I’m a Beginner, How Should I Practice?


Whether you are a beginner or not, the likelihood is that you are impatient that you aren’t improving quickly enough.  Even though I’m addressing beginners in this article, the ideas apply to all golfers.

Let’s define a beginner, not as someone who has just picked up a golf club for the first time in the last month.  Instead, it could be someone who is in their first year of playing (maybe first two years).  You might be someone who dabbled in golf a while ago and now have decided to play regularly.  That qualifies too.

There are some keys to beginning well, such as getting used to swinging the club, holding the club correctly and standing correctly.  I’ll cover what you should be practicing in another article.

It’s one thing to ask what you should be practicing as a beginner, but a completely different question to ask “how should I practice?”

The way you practice has a big effect on your rate of progress.  Too many players jump from one swing thought to another in the hope of finding some magic for their game.  There is no magic … only solid principles.  The better those principles are applied in practice, the faster your game will improve.

Getting your set-up right is one of the foundation elements for an effective golf swing.  As with most sports, preparing properly is not completely natural and does take some practice.  The best possible start you can make is to get some coaching.  Of course, coaching is extremely beneficial whatever your standard.

Focussed repetition is key to improving anything.  When you are learning to hold the club make sure your attention is on placing your hands as correctly as possible on the club, regardless of how it feels.  It’s very unusual for a player to hold the club correctly in the early stages and say that it does feel comfortable and natural.

You can practice at home and it only takes five minutes per day.  Repeatedly place your hands on the club and set up to a golf ball (or imaginary golf ball) as correctly as you can.  Use a mirror to check your posture and any notes or pictures you have from your coach to check your grip and set-up.  If you do this twice a day your grip and set-up will feel pretty natural by the end of one week.

Supplement the work you do at home by hitting balls on the range at least twice a week.  You only need to hit 50 balls at a time, that make sure your attention is fully on your coach’s suggestions with each practice swing and shot.

The more you practice mindfully with your attention on what you are doing, the more quickly you’ll develop a consistent swing pattern.  Not only will you progress more quickly practicing this way, but it will make it easier for your coach to make any necessary adjustments.

As well as prioritising set-up, you also need to understand the dynamics of the golf swing: rhythm, tempo, timing and balance.  These are the elements that make good golf swings become great golf swings.  They are essential for every player from the Tour player down to the beginner.

If you haven’t already done so, prioritise developing set up in dynamics and enjoy really rapid progress with your golf.


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