How do you spend your time practicing?

How do you know you are building the skills you need to get better? Are you using the right practice drills for better golf?

One of the biggest mistakes a golfer can make is to spent countless hours trying to groove a perfect “machine-like” swing in the hope that it will work automatically on the course. If this is all you’re doing during your practice, then it’s not time well spent.

The reason is the range and the course are very different places…

On the course, you’ve got lots of external factors that you don’t have on the range, such as the need for strategy, your score, other players etc.

If you don’t practice for the course, you can’t expect to perform.

This is why most Tour players use the “⅓ rule” when practicing.

What this does is make sure your valuable practice time is divided as follows:

  • ⅓ Technique (block practice)
  • ⅓ Rhythm and Motion (random practice)
  • ⅓ Pressure conditions

Technique (Block) Practice Drills For Golf

Let’s assume you have an hour to practice. The first 20 mins should be spent working on your technical practice drills, that you might have been given by your PGA coach. You should hit one club to the same target, thinking about your movement consciously (where the ball goes is not that important).

Rhythm and Motion (Random) Practice Drills For Golf

During the next 20 minutes, you’re not going to think about your technique at all.

It’s time enter your subconscious “trust” mode and practice mixing things up. During this phase of practice you will need to change clubs every shot and hit to different targets. Go through your pre-shot routine and notice your rhythm and tempo more than you do your swing mechanics.

A good drill during this time is the “nine shots” drill, which challenges you to hit every possible ball flight.

What you’re doing in this phase is simulating the golf course by randomly requiring yourself to access the skills you’ve been learning (consciously) in your block practice.

Pressurized “Course” Practice Drills For Golf

During this time, you’ll need to have consequences, like you do on the course. You’re going to practice experiencing the additional pressure you feel on the course using games and challenges.

An example of one such game is: “3 fairways, 3 consecutive balls”.

1. Pick 3 imaginary fairways using targets or posts on the range.
2. Using the driver, attempt to hit 3 balls down the first fairway.
3. If you make all 3, move on to the second fairway, and then to the third.

The aim is to get all 9 balls down the 3 fairways. If you miss a fairway, you have to start over at the first ball. If you get to the 3rd fairway, they’ll be lots of pressure on balls 7, 8 and 9!

Here’s how a one hour putting practice session might look…

Putting practice (one hour)

1. 20 mins working on your stroke using a gate


2. 20 mins working on random length putts


3. 20 mins playing A pressurized game such as getting 5 consecutive balls in the hole from 2-3-4-5-6 ft.

Give these a go and let me know how you get on!