When you go to practice your golf swing, are you just as happy walking off the range tee as you were when you first stepped on the range? Or are you like most Golfers – just more confused about your golf swing?
We have found that 9 out of 10 Golfers feel less confident about their golf swing after going to the driving range than when they first stepped on. Although the idea of going to the range was to improve your golf swing … Golfers usually walk off the range disappointed.
If this happens to you … and I would say there is a 90% chance that you experience the same frustrations … then part of the problem might be your Balls Per Minute ratio.
What is your Balls Per Minute ratio? You Balls Per Minute ratio is simply how many golf balls per minute you hit. And I believe that if you spent one session on the range tracking your Ball Per Minute (BPM), you would be in shock at how little time you are actually practicing versus just hitting golf balls.
I was at the practice range the other day to practice my own game for the first time in … I can’t even remember the last time. Yet, as I was practicing – a Golfer comes up to the spot next to me to hit some golf balls. And although I had already been there for 15 minutes – over the next 15 minutes, he hit more golf balls than I hit for my entire 30 minutes.
As I was working at a rate of 2 BPM (1 ball every 30 seconds) – he was hitting golf balls at 5 BPM. So he was out hitting me at a rate of more than 2 balls golf balls for every 1 golf ball I hit.
Yet, he didn’t start out at 5 BPM … he started at about 3 BPM. And at that rate, he was hitting the golf ball ok … not great, but good compared to what was about to happen.
As he started to get in the groove, his BPM started to increase. And as his BPM increased … his shots started to get worse and worse … topping shots, hitting behind the golf ball, huge divots flying in the air, shanking, etc.
However, as I attempted to not be distracted by continuing to practice … I have to admit I started thinking less about my golf practice and more about him. Being an Instructor, my life is devoted to watching Golfers and how they practice … and this was classic Monkey practice … so I couldn’t resist watching this train wreck.
So my practice basically was over as I stood back, drank some water, did some stretches, etc – so that I could observe the scene.
As I was watching this Golfer groove his bad habits, I couldn’t help but think that maybe he thought that his range fee was being charged per minute. I mean why else would a Golfer hit 1 golf ball every 12 seconds?
But then I started looking at each person on the driving range and I saw the same thing. Each Golfer would hit their golf ball, watch the initial flight of it, then look down to drag another golf ball over to them before the golf ball in the air hit the ground. And usually they were doing this with a look of disgust on their face as the golf ball they just hit wasn’t up to their expectations.
However, it was funny because by draging another golf ball over to hit … they never stepped away to try to figure out what they did wrong on the prior golf swing. It was like they dragged the golf ball over and just swung at it the same way as if to think that the next shot would just automatically self-correct. Yet, golf swing after golf swing – nothing improved.
So they kept doing the only thing natural to them … they just kept hitting and hitting and hitting.
It was if each person walked up to the tee area with a smile that slowly faded the more golf balls they hit. And the worse they hit … the faster they hit. And the faster they hit … the worse they hit. And the worse they hit … the faster they hit. A downward spiraling of your golf game they gets worse and worse until you start thinking to yourself — “Why do I do this to myself?”
It’s a like an inexperienced gambler in Las Vegas. They sit down at the blackjack table with a smile. However, when they start to lose some money the smile starts to drift away. And the more money they lose … the more risks they take in trying to win the money back. And the more risks … the more they lose. Etc, etc, etc.
Could what these Golfers do on the driving range be considered practice? If I had asked any of these Golfers if they were practicing their golf swing, what would they have said? “Yeah, I’m practicing. I’m practicing my golf swing”.
My impression is that they weren’t practicing – it was more that they were just hitting golf balls. Hitting golf balls isn’t practice – or at least it is not practicing anything good. If they were practicing, the only thing being practiced was bad habits that were getting more and more engrained in their golf swing.
So what about you? What is your BPM? Is you golf practice more about practicing or hitting golf balls? Or are you confused by that question because you always thought that hitting golf balls was practicing?
The answers that most Golfers give are usually much different than the answers you’ll get from a PGA Tour Player. Who do you think hits more Balls Per Minute: the regular Golfer at the range or the PGA Tour Player?
To become a Player, to be able to hit the golf ball more consistent, to advance your game to the next … requires you to take your practice habits to the next level.
Go ahead, come to GMS and learn how to become a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life