Whether you’re a seasoned golf veteran or a beginner, there’s nothing quite like a day on the golf course. Of course, golf is always more fun when you do well, and the best way to ensure success is through practice. Typical golf practice drills can get a bit boring and mundane, especially the more you do them, so here are five unique and fun ways that both new and experienced golfers can work on their games.
Head to the driving range with a friend, but instead of just blasting balls, get a friendly game of HORSE going. Pick a particular club and aim for a specific distance or target on the range. Your partner then has to replicate your shot with the same type of club. If they miss, they get a letter, just like the classic basketball drill. Go back and forth setting shots for the other to try to match. The golfer who first fails to match five shots (H, O, R, S, E) loses. This game isn’t just limited to the driving range – it can also be played on the green, or anywhere else you have room to play.
Many times, it seems that golfers are so focused on getting the ball to the green that once they actually get there, their putting skills leave a lot to be desired. Yes, you need to be able to drive the ball, but the intricacies of putting are just as important. One unique drill for fine-tuning your putting abilities is the “box drill.” Place a cardboard box on its side behind the hole, with the open top of the box facing you, and practice putting from various distances. If you sink the ball into the hole, give yourself two points. If you just miss the hole, but your ball ends up in the box, give yourself one point. Play until you hit 100 points. Putting is a delicate art, and this exercise will help improve your hand-eye coordination and your general feel for putting without the typical frustration that can come with missing the hole over and over again.
Scatter a bucket of balls in random positions and place the empty bucket down somewhere as your target. Practice chipping from the varying distances and locations, and don’t stop until you land a ball directly in the bucket. For an added challenge, try this drill with a chair or other obstacle placed in front of the balls, providing a chipping obstacle so you have to chip the ball up and over the chair en route to the bucket. This can be a frustrating form of practice if you go through a full bucket without landing one, but having a specific target to chip into makes this exercise a challenging game rather than a dull drill. The results of this drill should help you learn how to chip from different distances and angles.
Do you have trouble with topping the golf ball too often? Instead of simply swinging at golf balls for practice, use the penny technique. Place a penny down and try to hit it so that it soars high through the air. This will help you adjust your swing so you aren’t striking the ball too high. Once you get a feel for hitting the pennies, place a golf ball on top of the penny. Your topping problems will be a thing of a past.
While video games are typically viewed as a means of entertainment rather than a serious endeavor, state-of-the-art technology has enabled golfers to hone their games through indoor simulators. We’re not talking about picking up an Xbox controller, but rather, heading to a golf institute or academy that’s equipped with the latest in golf simulation technology. Sensors capture club and ball data with extreme precision, so you can practice every aspect of your game with data-driven analysis while virtually playing on some of the world’s most renowned courses. It’s meant to be fun, but also a real tool to practice and enhance your performance. Even though you aren’t actually out on the course, you can make significant adjustments to your technique and ultimately incorporate a wide array of skills into your real-life golf game.