How to improve at golf with little practice time

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If 1,000 golfers were surveyed to find out if they would like to play better golf, it's likely all 1,000 would say 'YES'. If the same group were asked if they would be prepared to practise 10 hours per week to achieve that, the responses would be mixed: some would say yes, some would say no, but most likely, the majority would say they'd like to, but they simply don't have the time. This article is about teaching you how to make use of minimal practice time, and how best to allocate the precious time you have.

Tour players play golf full time. In fact, if one was to add up the hours that a tour player spends playing and practising per week, it would probably exceed 40. They have the time, and for many, the money to train optimally for great golf. A typical tour regime incorporates every aspect of their games including golf specific exercise, swing instruction, golf psychology coaching, and hopefully includes time for rest, relaxation and family/friends.

For most golfers, an attempt to devise a tour like golf practice regime would almost certainly fail. The link between golf and business is well known.... there is also a strong link between successful people and golf. As such, it is clear to me that golf is played mostly by busy people. The average golfer would have somewhere between 3-4 hours maximum per week they could allocate to playing better golf. They would then hopefully have one half day spare to squeeze in 18 holes. For an increasing number, finding time for 18 holes is becoming increasingly difficult.

The golden question for the majority of golfers is therefore:

How can I improve at golf with little practice time, and how can I use what little time I have effectively?

Below are 5 key tips to help you design your practice plan:

1) Attend to putting first: The large majority of golf shots are taken on the putting green. Depending on your standard of play, you can expect to take make around 35% of your total strokes on the putting surface. This suggests that a large amount of your practice time needs to be allocated to putting. The added benefit is that effective putting practice is time efficient. Following putting, the next most influential aspects are chipping and pitching, followed by driving. My advice is to spend your time putting, chipping, pitching and driving. If you have time to spare, you can then work on your iron play.

2) Utilise golf learning aides: There are some useful golf teaching aides on the market today. A good teaching aide will maximise your input (time) to your output (playing performances). The benefits of a teaching aide include being able to ingrain a better technique faster, and without much conscious thought. An excellent training aide will train you to better technique 'unconsciously'. The 'Putting Arc' and 'TruePlane' putting aides are very useful, and the 'Smart Stick' for improving swing technique is pure magic. Practising for 5 minutes, 3 times per week with aides such as those mentioned, say just before bed time or during rest breaks at work, will save you hours and hours of practice time.

3) Keep it simple: If you're going to get lessons, keep things simple! Only work on one thing at a time.....master that move before moving onto something new. Trying to do too much will only confuse you and lead to frustration. When working on your one thing, complete mental rehearsals when you have 5 minutes to spare. Doing this a few times per week will significantly speed up the time it takes you to ingrain the improvement.

4) Use Practice Games: It's not about the quantity of practice you do, it's about the quality! When practising, incorporate games that will simulate on course play. It's a waste of time spending 30 minutes on the range beating balls with no purpose. When practising effectively, you can make great gains from a 30 minute practice session, once per week. I like games that involve point scoring so you can assess where your game is at, and also practice for the on course scenario (for specific practice games, email me at

5) Work Out for Golf: Golf technique is highly dependant on the way you think, and the way you move. Spending one hour in the gym 2 to 3 times per week will reap enormous rewards for helping you to move better, resulting in better golf swings! (make sure your training specifically for golf, consulting with a TPI fitness instructor is a good option). You're going to need to complete exercise per week anyway to maintain general health and well being, so you might as well be training for golf at the same time.

That concludes this article. To get your free copy of chapter 1 of my Golf Psychology Drill Book, visit []

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