Practice Makes Perfect – Have Fun Practicing Golf
Practice is absolutely crucial for the golf beginner as it is for the golfer who has been playing golf for some time. Golf is such a technical and precise game that you will never improve unless you play and practice regularly.
You only have to look at the pro tour golfers. Take Tiger Wood for example. He has been out of the game for about 9 months and although he wasn’t practicing golf for some of that time to avoid aggravating his injury, it is quite obvious that he had been working on his golf fitness.
He did exceptionally well to win the Arnold Palmer invitational recently, but even by his own account, he is ahead of schedule in getting back to full competitive golf readiness. If the greatest player of our generation – possibly of all time – needs practice and competition to get back into the game, mere mortals like us need it more.
As a golf beginner you need to spend hours practicing different parts of the game. I have suggested that you start with putting and chipping to begin just to get the feel for hitting the ball correctly in the centre of the club. This will give you confidence when you have your first pro lessons.
But practice doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be a chore. You need to have a commitment to learning anything new and starting to play golf is no exception. There is no point in being half-hearted about starting to play golf. If you are not fully committed, don’t bother because learning to play golf is not something you can do lightly. YOU HAVE TO SPEND TIME ON IT.
I have suggested that you learn to play golf with a friend – maybe two or three friends so that you always have someone to practice with.
And practice should be a pleasure – an opportunity to acquire and develop some skills in learning to control the ball with you clubs.
In previous articles I have suggested that you devise some friendly ‘competitive’ games around the putting green. When you are chipping, award yourself points for getting balls closest to the hole. Earn enough points and your playing partner buys the beer!
Do the same with putting. Scatter some balls around the practice putting green at different distances. See how many you can get into the hole or close to the hole and don’t lose sight of the importance of improving your technique and skill in the process. Friendly competition can sometimes be more about ‘winning’ than technique and developing your technique is the crucial thing to develop in these exercises, not ‘winning’.
When my golfing buddies and I go to the driving range we often finish our practice by going onto the mini putting green and competing with each other to hole the ball in the least shots. It’s a bit of fun and adds tremendous enjoyment to our practice.
Starting to play golf should be FUN, not a chore, so think about ways you can make it enjoyable. I’m sure we can all remember what it was like when we played games as a child and the sense of fun and enjoyment we had living in an imaginary world where we made the rules.
Take out those memories onto the practice areas with you and enjoy practicing golf. It’ll improve your enjoyment of the game enormously and we are all learning to play golf to have fun as well as getting better at it.