Instruction Tip

Create a workstation for more efficient practice...

A big difference that separates the efficiency of how pros practice compared to amateurs is their organization and attention to detail. When I walk the average range I see golfers of all abilities practicing with no plan in mind, clubs hanging out of their bag and thrown all over the ground, hitting golf shots aimlessly, sometimes for hours on end. This looks quite different when walking the range of a PGA Tour event. Creating a "workstation" like the pros can better allow you to get the most out of your practice sessions.

Pictured left is PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler. You can see that Rickie is practicing smart and leaving no stone unturned. He has a club on the ground next to his feet for alignment purposes, a stick on the ground next to his ball to monitor clubface position and divots, two sticks in the ground several yards in front of him to give him a better visual of his target line, and only a few balls raked off the pile at a time.

I am not saying that all golfers should be this diligent with how they practice, but it certainly helps to practice with a purpose in an organized environment. Practicing with an alignment club on the ground is a very important aspect of getting the most from a session. It is easy to fall into bad habits if you are unconsciously aiming too far offline. And I love the fact that Rickie is only hitting a few balls at a time, taking a break between swings and thinking about the areas of his swing that need improvement.

This is not a recommended way to practice immediately before a round of golf (that time should be devoted more to a brief warmup to get loose), but is great for time spent on the driving range or a day away from the course.

Keep these simple thoughts in mind the next time you are thinking about improving your golf game.

Jason Birnbaum, Director of Instruction
Manhattan Woods Golf Club

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  • I met Jason three years ago and during this period of time I have been able to make radical improvements to my golf swing and to my results do to a very effective way of teaching that is simple to understand.

    Alex Rocha

    PGA Tour

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