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FROM PRACTICE TO PERFORMANCE

As many of you know, we constantly preach, “Perfect Practice”, “Putt like you Train” and “Proper Preparation Leads to Premium Performance.”  We truly believe that if you are constantly practicing properly and challenging yourself, that your performance will undoubtedly improve.  Having said that, there has to be a transition from your practice routine to get you into tournament mode.

I constantly get asked, what type of drills I have my PGA Tour Pro’s do. How much time they spend on each one? How often do they do them? How do the drills vary from an off week to a tournament week? I bet you probably have one or two questions of your own.  Obviously it depends on the player and what the inefficiencies they have at that present moment but I do have a general routine that they all go through.

 

1. First, I have them work on their Fundamentals and make sure everything is where we want it to be. Their eye line, posture, grip, grip pressure, ball position etc. I have them use our “Fundamentals Ruler” so they have a tangible way to make sure everything is in order.

2. Second, I have them hit a few putts through gates on several locations. If they consistently get the ball through the gates and match it with the proper speed, I know they are on top of their game.  If they miss, I pay attention to what was the cause of it.  It can be their aim, their speed or their stroke. Once I’ve identified the cause I can work on the solution.  Depending on what the player is struggling with I set up specific drills that isolate the problem and will tackle the issue.

3. Third, I set up a combine made up of different putts that vary both in length and in break. This time around, I take the gates out of the equation and I put a small mark to identify where the player needs to hit the putt from. They now have to go through their routine, read the putt and execute it.  By this time, their mind is shifting from a technical or mechanical thought and is now entering their playing mode.  They are focusing on a specific spot on the green, picking a speed for the particular putt, identifying whether there is grain or not, if the putt is uphill or down hill, etc.  It is important to note that the player has to go through the first two steps to be completely free to do the third and final step.

Having checked their Fundamentals as well as their stroke and identifying that it is exactly where they want it, allows them to have a clear mind and freely focus on holing the putt. Their mind is now free of all the clutter and the doubt that creeps into all of us.

As with anything in golf, going from practice to performance is a process.  Make sure you place a good solid foundation in both your stroke and in your practice routine that will allow you to identify deficiencies if any.  This will be the key to allowing your mind to shift to tournament mode.

Putt like you train!
Ramon Bescansa

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Guest Wednesday, 15 August 2018

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