Set specific, measurable goals when heading to the range or putting green
It's often said that practice makes perfect. But that's not always necessarily the case. As the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi put it: "Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."
With that in mind, we reached out to Wade Wilson, a PGA professional at El Niguel Country Club in south Orange County, for his thoughts on what it means to practice perfectly.
“When I talk to golfers, they often say they are going to practice on the range or they are going to work on their putting,” he told us. “But the first question I ask them is, ‘What are you going to go practice?’ or ‘What part of your game are you going to go work on?’ Their responses are often quite revealing.”
"I find that most of the time players hit balls, but they are not practicing," Wilson continued. "I see they are rolling putts, but they are not really practicing."
To truly be practicing, Wilson says you should meet these requirements:
1) Have a purpose. Today, I am going to practice hitting my wedges.
2) Be specific and measurable. Today, for two hours, I am going to hit shots from 70, 60, 50 and 40 yards with my 60-, 56- and 50-degree wedges. I am going to try to hit all my shots within 10 yards of the pin from 70 and 60 yards, and 5 yards of the pin from 50 and 40 yards.
3) Set goals. My goal for today’s practice session is to be able to hit all three wedges comfortably to all yardages stated by identifying how I swing each club (such as length of backswing and follow through), while paying attention to the outcome of each shot.
As we all know, getting good at anything requires practice, but it is purposeful practice and repetition that will make you better.
The next time you go out to “practice,” jot down those three guidelines and what you are going to achieve. If you want to be successful, give your practice session a purpose and be specific and measurable as well as have goals that you would like to meet.
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Greetings, fellow golfers, and welcome to SoCal Golf Insider! We are Rob Lyon and Eric Marson and we've been reporting and writing about the game throughout the region since 1995. Here, we will provide you with the latest news, features, reviews and more on all things golf in Southern California. Let’s tee it up!
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