Life gets busy. No matter your commitment to improving your golf game, finding the required time to do so can be hard to come by. We have all heard the stories of golfers hitting so many balls in a practice session that their hands blistered and bled. Most of us don’t want to go that route, plus hectic schedules might only allow occasional windows of opportunity to squeeze in an hour of practice here and there. But even if your time is tight, you can still find improvement by focusing on the elements of the game that bring the most dividends.
Nick Jacobi, a PGA Master Professional based in Monroe, N.C., lays out a suggested practice routine that will allow you to get the biggest game-improvement returns for a limited time investment.
If you could commit to 60 minutes of practice a few times a week your golf game would improve. Here is a schedule that would ensure that you get the most out of your practice time.
First 20 minutes – Putting
10 Minutes: Short Putts (4-6 feet)
Find a straight and flat putt about between 4-6 feet. Get 5 golf balls and one iron. Lay the iron on the ground parallel to your target and you want to putt with the ball just on the inside of the club and you want the toe of your putter almost touching the iron on the ground at address. Now practice putting for 10 minutes with the objective to putt and not have your putter head hit the iron lying on the ground. The goal is to make 10 putts in a row from 4-6 feet and not have your putter touch the club on the ground. Make sure you get your eyes directly over the ball at address. During the stroke just focus on listening for the ball to go in the hole, not watching it go into the hole.
10 Minutes: Lag/Long Putts (20-40 feet)
Get 6 golf balls. Start at the hole of your choice and take one big step (about 1 yard) and lay one ball down, then take another step (about 1 yard) and lay another one down. Do this until all 6 golf balls are on the ground in a straight line about 1 yard apart. Now start with the one closest to the hole and putt that one and move your way back down the line until you have putted all 6 golf balls. Once complete, do this again from a different angle/side of the hole. This is a great drill to work on speed control.
Next 15 minutes – Chipping
15 Minutes: Chipping near a putting/chipping green
Grab 6 golf balls and your gap wedge, 9-iron, and 7-iron. Now get to one side of the green and do a basic chipping motion with your gap wedge and notice how much the ball carries and rolls. Now do the same thing with your 9-iron and 7-iron. Make sure you set up correctly with most of your weight on your front foot and keep your hands ahead of the club head the entire time you chip the ball. Once you notice how much each club carries and rolls, start focusing on a target and choosing the correct club to execute the shot. Focus on hitting each shot the correct distance.
Next 25 minutes – Full Swing
15 Minutes: Irons
Hit 25-35 balls with your short irons and mid irons. Hit each club 3 times in a row and then switch. Focus on getting lined up correctly and make sure you pick out a target each time and focus on lining up correctly. Lay a club on the ground to help with your alignment.
10 Minutes: Driver, Fairway Woods, & Hybrids
Hit 15-30 balls with your woods and hybrids. Hit each club 3 times in a row and then switch. Focus on getting lined up correctly and make sure you pick out a target each time and focus on lining up correctly. Lay a club on the ground to help with your alignment.
The key to getting the most out of your practice time is to make sure you practice with a purpose. Follow this 60 minute schedule and your game will improve.