your next swing.
- If your shot did not go on target, think about the reason why. Did you hit it fat or thin, did you swing on the wrong plane, did you have the wrong club? Think about your correction to the problem in the next practice swing, and try again.