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How to Practice Golf to Get Great Results

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How many days should you practice at the range, at home and in the gym?

This is something that is very individual, it depends on your skill level, your availability, your commitment, your location/climate and your fitness/health. Ideally, I like to see a student stretching daily, making sure to hit the key muscle groups for the golf swing; shoulders, hips and back.

I suggest a workout 2-3 times a week pending health with a good mixture of core, weights and cardio. Pending your goals in the golf swing will determine your workouts at the gym: just like a golf professional a great trainer can develop a plan to help you target your weaknesses and get the most from your workouts. As for the range, I like to see students there at least 2-3 times a week, but the key here is quality over quantity.

Efficient practice beats extended practice any day of the week, so commit to a time frame that you can stay positive, engaged, and meet your practice goals. A good 20 min session can be worth more than a three-hour session. This can be substituted with at home practice working on short game in the house or around the yard and full swing movements in the living room or if you are lucky enough, a hitting net.

What should I practice on the range and in what order?

Always start your sessions with a stretch and proper warm up. You want to divide your time in thirds, with one third of the time on putting, one third on chipping/pitching/bunkers and one third on full swing.

I like to start with the putter and work my way up to the full swing. It is important to keep track of time and set out a plan for each session, so you are more accountable and productive with your practice. Depending on your level and current goals this practice plan could be adapted. For example, if you are working on a putting stroke change with your coach you may want to spend more time on the putting green to make those changes.

If you notice your chipping statistics are killing your scores, you may want to dedicate more time in that area. If you are making a swing change you may want to use your training aids and go through your drills in the full swing.

As seen in the video there are different types of practice, I like to break it into

1. Practicing to improve your mechanics and skills; and

2. Practicing to Perform.

Your coach’s advice and your current goals will determine how you set up your practice. If you are swinging well and don’t need any changes i would advise practicing to perform. This will include a lot of focus on game like scenarios; imagining fairways, going through routines, chipping and making yourself hole out the putt from tricky lies. If you have decided to make a change in your swing, your focus will be more like a block practice session where you are hitting one club from one spot with training aids and tools to help you feel the change, drills and exaggerated feels given to you by a professional who has diagnosed the swing problem.

All golfers should have a solid mix of both of these types of practice, and try to keep practice fun and productive, keeping track of your goals, statistics and scores in both practice and play will help you make the best practice plan for you!

If I can’t get to the range what at home options can I do to improve my swing?

As a professional I often prescribe homework for the range and at home. You don’t need a club and a ball to improve your sequence and body motion.

A great professional will give you at home exercises to help you improve, but some great exercises everyone can do at home are:
Putting on carpet using alignment sticks to check path, setting up a putting mirror to check eyeline, putting through a tee gate to check club face etc., If you have a long piece of carpet or putting mat you can do trail hand only putts to work on speed.
Chipping into a net, working on low point control, chipping standing on your lead leg keeping balance, chipping over and under fence to work on trajectory.
Full swing you can swing in front of a mirror to check positions, work on separating your upper and lower half, work on balance, work on posture by swinging with your back to a chair, work on rotation by crossing your arms on your shoulders, work on foot pressure by swinging with no shoes on.

If you are lucky enough to have a hitting net you can get the feel of center contact by swinging through a tee gate, placing a towel 6 inches behind the ball to insure you don’t hit behind the ball, or spraying foot spray on your club face to check for center contact.

I once had a lady who struggled with a grip change and she came back one week and was suddenly super comfortable with the change, she told me she left a 7 iron by the coffee machine and worked on her new position every morning as she waited for the coffee machine. I had another gentleman forget his putter to the golf class as he had left at home after working on his “homework” from the previous week.

One great thing that came from covid is the world got very creative. Many wonderful golf professionals created a learning environment from home and putting mats and hitting nets are now a lot more affordable. Practicing at home is easier than it ever has been before! If you set a goal and have a clear plan, you can improve your practice and your game from anywhere.

