How Do You Know If You’re Practicing Effectively?
Do You Improve Your Golf Swing When Practicing?
Are you the Golfer that goes to the driving range to hit a bucket of golf balls so that you can work on your golf swing? You know, hit a few irons, hit a lot of drivers, try a few new things in your golf swing.
By speaking and interacting with Golfers everyday … we have found that the majority of Golfers feel that their golf swing doesn’t improve after going to the driving range to practice. So the question needs to be asked: why doesn’t your golf swing improve – shouldn’t it be getting better?
For most Golfers, the reality is that you walk off the driving range tee more confused about your golf swing versus when you first stepped on the tee. Yes, I’m sure there are days where it all comes together nicely – however, if you’re like most Golfers, the majority of trips to the driving range aren’t as successful as one might hope.
So to clear up this matter and give you an idea of what may be going wrong — I believe we need to find-out what your BPM is. You know – Balls Per Minute – how many golf balls do you hit each minute while at the driving range?
We can usually divide Golfers into 3 different BPM rates at the driving range:
3 BPM Golfers – aka: Ball Bashers, Range Rats, Rapid Fire Renegades
2 BPM Golfers – aka: Tinkerers, Fiddlers, New Tippers (Golfers that can’t wait for the new issue of Golf Magazine to come out each month so that they can go to the range and try all the new golf tips)
1 BPM Golfers – aka: Players
For example – just the other day, I saw a Golfer walking to range with what I’d call a Super Gulp Bucket – there must have been 120 golf balls in that green bucket! And amazing as it may seem … he was finished hitting all those golf balls within 40 minutes!
That equates to a rate of 3 BPM — which I would classify as being in the category of: WTF or Way Too Fast. No wonder why he was shaking his head back and forth and muttering too himself after each shot. Then, once the bucket was empty … to my shock – he went back inside and got another bucket … well not a Super Gulp Bucket, this one must’ve had only 60 golf balls. And those balls were blasted away at the same BPM rate.
Now, contrast that to the Tour Player that I was observing recently that was practicing at a 1 BPM rate. And although this Player didn’t have a bucket of balls – come on, do you think Tour Players frequent golf courses that require them to carry a green plastic bucket of striped golf balls to the range? These golf balls were already laid out for this Golfer, however, although there was an all-you-can-eat buffet of shiny white golf balls at his feet – the Player wasn’t in a hurry to hit golf ball after golf ball – instead, he savored his practice time.
Now a 1 BPM rate doesn’t mean that you hit one golf ball and then have to wait 55 seconds to hit your next golf ball. That would be an excruciating experience. There’s no problem with hitting multiple golf balls in succession. However, the key is – how many golf balls do you hit before you stop to do some swing drills?
We have found that the best way to practice is to first warm-up (we use our GMS 29 Ball Warm-up), then do some drills, hit some balls, do some drills, hit some balls, do some drills, hit some balls, etc., etc.
Whereas the 3 BPM Golfer is balls, balls, balls, balls – “I hate this game” — balls, balls, balls, balls – “Why can’t I get this” — balls, balls, balls, balls – “This isn’t working. I think I’m going to sell my golf clubs”.
The Player that uses the previous format that we suggest: Warm-up, Drills, Balls, Drills, Balls– will get so much more out of their practice time than the others.
It really goes back to the “Quality is more important than Quantity” issue.
For example – when Golfers come to see us for 3 days – we spend those 3 days with a Warm-up, Drills, Balls, Drills, Balls format. And that’s just one reason why all our Golfers improve so much during their time with us. Then, to continue their improvement once they get home –they stick with the same Practice Format and see even more improvement!
A prefect example would be the format on Day Two of our program. We start with the 29 Ball Warm-up. We then work on the Parallel Hands Drill. We’ll work on making very slow swings to position one and holding that position for 3 seconds each time. All the while, we’re asking our Golfers (and training them to ask themselves) “What do you feel?”
After about 5 minutes of feeling the first movements of your golf swing and how your body is working together to start the golf club back – you then hit 6 golf balls to a green (a target) that is 50 yards to the front and 67 yards to the back. One ball to the left of the target, one ball to the right of the target, etc.
After those 6 golf balls: back to the Parallel Hands Drill. This time slowly going back to position one (and holding for 3 seconds), then moving to position two and holding that position for 3 seconds. Asking “what do you feel?” Then, after 5 minutes – 6 golf balls in the same pattern as described above.
Then onto position three as we repeat the process again. Once those 6 golf balls are hit to our target – we then switch hands and do that whole process over again with the other hand.
So with the 29 Ball Warm-up, the drills, balls, drills, balls format – we spent about 1 hour of quality practice time – the best practice time you have ever spent (which is backed up by how well you’re hitting the golf ball … probably more solid than you have ever hit in your life!). Yet, in that hour, you hit about 65 golf balls. Which is a rate of just over 1 BPM.
And as you’re walking off the driving range – feeling great about your game; experiencing a similar feeling of accomplishment as a person that just left the health club after a phenomenal workout – you can bet 99% of the other Golfers that have a 3 BPM rate are looking at you and saying: “How can he/she hit the golf ball so much better than me? I hit so many more golf balls and work so much harder on my game! I was on this range before they got here and I’m still here after they left. So why are their scores lower than mine?”
Maybe it’s because using a Practice Format like we have developed allows you to improve each time you go to practice. Whereas most Golfers are lucky if they stay at the same skill level with their 2 BPM or 3 BPM practice rate.
The Monkey hits golf ball after golf ball trying to find it
The Player hits less quantity, yet hits more quality golf shots
Go ahead, be a Player!