Make Your Practice Efforts Count

Completing Scorecard picI have met many golfers claiming to be hard practicers.  However most pale in comparison to a friend whose practice habits are something of a legend.  A lasting memory is of him at a local park with a galvanised tin rubbish bin full of golf balls.  There would have been around 500 balls in the bin!

He tipped the bin so the balls tumbled into a pile on the ground.  He then proceeded to hit each ball toward the goal posts of a football field.  Each shot struck extremely well and flying to the target on almost exactly the same trajectory.  The face of the golf club was worn so much that there were no face lines discernable in the middle of the clubface.

Once all of the balls had been hit, he wheeled the bin to the other end of the field, collected the balls and hit them in the direction from where he began.

For the proponents of the belief that ‘if you work hard enough, you will reap the rewards’ here, surely was a future champion hard at work.  As good a ball striker and as dedicated to practice as he was, surely he was destined for stardom…unfortunately he was lost to the game after a few years.

History records a player’s measure of ability not by how well the ball is struck, but on performance.  Performance is related to score.  So the benefits of any practice needs to be measured by the ability of the player to “take it to the course”.

If you find that your practice efforts are not replicated on the course under pressure then it may be worth assessing how you practice.  I am not just referring to technical skills, but also to mental skills.  This will require taking an honest assessment of where you consider your strengths and weaknesses to lie on-course.

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