Drills at the beginning, middle, and end of the season.

You want to be working on your drills in the off season and make any swing changes during this time. Playing golf and making a swing change is often a difficult challenge as it is sometimes hard to trust a new move on the golf course when the pressure is on. It is common to fall back to comfortable/old habits.

When you are in peak playing season; this may be the club championship, your family trip, or a tournament you always play in you want to trust your swing and focus your practice on routines, playing under pressure, accepting the outcome of your shots. Throughout the year you may have to adjust this plan based on your scores or results. The best thing to do is to map out your golfing year, where do you need “peak performances” and then you can make swing adjustments in off season and plan your practice accordingly.

Before your big event you want to get out onto the course, trust your swing, and focus on short game. When planning leave adequate time before a tournament to adjust the swing and feel comfortable with the changes so you can transfer your skills to the course.



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Rory Beats Morikawa by 1 in CJ Cup

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Everyone can stop asking what’s wrong with Rory McIlroy.

The 32-year-old from Northern Ireland closed with a 6-under-par 66 to claim his 20th PGA Tour victory in the CJ Cup at Summit by one stroke over third-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal at The Summit Golf Club in Las Vegas.

“It is a big carrot,” said McIlroy, who was disappointed by his play recently in the Ryder Cup, said of reaching 20 wins. “I didn’t know it would be this week. Being me is enough. Being me can let me do things like this. It was huge, it really was.

“There was a lot of reflection in the couple of weeks (since the Ryder Cup). This is what I need to do. I need to play golf, simplify it and just be me. I think for the last few months I was trying to be someone else to try to get better but realized that being me is enough and being me, I can do things like this.”

McIlroy, who also captured the Wells Fargo Championship in May and has 29 wins as a pro, moved into contention by shooting 62 in round three, made four birdies on the front nine and one on the back in the final round, but it was his 34-foot eagle putt at No. 15 that gave him the victory at 25-under 263.

Morikawa, 24, who won the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s in July, collected seven birdies on the front nine and finished with a 62, but his seven-foot eagle putt on the last hole on a course where he is a member left him one stroke short.

“Whenever you shoot 62 you’re always going to be pleased,” said Morikawa, who also won the WGC-Workday Championship in February and has five PGA Tour victories. “But I thought I left a few out there, especially with some putts.

“But overall I’m very pleased the way this last 18 went, especially at a course that I’ve played a lot. I felt very comfortable and it’s a good way to start the season.”

Keith Mitchell, who held the lead after opening with 62-64, birdied three of the last five holes for a 67 and was three shots back in a tie for third with Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, the 54-hole leader who was ahead by three early in the final round but made a double-bogey 7 at No. 6 en route to a 71.

Sam Burns, who won the Sanderson Farms Championship two weeks ago, had a second straight 66 to wind up four down in a tie for fifth with Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore, who also shot 66, Talor Gooch, who holed out from 94 yards on the last hole to cap a bogey-free 62, and Adam Scott of Australia, who birdied the last two holes for a 69.

Sungjae Im of South Korea, who won the Shriners for Children’s Open last week, birdied five of the last six holes for a 64 and finished five strokes behind in a tie for ninth with Gary Woodland (65), Harry Higgs (67), Cameron Smith of Australia (68) and Robert Streb (70), who led after the first round with a 61.

Fifth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State made five birdies on each nine in a 63 and finished in a tie for 18th that included sixth-ranked Justin Thomas, a two-time CJ Cup winner who eagled the last hole for a 64, while eighth-ranked Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa shot 67 and finished in a tie for 38th that included ninth-ranked Brooks Koepka, who wound up at 68.

Second-ranked Dustin Johnson made two eagles in a 68 and finished in a tie for 45th that included 10th-ranked Tony Finau, who had a bogey-free 65, while defending champion Jason Kokrak tied for 58th after a 68, and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan also came in at 68 and tied for 59th.

