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Harbor Course 12

Managing Play & Practice

In the fast paced world in which we live, time is our scarcest resource. People are constantly looking for ways to effectively juggle priorities and manage time. Golf is no different. One of the challenges golfers today face is how much time to spend practicing versus playing the game.

Practice is very important, because it is the time when golfers can focus on swing fundamentals and working on areas of their game that cause them problems on the course. A simple way to determine the most beneficial areas to practice during limited time is to take notes on the golf course while playing.

In addition to keeping score, make it a point to keep notes of fairways hit, greens in regulation, up and downs and putts per green. Beginning with these basic figures will help golfers understand what areas of their game to prioritize while practicing.

Keep these figures updated each time you play and you will begin to see the results of your focused practice sessions. These notes will also be beneficial for golfers taking lessons. Golf professionals can use this information to be sure the next lesson covers the areas that are in need of most attention.

For most players the majority of shots that account for the biggest percentage of their score occur from within 100 yards. Typically golfers rarely practice these shots enough to see improvement. When practicing it is essential to spend two-thirds of allotted practice time pitching, chipping and putting. This will certainly improve scoring and make practice sessions more valuable.

Another beneficial example of maximizing practice sessions is to actually play a simulated hole while practicing. Visualize a hole on the golf course you play regularly and play the hole. An example would be the first hole at your golf course is a long par 5. First, begin by hitting the tee-shot with the appropriate club, next hit the second shot and third shot until reaching the green. Doing this will help simulate the experience of playing holes in limited practice session time. Don’t be surprised if you play eighteen simulated holes in 30 minutes!

Balancing practice time and actually playing golf is something many golfers struggle with. One of the major addictions to the game of golf is the serenity, the beauty and the camaraderie of being on the golf course with family and friends enjoying the day. Practice is very important however it is equally important to play the game and enjoy the successes of your practice time.

This does not mean that you have to play a full 18 holes of golf that may take 4 hours or more, many golf courses offer 9 holes tee-times, afternoon and twilight tee-times that are usually at a time when the courses are less crowded and golf fees are reduced. This is a great time to spend working on what has been practiced and will be able to fit into time constraints that confront society today.

Golf is a game that can be played for a lifetime, it is essential to balance practice time and playing time to ensure that golfers are getting the best experience and are enjoying the valuable free time in our busy lives. Playing golf on a beautiful day on a beautiful course with fellow players is truly memorable.

As Arnold Palmer once said “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time reward and madding- and is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented”

Enjoy the game!

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