How often do you hit bad shots on the golf course and say to yourself, I was just hitting it great on the range. This happens all the time for most amateurs working on swing changes. You’re reinforcing the fact that you have not been practicing the correct way. Why is that?!
Golfers have the wrong idea when it comes to Practice. They think its all about perfecting-the-perfect-shot. They hit Ball after ball until its perfect, then switch clubs and do it again. Sounds like a reasonable way to work on your swing, right? No, not if your working on some changes. To really make a difference in your game you have to learn how to practice differently.
Let’s say you’re fundamental problem is a slice. On the range, you practice not slicing. You say to yourself, I need to work on hitting the ball straight. Unfortunately this type of approach does not fully integrate the changes you want. You have to start by identifying the opposite of your problem. In this case, it’s a hook. More specifically, it’s a ball flight that starts right and curves left. Notice I said starts right, not starts left. I say this because I know slicers can pull-hook the ball every once and a while, but not many can start the ball right and then hook it. That’s the challenge and that’s where you need to go with your practice.
You may say, I’ll start hooking the ball if I practice a hook. Not true. Why? The shots that show up on the course are typically a median of the shots you’ve been practicing. That means if you have been seeing a lot of slices – with only a few straight shots – you’re still going to see that slice too often. The only way to change this pattern is to start “inputting” some hooks. It will give you a new “feel” for successfully making the swing change. This is the real way to practice, and how TOUR players make quick changes in their games.
Remember, if you really want to make changes in your swing don’t waste your time working on the perfect shot. You have to devote time practicing the opposite of your problem. In this example it was a ball flight that started right and hooked. For some people it may be practicing low shots because they hit it too high, or it may be practicing toe hits because they hit it on heel. Find the opposite and start there. This is how you make changes in your game and get the results you want.