Instructor Marshall: Measure your practice in terms of quality not quantity

Noted golf instructor John Marshall, a former senior division champion at the World Long Drive Championship, had a great post recently about working on the short game. He writes about the great short-game coach James Sieckmann, who learned from Seve Ballesteros. [Personal note: He learned the short game, not how to be a burro.]

This is what he posted about quality practice:

Needless to say practice is an important part of improving. That being said, not too many golfers are actually getting better and a big reason why is the quality of their practice. Or lack of same. I’ve been teaching at Steel Canyon for seven plus years and I see many regulars who hit balls constantly and haven’t improved in the least. What I DON’T see are people going through their pre-shot routines before they hit the ball. What I DO see is what I often refer to as “rakin and rippin.” I also call it “practercise” as people are getting exercise but are generally going backwards with their skills ot at best treading water.

Two buzz words nowadays are block practice and random practice. Block practice is hitting shot after shot with the same club. Random practice is hitting the same club three times with three different trajectories. Or three different curvatures. Or playing a golf course in your mind where you’re switching clubs on every shot as well as making both full and partial swings. Before every shot you go through your routine.

Additionally, many of us tend to hit shots with clubs that we are already proficient with while ignoring our weaknesses. Needless to say that’s not a recipe for lower handicaps. Honestly assess your skills and make your weakness your strength through quality practice!

You can click here to find John’s website.

If you need an instructor, give John a call. He has a way of making it easy to understand.

About the Author

Hello and Welcome to The Georgia Golfer I'm Stan Awtrey, the writer and administrator for this site. I love to watch and play, although my 19 handicap index would indicate that I'm better at watching. I've played more than 200 different courses over the years, including Augusta National (twice).