Golf is a game that demands practice and training to improve, as with most other sports. However, the complexity of the game makes practicing it properly that much more challenging.
It would help if you practiced as often as possible, but as with golf, nothing is simple. As a golfer, you should practice as often as you can, but getting better at golf is not about how often you practice, but what you do when you practice is more important for improvement. So playing golf every day is only helpful when focusing on the right things.
The inherent problem with this great game is that regardless of how often you practice golf, there is no guarantee you will get better. The converse is true; if you don’t practice the right things in your training, you can actually get worse!
Be Clear About Your Golf Game Goals
Before anything, the first step is to be very clear about your golfing goals and the time frame you are allocating to achieve them. If you have just started golf and your goal is to be a scratch golfer in a month, you may need to rethink that.
You need to set realistic goals that you can work toward based on the time you can allocate during your week for practice and play. Golf is not only about practice, but you need to have time playing golf on the course to evaluate where your game is properly.
Create A Road Map Of Milestones To Your Golfing Goal
Let’s suppose you are a 20 handicap player, and your goal is to be a 12 handicap player in six months. Or you want to break 100.
To achieve that, you need to know where you need to improve. So if your putting strokes per round is in the high 30’s to early 40’s then your putting needs to be around the 32-36 strokes per round mark to cut shots off your score.
If your tee shots aren’t great and your FIR stats are poor, you know what you need to work on, and the same for GIR stats. You can then take this and either work with a coach to improve your swing mechanics and become more accurate or see if you can figure it out yourself.
Once you know where you need to improve, you can then allocate dedicated practice sessions to achieve that- and only that aspect of your game is worked on in that session. They could be on the driving range dialing in your full swing or working on your short game on the putting green.
And you can decide if you want to practice twice a week, or 4 times per week to improve your game. Or even every day if your goals are aggressive like Tiger Woods or other high level professional golfers.
How long each session would have to be to accomplish that session’s specific goal is also something that can be set up in the planning stage. Everyone is different when it comes to practice session length. Some find improvement with long sessions that are hours at a time.
While others get better with short golf practice sessions of 30 minutes per time. Both options are good for muscle memory and for hitting shots to find improvement. It just depends on what you need and what is best for you.
This also helps you with time scheduling, so you know how many hours a week you should practice golf for optimum improvement towards your goals.
Golf Practice With Discipline To Achieve Your Golfing Goals
Besides the time, you need discipline and patience as well. Golf skills can be improved in a relatively short space of time provided there is a plan, and you have the discipline to commit to that plan and see it through.
Don’t be tempted to alter your training plan when you are at the facility. For example, if you are putting at your session on the putting green, don’t take your other clubs to go and hit range balls.
Focus on your specific goal for that session – let’s say you want to lag putts closer to 20 feet- then only do that, and when you are done, pack up and go home! Don’t hit putts from closer, only from 20′ or further so that you can develop that specific aspect of your putting.
The same would hold for other elements that need improvement. If your driving is poor, don’t hit 200 drives as you would only hit that many drives in about 14 rounds!
Make every swing count and maybe only hit 20-30 drives at specific targets, and look to improve your accuracy with that club ONLY.
Practice Golf With Purpose To Improve
Many golfers believe that simply going to the range and smashing 200 balls will make them better. It will make them better at smashing 200 balls, but not necessarily at the game of golf.
Every practice session you do needs to have a specific intended result, and more importantly, you need to be practicing the correct elements of your game, as you are doomed to failure without this.
Every second you allocate to practicing golf must be one where you are doing the right things, as without knowing what you need to do to improve will actually either make your game worse or not improve at all.
Spending three hours at the range may sound like a good idea, but without a practice plan in place, it’s just going to be a good way to get sweaty and probably frustrated!
Practicing Golf Is All About Quality, Not Quantity
Many golfers think that the more often they practice, the better they will become. Sadly, this is a myth. If you want to do a sport where you get better the longer you train, try running.
You might say that the professional golfers practice eight hours a day, 6-7 times per week, and that is true, but then they don’t have to work, and they work with coaches and analysis every session because they have specific goals to achieve in that session.
Truth be told that 45 minutes of focused purposeful practice will get you much better results than three hours of mindlessly smashing balls! It’s always about the quality of your practice and not the quantity.
How Much Time Can You Realistically Allocate To Practice
Because we are not pros, we have jobs and other responsibilities we cannot simply spend all available time practicing as much as we would like to. So, to determine how often you should be more about how often you CAN practice.
If you have a range facility near your home or office, you can certainly allocate two or three days a week to practice sessions either on the way to work, during lunch, or on your way home.
With your practice plan for the days you can practice, you probably don’t need more than an hour to an hour and a half, including the warm-up, to start seeing measurable improvements in your game.
And your practice plan can be broken up into different categories for specific improvements.
Allocating a significant amount of time to practicing the short game is a very wise decision. Spending 60-70% of your practice time on putting and chipping is the fastest way to make scoring improvements.
The remaining 30-40% of your practice time can be spent on the driving range to improve your swing mechanics, or on the course, specifically working on ball striking. Improving your swing path and contact.
Find a way to practice your course management. Go play a round with the plan to try different thoughts and different approaches to difficult holes. Take note of what produces the best results and use those methods in your next important round.
Make Yourself Accountable For Your Improvement
If you are taking lessons, work with your coach to create a training plan and ensure that they will hold you accountable for your training. Without accountability, the likelihood of success diminishes considerably.
If you aren’t taking lessons, then work with a friend or even your significant other to create the plan and hold you accountable so you can properly measure progress.
Practice As You Play
To improve, you also need to play, and to play better; you need to practice as you play. When you’re at the range and working on your approach shots with your irons, make sure you are hitting a target rather than simply aimlessly downrange, as this is more similar to playing conditions.
Aim at a target and then score yourself if you hit your target or not. This way, you can accurately determine the efficacy of your training and perform similarly when you are playing.
How Often Should I Practice Golf Conclusion
The answer to the question of “How Often Should I Practice Golf” remains the same, and that is as often as you can. But now, you can structure your practice in such a way so that you have purpose and focus on achieving your golfing goal.
As the great Gary Player once said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” But rest assured, he was practicing with great and pure purpose, and like him, you need to make every swing count so you too can get luckier in your golf!