For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html   



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Hitting Out of Tall Wet Grass

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Playing in damp conditions? LPGA Instructor Meredith Kirk shares two important keys when you have to hit out of tall, wet grass.

The post Hitting Out of Tall Wet Grass appeared first on Women's Golf.



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Fowler Posts 63, 2 Up on Rory in CJ Cup

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Rickie Fowler’s game has been so spotty the last two seasons that he needed a sponsors exemption to get into the CJ Cup at Summit, but he’s making it pay off.

The 32-year-old Fowler, from Murietta in Southern California, posted a bogey-free, 9-under-par 63 to take a two-stroke lead over Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland after 54 holes at The Summit Golf Club in Las Vegas.

“I made a couple of birdies early and got off to even a better start after having solid rounds the first two days,” said Fowler, who claimed the last of his five PGA Tour victories in the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open. “I had a great front nine and put myself right in the mix, where I haven’t been for a while.

“Then I had a nice back nine, too, and was able to put myself in the lead for the first time since I don’t remember. It’s been a long time coming and I’ve put in a lot of work with my team to get back to this point. It’s been a long road and it’s not over yet.

“I’ve done everything I could for the first three days, but it’s far from over. Today’s over and tomorrow is a completely different day. It’s going to be a shootout.”

Fowler, who opened with 66-66, made four straight birdies through the sixth hole, added another at No. 8 and picked up four more on the back nine while recording a 54-hole score of 21-under 133.

McIlroy, who also hasn’t had his best stuff the last few years but claimed his 19th PGA Tour victory in the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this year, collected six birdies on the front nine, added two more on the back and capped his bogey-free 62 by sinking 21-foot eagle putt on the last hole.

“I actually got off to a little bit of a slow start, but then I made a birdie on the third hole and that was the first of five in a row,” said McIlroy, who tied for fourth in the Olympics. “When you get going like that, negative thoughts don’t even enter your mind.

“Almost every hole on this course is a birdie chance, and you just want to hit the fairways and greens to give yourself a putt at it. I’ve been able to do that well for the first three days this week.

“I just had a great day and I just hope I can keep it going and do it again tomorrow.”

Abraham Ancer of Mexico holed a six-foot eagle putt at No. 14 and had eight birdies in a 63 playing alongside McIlroy and is three shots back in a tie for third with first-round leader Robert Streb, who birdied three of the last five holes for a 65, and Adam Scott of Australia, who had six birdies in a 67.

Said Ancer: “Rory and I were talking about how the last time we played together everybody made a bunch of birdies and that happened again today. We were able to feed off each other again today, made a lot of putts and it was awesome. Hope to do it again tomorrow.”  

Tyrrell Hatton of England sank a five-foot eagle putt on the last hole to complete a 67 and is four down in a tie for sixth with Keith Mitchell, who took a five-stroke lead into the third round but had to birdie two of the last four holes to salvage a 73.

Cameron Smith of Australia and Ian Poulter of England both had six birdies and one bogey to post 67s and are five strokes behind in a tie for eighth, while Sam Burns birdied the last hole for a 67 and is six shots back in a tie for 10th with Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore, who had three straight birdies on the back nine in a 68, Erik van Rooyen of South Africa, who also had a 68, and Harry Higgs, who came in at 70.

Third-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal is tied for 14th after a bogey-free 65, ninth-ranked Brooks Koepka birdied the last two holes for a 68 and is tied for 36th, while sixth-ranked Justin Thomas, a two-time CJ Cup champion, shot 70 and is in a tie for 42nd that includes eighth-ranked Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, who carded a bogey-free 65.

Second-ranked Dustin Johnson carded a 67 and is in a tie for 46th that includes fifth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State, who had a third straight 69, while defending champion Jason Kokrak is tied for 51st after a 65, and 10th-ranked Tony Finau totaled 70 and is tied for 56th.

For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html



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