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Keys to Successful Practice

Practice is an important part of being successful in the game of golf. One of the myths of the game is that you have to hit a bunch of range balls off of a perfect lie to get better. That is not true! If you practice the shots you will actually face on the golf course your scores will lower dramatically. 

In practice, FAILURE IS CRUCIAL! We can benefit from practice when stress and failure are an integral part of what we’re doing. Real learning takes place under stress. This information fascinated me as I think back to lessons I have taught to others and my own game. 

When practice is too easy, we get bored, our brains fall asleep. Our practice sessions have no lasting effect if they don’t keep us awake. Practice should really contain no more than a 60 to70 percent success rates. This means that we derive more value from practice when we fail 30 to 40 percent of the time than when we’re successful a majority of the time. Failure is the key; it is when we are stimulated enough to pay attention.

There are a number of ways I suggest when practicing to help achieve lasting success and take it to the course.
Create difficult, golf course-like situations in your practice.
Hit balls from a variety of lies: level, unlevel, good lies, bad lies etc.
Work on what your game needs.
If you are driving it well but can’t hit from the turf, hit a lot of irons. 
Practice the shots you hate the most.
Practice those slippery, downhill right-to-left breaking putts (if you’re left-handed, practice left-to-right breakers).
If you prefer a fade, force yourself to hit some draws to a back-left pin.
Practice on the course. 
If you fight a shank, drop a bucket of balls by the green in random lies. Resist the urge to “set them up.” Simply play them as they lie.

Practice all of these situations so you are prepared for anything during your round.  Practice hard, Play better.