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Many of us will spend more time at home than ever. In an effort to keep many of you busy, I've created a guide to different ways you can practice golf at home. I focus on three main categories: putting, full shots and wedge play. Not everyone will be able to work on all of these things due to its limited size, but I hope you get some good ideas with whatever methods you can practice. I've also linked to other articles I've written to explain certain concepts in more detail.
If you have a proven method, you can also add it in the Comments section!
While you may not all be able to perform all the exercise methods that I will describe, the only thing that almost anyone can practice at home is placement.
There are three critical well skills:
Starting the Ball on the Target Line (Strike Quality)
Unfortunately you cannot practice them all at home. For most of you, you will work best on the quality of your stroke.
What You Can Use
When I was a teenager, I peed on the carpet in the hallway with a glass cup. There is nothing wrong with going that simple. A fun, fairly inexpensive product called PuttOut
is also an excellent tool if you have an existing surface and want to give yourself a bigger challenge. You can read my full review here.
PuttOut is a nice tool that you can use on an existing surface in your home
Many of you already have floor mats at home. If you don't, a Premium option I recently wrote about is the Perfect Practice Putting Mat. I have just contacted the owners and they still have a strong offer at the moment. You can buy it directly from them on their website here – with code PRACTICAL10 you get 10% discount.
A few examples of how I practiced the Perfect Practice matt
Alternatively, the SKLZ accelerator
is a good choice if you want to keep your costs down.
The distances that make the difference
Practicing placing 10 feet is very important. These are the distances where golfers have a fair chance of making putts.
I often bring up these statistics to give people perspective on wells and their difficulty:
Source: Mark Broadie
By using these percentages as a guideline, you can benchmark your progress. There are plenty of different games you can play to keep yourself busy and challenge yourself to build your put skills. Here are a few you can try:
Place six balls about a foot apart. When you make the first putt, move on to the next. Every time you miss you have to start all over again. See if you can get the last putt. To add a challenge, you can continue with the smaller hole, or add to the number of putts you need to make at each station (2, 3 or 4 in a row).
A variation on this game is to slightly change the position of each ball (moving it left or right) to force yourself to realign for the next putt.
Choose a distance and see how many putts you can make in a row. Have a leader board to keep track of your best scores at any distance.
If you have some space
Suppose you have a piece of carpet longer than 3 to 3 meters in your house, perhaps in your basement; you could do some speed exercises. While a carpet is not the perfect surface, it is better than nothing!
A great way to work on your speed control is to make small windows for the ball to land in. For example, if you're only 10 feet away, you can try to keep the ball within 6 to 12 inches. area (you can use golf balls or coins to mark them off). As you get further away, say up to 20 feet, you can expand the window to 18-36 inches based on your skill level. Try to challenge yourself with games where you have to land a certain number of balls within the goal area before you can go backwards.
Here's another example of a game you can play:
Practicing in a net
I realize that not everyone has the space in their apartment or house to hit full shots in a net. But if you do, there are plenty of ways to make this practice meaningful. I will break this section down into a few sections depending on whether or not you have feedback on your photos from a launch monitor. I will also link to articles that examine each method in more detail.
Anyone who has read Practical Golf knows that I am a strong believer in following your impact tendencies. This would be my first recommendation for anyone hitting balls into a net at home, especially if they don't know how the shot went.
an example of impact practice
Where you make an impact on the face of the club is critical to the quality of your golf shots. I highly recommend reading these two articles to understand why it is so essential and how to practice:
The most underrated fundamentally in golf
Golf ball speed: the king of distance
If you buy a can of Dr. Scholls Foot Spray
you can begin to understand where your tendencies are and improve them.
Another favorite practice method of mine when I hit balls in a net is working on your swing tempo. Most readers of this site come back to me with fantastic results if they do.
To understand why the concept is so important, and to practice effectively, I recommend reading my full breakdown of the swing tempo here.
Low Point Control
One of the biggest challenges when practicing on artificial grass is knowing where your club is bottoming out. Often times, mats can give you a false sense of confidence.
A critical skill of any ball attacker is the control at a low point. Ideally, you want your irons to contact the ball first and then interact with the grass on a downward trajectory. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to store as much; most golfers would benefit from a relatively shallow angle with their irons.
This video gives a great towel exercise that can be performed on a mat:
Launch monitors have become a popular way of providing feedback when practicing in a net. I have covered this topic extensively on the site and many of you know that I am using a SkyTrak launch monitor myself.
