Here’s how you can get two hours better in only 20 minutes

September 7, 2019
Player on driving range

Want to improve fast but are short on time? Two Top 100 Teachers dish on how to wring the most out of wee practice sessions. Choose one shot you like the least, say, a greenside bunker shot, and focus all your time on that single thing. —Kellie Stenzel Start with five minutes of putting from 10 feet and in, then five minutes of putting from 20, 30 and 40 feet. Spend the next five minutes on shots from 100-150 yards, aiming for crisp contact. Finish with five minutes of driving, with a focus on sticking to your shot shape. —Debbie Doniger

Want to improve fast but are short on time? Four Top 100 Teachers dish on how to wring the most out of wee practice sessions.

With all of us having such limited time in our busy lives, we need to be so much more efficient with our practice. I often tell my students to choose one shot that they like the least, like a greenside bunker shot, and practice it for 15-20 minutes.  If you choose a shot you don’t like and you work on it, the self discovery through practice can help build confidence and lower your scores.  The repetition of the same shot over and over, when you have that shot on the course, often transfers very well, as you remember that you just did that and you remember how you hit the shot.
—Kellie Stenzel

Start with five minutes of putting from 10 feet and in, then five minutes of putting from 20, 30 and 40 feet. Spend the next five minutes on shots from 100-150 yards, aiming for crisp contact. Finish with five minutes of driving, with a focus on sticking to your shot shape. —Debbie Doniger

First, warm up your body for five minutes — not with static stretching but with dynamic movements like arm swings (no club in hand, start with small arm motion with arms extended making small circles then ever larger, and repeat backwards), leg swings (hold on to a golf cart or bag stand and swing alternating leg forward, backward and side to side), and neck motions (gently rotate your head from side to side and down, flexing with minimal extending. Avoid speed and pulling on your head.

For the next two minutes, get the motor running. Take fast swings with a club in hand but no ball. Swing your normal direction, then opposite direction. Next, grab your favorite wedge and take half-speed pitch shots for five minutes. Don’t worry about a target. This is more about building awareness of ball turn contact, finding low point and working on face control.

For the next five minutes, it’s time for full swings. Use a 5-iron or hybrid (something long enough to feel like hard swing) and look to see what pattern, if any, is developing. Work on achieving high ball flight with a minimal divot or brushing of the ground. And for your final three minutes, unleash the driver. Tee it up, try for crazy speed and high ball flight and push yourself to hit it farther than you ever have before. Don’t be concerned if the ball is offline or contact not ideal.
—Jon Tattersall

My focus for players is to practice real shots in a close scenario to their actual game conditions. No mechanics, distractions, conversations, or swinging away at golf balls without an outcome. It’s actually difficult to do! Smashing golf balls is fun, but to really prepare to play, the practice has to resemble what golfers experience on the course more. To do this, trust your swing and mindfully practice golf scenarios you struggle with or face frequently. Find a distraction-free practice area that replicates a challenging on-course shot, envisioning as many details about the distance, trajectory, and outcome required. Go slowly, and fully, through your routine to ingrain the process. —Joe Plecker

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