Constructive practice

pierre brisebois

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In a perfect world, golfers would always be having fun, discovering new things, and making progress. Because golf always pushes us to do better, here are a few ways of practicing that will move you, slowly but surely, towards improvement and recurring enjoyment.

Whether it happens following a discovery or as the result of a suggestion from an experienced pro, when you decide to integrate the new way of doing something into your game, you should make it a priority to “think” of the new element on every swing. You should always “remind yourself” of the essential. And to do a good job of remembering it, you should be clear on your intention, be motivated to achieve it, and to plan to be successful by simplifying your intentions as much as you possibly can. Have a swing key representing the major fundamental that influences all the other elements.

Place guides on the ground and review your posture, your grip, the alignment of your body, the club, the ball, and the mechanics of the swing.

For the second stage, you want to prioritize the stimulation of your senses. You want to heighten your ability to feel (to the smallest detail) what you do. It’s a physical and kinesthetic process. The information no longer comes from your thoughts, but from your senses. Pay attention to the tensions, pressures, supports, range of motion, and order of your movements. In this way, you’ll be able to “watch yourself from the inside.”

I recommend two exercises. The first is to take a swing (without using a ball) with your eyes closed and as slowly as possible. The second is to swing through the ball while watching the hole, not the ball.

Finally simulate your rounds as if you would be on the course. Visualize the ball’s flight and focus on the target and the results rather than on your swing mechanics. This stage reinforces your confidence and your natural flowing motion.

Hit a series of three balls towards targets that correspond to the shots taken on the course’s first few holes.

In conclusion, evolve from one kind of practice to the other every time you train. “Think” of your address position and check your swing. Then “feel” the harmony of your body and your swing. Then “let go” spontaneously and naturally during the real swing by recreating real game conditions. Your new technique will be fully assimilated only when you put it to the test, by playing on the course.