Earn your way up or out!

Practicing golf is not easy. It is specifically not easy to enjoy. It is my job as Coach to provide new ways to see things and to provide environments for my students to learn. In this vain, I love to create training environments that “gamify” practice – in other words, make practice fun by playing GAMES!
One of the easiest games you can create yourself is what I call “earning your way up or earning your way out.” The objective is simple – create a task that has a progression of easy to difficult. Then, define success for each “rung of the ladder.” For example, you can start with putting at three, five, seven and nine feet. You say that you need to make 4 out of 7 putts from three feet in order to attempt the five footer. Then you need to make 4 out of 7 putts from five feet to advance longer again. If you fail the task from five feet, return to the three foot putt. This way you are training with a little bit of pressure as each putt matters! I would start by setting a timer for 10 minutes and see how far you can get. I guarantee you will feel pressure on the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th putt at each distance!
Another simple game I have been implementing with a lot of my students revolves around simply making solid impact with the ball and dissociating with precise results. Most of us feel better about our golf swing when making solid contact so earn your way up to a full swing by starting small. Similarly, you are given four balls and need to strike at least three of them solid to move to a longer shot. Start with chipping, move to pitching, then punching and finally a full swing. You can work up this ladder with all your clubs and hopefully be hitting the ball more solidly in no time!
Try anything to stay engaged in the process of practice and you will not only enjoy it more, but you’ll also get a whole lot more out of your practice!

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