GMSL #2: How To Play Better Golf Without Playing More

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I first have to preface that better golf does start and end with an investment of time, a desire for improving and a game plan. Yes, 2-3 additional hours of practice a week and playing more could help you achieve your golf goals. However, it goes beyond that. If you want to get better, smart, tactical and purposeful practice is what gets you to your goals. In fact, you can get go above and beyond your goals without playing more. In this podcast, I’m going to share with you a strategy to help make your practice more effective and efficient. First, let me share with you a story about how this philosophy worked for me.

While in college, I asked for and got a guitar for Christmas. I soon appreciated how difficult it really was. I learned to read music, learned most of the fundamentals and notes. Yet after 3 lessons, weeks and months of practice, I was still lousy and couldn’t play a song from beginning to end. I eventually quit with intentions of picking it back up again. So I tried again in 2010, same process, same timeline, same result. Insert winter 2013, same process, same timeline, better results but still lousy. I knew that playing like John Mayer, Eddie Van Halen was not in my immediate future. However, after trying to play some Bruno Mars and Coldplay songs, I quit with intentions of picking it back up again. I had excuses like no time. But let’s be honest, that is a terrible excuse.  If you the guy or girl who still has time to watch Dancing with the Stars, Modern Family, Sport Center and play Xbox, being busy is terrible excuse. Lets be honest, everyone has a minimum of 15 minutes 3-5 days a week. Honestly that is all you need to get better at guitar or in this case, golf.

Getting better at guitar takes a big investment in time as does golf. However, getting better a guitar doesn’t require 3-5 hour chunks at the range or on the course. You can become damn good at guitar if you spend 15-30 a crack, 3-5 nights a week, you can develop the skill and the muscle memory to accomplish your guitar goals.

Most people don’t realize that you can apply this same theory to getting better at golf. In fact you can do it in 5-20 minute chunks.

In addition to practicing drills and exercises in the comfort of you own home, I have included a list of things that you can do without visiting the golf course or the driving range. Some of these tactics may seem simple. However, following at least half of the below bullet points will help you learn more about the golf swing, how to get stronger, play mentally tough and more importantly, develop consistency.

  • Read a book
  • Take a lesson
    • Interview 3 instructors in efforts to find an instructor you mesh well with.
  • Collect and analyze 5 -10 rounds worth of statistics to help pin point your weaknesses
    • Track: Putts, fairways hit and GIR (greens hit in regulation)
  • Practice at putting at home on carpet or synthetic green
  • Hit foam balls in backyard or a 10 minute session of practice swings
  • Buy and practice with a training aid at home (Will help create muscle memory)
  • Use a video analysis app to record and analyze your swing
    • Recommended apps:
  • Study and practice the mental swing (Read a book on this topic)
  • Develop a stretching routing 3-5 times a week. Simply stretch at home for 5-10 minutes at night while you watch TV
  • Exercise: Take a yoga class, spinning class, kick boxing class
  • Visit an established and trusted golf shop for a club fitting, ball fitting, or launch monitor analysis.
  • Buy a swing analyzer
  • Strategic driving range practice
    • Take 1 or 2 of the clubs you struggle with most to the range and hit a small bucket

If you think there is a possibility that your clubs don’t fit, consider some alterations. Alterations such as: shortening, extending, lie and loft adjustments, and re-gripping can be simple, easy and inexpensive. More importantly, they can help you optimize your full potential.

I have must preface and always do, this is just the tip of the iceberg and the beginning of the conversation. If there is something that I missed or something that works for you that is not on the list, leave a comment below and tell us about it. I would love to hear all about it.

Note – All the links on the page and throughout this website are Amazon affiliate links.

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About the author

Chris Burns

I enjoy writing about what I believe is missing from major golf publications as well as common misconceptions in the game of golf.
Although is passion is golf and my profession is teaching the game of golf, I have been tinkering with golf equipment for over twenty years.

My knowledge and experience in golf is diverse, and ranges from teaching, coaching, club fitting, equipment design and golf club repair.

I truly believe anyone can find success in golf and I want to help you get there.