How do you practice golf?


New member
Aug 8, 2023
Saint Paul
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I'm a big believer in having a purpose for every practice session. Just banging balls at the driving range without focus rarely ingrains positive swing changes. So I structure my practices based on specific goals.

If it's a range day, I'll pick 2-3 problem areas to work on. For example, if I've been slicing drives, I'll focus on swing path drills and setup adjustments to promote drawing the ball. I find recording video from down-the-line and face on angles helps analyze what needs improving.

I also dedicate practice time to my short game at least twice a week. Chipping, pitching and bunker play are vital for saving strokes. I create challenging games and contests around the practice green to ingrain creativity and scoring skills. Sink 5 chips in a row or play the bucket game landing balls into a bucket ring from 40 yards out.

Putting also gets special block practice because it's pivotal for shooting low scores. I place alignment sticks around the hole to groove center-face contact and perfect pace. Or use exercise cones to simulate winding lag putts. Measuring putts made from specific distances quantifies improvement.

Lastly, playing practice rounds at my home course etches strategy and course management into my brain. I work on committing to aggressive line and distances, not getting passive. And I track detailed stats like fairways, greens and number of putts to benchmark areas needing attention.

Golf practice to me is all about targeted, quantifiable and competitive skill sharpening. That formula has lowered my handicap from a 12 to a 9 index over the past year! I'm eager to see how low I can go implementing dedicated practice.

What's your take on to this?


Assistant Pro
Feb 25, 2014
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To me it seems like a lot of time and effort for a hobby which people do for fun. I will go to the range once a week and try to work out why I can’t hit certain clubs. Golf is something which I try to enjoy so don’t take it too seriously


The Grinder Of Pars (Semi Crocked)
Mar 15, 2008
Aylesbury Bucks
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I practice by playing...lots.
Going to the range has become too expensive and , for me, doesn't replicate actual playing.
No lies on my course are flat or have perpendicular lines to help alignment
I'd rather play 9 on my own first thing. Try things and learn how the ball reacts in the real world where every shot counts.
Just my way.....others are available


Major Champion
Feb 2, 2009
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To me it seems like a lot of time and effort for a hobby which people do for fun.
For some people, practice is the fun bit, for many the playing bit can get too serious.
As in life in general, no-one is right or wrong... just different.

I used to love going out on the course on my own when it was quiet and just take my time, trying out a few different shots from places I would normally drive on the 3rd, 350 yards long, I'd often drive level with a bush which was an easy 9 iron to the middle of the green. Great for confidence. I'd try and do that for all the holes.

The range was only used to ingrain a change.


Journeyman Pro
May 20, 2017
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When we did not have a range but a practice ground.

One of my favourite practice routines was setting out a flag at 100 yards and hitting 10 ball with each iron to the flag.
I then used to take a wedge hit ten balls to the flag walk forward ten yards and hit another ten balls to the flag and so on.

The closest I come to practicing these days is going out on our 9 hole full length course taking just a 5 or 6 iron and a wedge. Practicing high, low, draw and fade shots. Great fun turning a 6 iron in to a 4 or 8 iron.


Journeyman Pro
Jan 23, 2014
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I used to practice a lot .
Just to ingrain Good swing mechanics..
These days as I get older I practice my short game almost exclusively.

I do practice from 80yds now and again, that’s my lay up yardage if in trouble or can’t reach the green..

I loved practicing on and off the course but sadly my left wrist won’t let me anymore.

Thats a good drop well done keep it up..👍


Ryder Cup Winner
Jan 7, 2012
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I have a mat in the garage and hardly a day will go by that I'm not out there swinging. Even if its just 5 minutes. Half an hour can go by quite easily. No balls. Just swings and trying differnt feels.
During the winter a group of us go to the range once a week. Spend about 2 hours hitting balls. Trying differnt things or ingraining things that seem to work well.
Usually only play once a fortnight over winter as the weather gets in the way and I work every 2nd weekend.
In the summer I will rarely darken the door of the range. Play about 2 comps a week on a Good week. Maybe just one but normally get out 3 or 4 nights for couple of hours.
Me and a mate will quite often play the short course near us. About 5600 yards and only hit irons. This really does the world of good. We can get out there for the same price as bucket of balls and is x10 better practice and value for money.
In the past (pre my 4 year being born) I would have played 9 holes by myself regularly and would have spent alot of time chipping. Never get the time or inclination to do that these days. Banked enough hours in that to get me by these days. Short game probably the best part of my game.
I'll sometimes chip a bit in the summer in my garden for fun and to keep a bit of touch.
When I put this down in black and white, I have a bit of a loose practice system. Not structured but all parts get a work out through the year.

Nothing beats hitting a couple of drives, a number of differnt approaches, multiple chips and a few putts over 9 holes.