The SkyTrak and PRGR launch monitors
Whether your budget is just $ 200, or the thousands, there are plenty of ways to use these devices to practice effectively. Here are links to all the relevant articles I have written on launch monitors:
Practicing with a launch monitor
Guide to Home Golf Simulators
How I practice with SkyTrak
Here are popular launch monitor reviews:
If you have a yard near your house and are willing to shred the lawn a bit (don't say I didn't warn you), there are plenty of ways to improve your wedge game. Since your lawn will be a limiting factor, you will likely be working on shorter chip or pitch shots (read this article to see the difference between the two).
There are three skills you can work on that primarily dictate success on the golf course:
Interaction of grass
I will give you a few ways to practice all of these in this section.
How well you can land the ball within your intended distance is perhaps the most essential wedge skill. If you can land the ball on the green and keep it there regularly, you will overcome one of the main golf challenges: preventing bogeys and double bogeys. Of course, you want to save pars more often, but avoiding wedge shots that don't hit the green is a skill within the reach of every golfer.
So when you hit wedge shots in your yard, always has an intended target . It can be a tree, a bucket or even a baseball cap. If you want to put pressure, just put one of your kids on it and try to land the ball just in front of them (I'm kidding). Generally, unless you actively attempt to land the ball within a reasonable distance around your target, you cannot tighten your distance control. Don't expect perfection, either.
I also prefer simplicity when it comes to wedge play. Get good at controlling your distance with just one or two wedges, so you know what to expect on the track. I practice 95% of my exercises on these shots with my 56 degree and 60 degree wedges.
Finally, you should mix your practice with repetitive and random targets, which I recently discussed in this post. Here are a few examples:
Choose a target and hit 5-10 balls repeatedly, paying close attention to the overall proximity. Track your progress and become competitive with yourself.
Play a game of & # 39; leapfrog & # 39 ;. Hit the first shot at a shorter distance, then try to land the next batch of balls a step further than the previous one. You can also do this in reverse.
Test yourself randomly. Set 4-5 goals around your yard at different distances and randomly cycle through them.
How low or high your wedge shots travel through the air is also very important for scoring. As you have noted, a lower trajectory shot tends to roll out more on the green, while a higher loft shot will stop a little faster.
Without getting too complicated, there are two ways to manage your trajectory. The first is with club choice. If all things are equal, chipping with an 8 iron causes the ball to start on a lower trajectory than against a sand wedge. The second way to manage the process is how you deliver the club. Some players are more adept at using their hands and are set to add or reduce a loft with the same club.
I believe loft control is an area of wedge play where a little experimentation can help most players. What I like to do is choose a target and try to land the ball the same distance with a low, medium and high trajectory. You can do this with the same club and experiment with the ball position, opening or closing the face or changing your technique. Conversely, you can also choose different clubs to reach those different routes. Going through this exercise will give you a better idea of what it takes to keep the ball slightly lower or higher.
My only warning is that you don't have to get too fancy with things. For the most part, you can follow very similar wedge trajectories and get good results on the court. Phil Mickelson flop shots are not required. But experimenting is a very useful exercise to build your skills, making you more skilled in your & # 39; stock wedge shots & # 39 ;.
Interaction of grass
Another critical wedge skill is reading your lies. Not every ball will sit perfectly in the fairway. When your ball lands in the rough, you're dealing with a variety of lies ranging from buried to & # 39; fluffy & # 39; and on top of the grass. Your technique and club choice should be adjusted accordingly.
Your garden can suffer a little, but if you want you can experiment with different lies and see how the club reacts. A general rule of thumb is the following:
If your ball is buried, it's best to get a little steeper with the delivery of the club. Think of it as a plane taking a dive. Also use a club with more loft and bounce (like your sand wedge). You want to limit the amount of time the golf club communicates with the grass because it slows down your club and twists the face, making it harder to control distance and course.
Conversely, if your ball is nice on the grass, you can do the opposite. Instead of the imaginary plane making a steeper descent, you can approach the ball more shallow, like a soft landing on the runway. Sometimes I consider it more like a blow and gently shake my upper body back and forth without taking much of my hands.
This is another area of wedge play where experimentation pays off. Give yourself a variety of lies and see how a small change to your technique or club selection can change your results. When you get to see those lies on the court, you have a much better understanding of how the ball will react and how to play those blows.
Wrapping It Up
Thanks for reading, and hopefully golf can be an important distraction in this challenging time. I would like you to contribute in a fun way that you have been able to practice at home, so feel free to add them in the comments below.