Gary Player put it perfectly when he famously said, “the more I work and practice, the luckier I seem to get.”
Improving your golf game and lowering your score requires practice.
And practice doesn’t mean just playing eighteen holes once every weekend with your buddies after a long week at work.
If you’re serious about reducing your handicap, you need to dedicate some time to work on various aspects of your game, whether it’s out on the range or at your club’s designated practice facility.
While some people see the practice as boring or even unproductive, this is because they haven’t developed a precise plan to guide their efforts.
If you’re not working towards anything in particular, it can be challenging to stay motivated while you’re practicing, and you may even struggle to see results when you get back out on the course.
To help focus your sessions, this article introduces you to the fundamentals of developing a golf practice plan, so you can improve your game and lower your scores.
- 1 How Do I Make a Golf Practice Plan?
- 2 How Many Hours a Week Should I Practice Golf?
- 3 What is a Good Practice Plan Template I Could Try Out?
- 4 How Do You Become a Scratch Golfer?
- 5 Learn and Develop Your Own Golf Practice Strategy?
How Do I Make a Golf Practice Plan?
The first thing to say here is well done!
Your interest in developing a golf practice plan is the first step towards improving your game and is a step that many recreational golfers never take.
Golf is an incredibly complex and difficult game to master, so it requires practice and dedication to reduce your scores.
The key to developing a golf practice plan is to work on all areas of your game.
Too often, people focus on honing their full swing or hitting the same strokes on the range.
As a minimum, your practice plan should work on your drivers, woods and long metals, long and short irons, pitching and putting.
In other words, ensure your plan includes all aspects of your short and long game.
We advise you to take stock of your weaknesses at this stage, too.
We all have an aspect of our golf games that we would love to improve but scarcely find the time to work on it.
Dedicating more time to an area where you’re particularly weak will help you improve in a shorter space of time.
While it’s perfectly possible to make a golf practice plan yourself, it’s always a good idea to speak to a pro and arrange a couple of lessons.
This ensures you’re working on areas of your game under the guidance and allows you to check in with your instructor and monitor your progress.
This can be an excellent way of keeping up your motivation and working towards your targets.
How Many Hours a Week Should I Practice Golf?
In order to see significant improvements in your golf game, you should aim to practice 3-4 times per week, for 1-2 hours at a time. While this might seem like a lot, it’s necessary to help you reduce your score.
If you’re relatively new to the game, we would highly recommend you dedicate one hour of practice time each week to a lesson.
You can’t understate how helpful a pro will be in helping you design and adhere to your practice plan.
As well as focusing your practice on your key weaknesses, a pro will ensure your technique, stance, and grip are good, too.
You will find that developing an ideal blend between instruction and practice will soon help you shave off a number of shots from your scorecard.
Equally, you should then aim to put what you’ve learned on the range into practice.
You’ve almost certainly stood at the range and hit glorious shot after glorious shot, only to enter the tee the following day and return to old habits!
To ensure you’re able to transfer your newly learned skills to the course, be sure to schedule nine or eighteen holes alongside your weekly practice plan.
What is a Good Practice Plan Template I Could Try Out?
The online golf community certainly isn’t short of golf practice plan templates that you can personalize to work on all aspects of your game.
Whichever template you use, you need to break your sessions down and identify their specific purpose.
While some coaches will have you play a variety of shots in each session, there’s merit in focusing on just one type of shot and making your practice intensive.
For instance, over the course of one week, you could consider the following practice plan template to work on the four areas of your game that we introduced a little earlier:
Drivers, Woods, and Long Irons Practice Drills
Hit 100-200 range balls with your driver and long metals. Vary tee height, practice draw and fade, and monitor your distances, aiming for specific targets each time.
Long and Short Iron Practice Drills
Hit 100-200 range balls with your selection of irons that you struggle most with.
Practice off the tee and from the grass. Try punch shots as well as half and quarter swing irons to vary your length.
Pitching and Chipping Practice Drills
Hit 200 chips from the rough and 100 from the fringe.
Vary your distance from the hole as well as your lie.
Try and use the contours of the green to improve your accuracy. Throw a handful of balls in the bunker and practice your recovery shots too.
Putting Practice Drills
Sink 300 puts from around the hole in a single session.
Work out your distances and begin anywhere between three and five feet away from the pin.
Increase your distance over time, and be sure to change your position regularly so you can putt from different angles.
By performing variations of the four practices listed above, scheduling at least one lesson with a pro, and heading out onto the course for a weekly nine or eighteen holes, you will begin to see remarkable improvements in all aspects of your game.
For specific drills and a range of other routines that you could follow, take a look at this golf practice template resource.
How Often Should Junior Golfers Practice?
According to Golfweek, junior golfers should practice one or two times each week.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of a junior golfer’s practice is that of instruction.
It’s vital that you find a coach who will get the best out of your son or daughter while helping them develop their weaknesses.
This being said, the more a junior player practices, the better they will become in the future.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with spending a couple of hours at the range after school a few extra nights a week or chipping and putting long into the evening on the weekend.
Any time we hear from the pros at the top of their game, we hear of how they spent countless hours in and around the golf course.
As they grew up, mimicking that attitude and encouraging juniors to practice often and learn as much about the game as possible, will certainly stand them in good stead for their future golfing aspirations.
How Do You Become a Scratch Golfer?
So many golfers aspire to play from scratch. But the reality is, only around 2% of players in the world can be considered as zero handicap golfers.
As you can probably imagine, playing from scratch takes years of experience, practice, and hard work.
If you’re a single-digit handicapper hoping to get to scratch in the near future, here are some of the finer margins of your game you can work on to help you get there:
- Distance control: Scratch golfers know precisely how far they can hit each of their clubs and even have their ¾, half, and ¼ swing distances down to a science.
- Stat-based analysis of their game: The better you become, the more important it is to look for an advantage in the game’s finer margins. Scratch players monitor stats like greens and fairways in regulation and putts per green to continually improve their performance.
- Focused practice: Scratch golfers understand the importance of focused practice. They use their stats and ample experience to know what to focus on in each session.
This helps them to improve the most pressing aspects of their game at any given time.
You’re probably not surprised to hear that becoming a scratch golfer is majorly about practicing and continually improving the fine margins of your game.
While natural ability certainly comes into it, the more dedicated and focused your practice plan is, the more likely you are to play to a lower handicap.
Learn and Develop Your Own Golf Practice Strategy?
If you’re serious about improving your golf game, you have to dedicate sufficient time to practice.
Those sliced iron shots and wayward puts won’t correct themselves, and won’t be put right by a casual round of eighteen holes with your friends, either.
Instead, spend some time developing a personalized golf practice plan, ideally with the help of a pro or qualified golf instructor.
They can help you identify the areas of your game that you need to work on and will be there to guide and motivate you throughout your practice.
While you might not necessarily become a scratch golfer, you will almost certainly see a significant improvement in all aspects of your game, and you will undoubtedly shoot lower scores as a result.