Improving your golf game takes practice. But not all practice is equal. Consider these two scenarios.

Player one: This player heads to the range twice a week after work to relax. He takes the same clubs with him each time. If possible, he also hits from the same space and he aims at the same target. He hits a few shots with his wedge, then 25 balls with his 7-iron. And he always finishes the bucket off with some drives. It’s his routine. And his routine has resulted in him maintaining the same handicap for years.

Player two: Another player practices once a week after work. As he drives to the course, he starts to think about how he will practice. He brings all his clubs to the range and deliberately hits from a different space to different targets. Some days he will play an imaginary course in his head – changing clubs every shot as the course might demand. Other days he works on a swing adjustment his local professional advised. Regardless of how he structures his practice, he reflects on each shot and tries to improve on the next one. Although he has only been playing golf for 5 years, his handicap is tumbling fast.

Neither of these practice routines is wrong. Hitting balls for relaxation is a wonderful thing to do. Just don’t confuse it will effective practice that will improve your game. If your practice is intended to improve your game, try these strategies:

  • Have a practice goal
  • Make practice hard; change clubs frequently (in a random way)
  • Note your performance. Are you improving? If not, seek professional help
  • If you are working on swing changes, make one adjustment at a time and give it your full focus

Check out this video for a review of what improvement will look like with deliberate practice:


featured sue shapcottSue Shapcott, PGA of GB&I is the Director of Instruction at Change Golf Instruction. Change Golf Instruction partners with Pine Ridge Golf Course in Paris, TX and provides accessible golf instruction to help players learn and improve their golf. For more information visit