Do you often go out to the practice green and have this mission to make EVERY putt? Do you swear each time you miss one from 5' - 7' and get frustrated with yourself? This inner dialogue you're creating is probably hurting your putting in the long run. The best thing you can do for yourself when practicing your putting is to set realistic expectations, focus on your weak points and concentrate.
Let's start here by having you answer a couple of questions.
Ok, so you're probably thinking that all putts were not created equal. That is correct! You probably are going to make much fewer lag putts (20'+) than you are putts from around 3'. Side note: you shouldn't really be aiming to make those lags putts, but that's another strategy for another day.
Here are a few tips on how to set the expectations for your putting.
1. You're not a pro. You won't have pro numbers. If you said that you expect to make more than 50% in the survey above, you're probably aiming a bit high. Here is a good article about expectations and putting stats.
2. Don't focus on making the putt. Focus on doing the right things that will ultimately help you make the putt. I like to call this "Mindful Putting" or really it's mindful practicing. Set goals that realistic and hone in on those goals.
3. Consider the distance! As stated above, and from the example of how many fewer putts pros make from longer distances, you cannot expect to make lag putts. Instead, practice getting those lag putts to within a distance that is make-able (yes, this is a made up golf word that I use a lot).
If you can walk out on that practice green next time and feel empowered to practice with intention, then you are going to find that you're a much better putter come weekend golf rounds. You'll also be less frustrated about not making those less-statistically-makeable putts. And hey, aren't we all tired of throwing our putters?
Hey current Tathata students! I know many of you have found your way to the amazing Tathata program through my blog and social media posts, so I want to share with you some exciting changes that are coming your way...
Here are the fast facts you need to know:
I can't wait to check out and share all the new features of the Tathata Golf online training program. Stay tuned for reviews...
You know that saying... practice makes perfect. But, does it really? Every time I hit the range, I think about a concept that was taught to me by a pro instructor a few years ago. He told me a story about a golfer who would go to the range to practice and would only hit balls for 10 minutes at a time, taking frequent breaks. When you're out there, the gut instinct is to just start hitting as many balls as possible without stopping. But, do you realize how pushing yourself to fatigue can affect your game ?
This instructor asked that every time I step up to a ball I treat it like I'm stepping up to my next shot on the course. Because it is practice, I should set a timer for 10 minutes and practice my pre-shot routine, approach and swing, being careful to be deliberate in every move I make and then when the time goes off, step back and rest for a bit. By just swiping at balls over and over, I'm not thinking about what a real-life situation would be like and I'm more than likely not preparing for each shot before I hit it. By doing 10 minutes of deliberate (and perfect) practice, I will see far better results.
Let's also be real - hitting golf balls repeatedly can get exhausting. You don't realize how much stress you're putting on your body until you reach the 75th ball in the bucket and you're feeling little aches and pains in your back and shoulders. The farther you get into practicing, the more your body starts to compensate for any stress your shoulders or back are feeling. What happens then? More than likely, you start picking up some bad habits and next thing you know you're actually practicing how to hit a slice instead of practicing the swing you want.
If you can do anything differently at the range the next time you go out, be sure to take care of your body, rest between shots and focus on every shot. As this article from Hazeltine National suggests, it's definitely quality over quantity. Splitting up the focus of your practice will also help you from getting fatigued mentally. If you spread out your practice objectives and focus on one element at a time, you can accomplish a lot more. By trying to fix everything at once, you're likely to be unorganized and waste the time you spend out on the range.
In this insightful Golf Magazine article, the author dives deeper into K. Anders Ericsson's research on deliberate practice and why pro-golfers use this tool to attain their low scores. There is a lot of value in following the 4 keys this author lays out, but it's especially important to just understand why deliberate practice is really the only way you're going to improve. It's our brains - focus.
The human brain is incredibly powerful. It does things that the conscious "you" doesn't even know it's doing and doesn't even comprehend. So, when it comes to taking your clubs out and smacking balls all day, if you're not slowing down to let your brain focus, then you're going to be subconsciously hurting yourself in the long run.
Are you ready to go out and practice perfectly and deliberately?
People always ask me about the right time to take a golf lesson. Personally, I believe taking golf lessons as a first step when starting to golf is the most important time. Swinging a metal rod through the air at a tiny white ball isn't something we were innately born to know. So, this is always step one.
There are also benefits to taking lessons throughout your life, especially during times when you feel like you are struggling with your swing. Many schools of thought exist out there, but really it's your body and your comfort with a golf club that will determine when the time is right for you. Try using these clues to decide.
As I continue to expand my blog and my writing, opportunity continues to knock on my door. I was deeply honored to be contacted by USGolfTV.com recently, which has grown into a partnership that is allowing me to write more about the sport I love - GOLF.
USGolfTV is a website dedicated to golf tips, education and news. The website has grown quickly over the past several years and its coverage of everything from golf merchandise to the PGA tour attracts all types of readers.
In the last couple of weeks, I've reviewed two golf fashion and clothing brands. Antigua and My Golf Locker.
Check out both of my articles here and let me know what you want to read next!
Here I am, almost to the end of the Gallon Water Challenge and what a serious challenge the last two weeks have been. It's no doubt that drinking more than 100 ounces of water a day has been incredibly beneficial. From feeling hydrated after maybe one too many drinks to the energy and healthy feeling, this challenge has demonstrated a lot to me.
For one, there are negative effects and serious issue when considering taking in more water. This is especially important for athletes and really active people who sweat a lot to keep in mind. Something to be aware of is hyponatremia. More water intake can dilute the amount of sodium in your body, which can be a serious problem if you're sweating out all of your salt.
How can you combat this? Make sure you're also drinking high-sodium or sports drinks during and after workouts. If you're doing a long-distance race or know that you'll be sweating for a long period of time, consider making sure you're well hydrated the days leading up to the event, then definitely make sure you're getting enough sodium intake during the race.
All in all, do your research and be aware of your body. If too much water has you feeling dizzy or is giving you headaches, then tone it down a bit.
One of the awesome things you'll start to learn from more water is that you'll feel hydrated going into each day and especially when you wake up. If you're waking up feeling incredibly thirsty, then consider amping up your water intake. As for me, this challenge has showed me that drinking close to a gallon of water a day is probably enough. I will aim for 100 ounces, which will be easily accomplished by drinking about 18 ounces every 2 hours.
And of course, remember that you should always hydrate before, after and during workouts. Some tips for hydrating after a workout:
Are you up for the Gallon Water Challenge? Send me your opinions and thoughts on Twitter @TheGolferBabe!
Apologies, if this get's a little difficult to follow... You can read my first two updates from the beginning of my journey to the 30 day Gallon Water Challenge below.
I'm almost half way through this challenge and as mentioned before, drinking a gallon of water a day actually isn't as hard I thought it would be. I use my 16 oz. water bottle (pictured below) everyday and like clockwork fill it up every hour and a half. By the end of the day, I'm probably drinking a little over a gallon, but there are some things that it has helped with immensely.
In my previous update, I mentioned more energy and faster recovery. Well, it turns out there is also something it's helping me recover from... drinking too much alcohol and being hungover. I remember when I used to drink a glass of wine and feel super groggy and tired the next morning. Not anymore. Even after a few glasses of wine, I wake up feeling fantastic the next day.
Ok, so don't judge me. My husband and I have had a lot to celebrate recently. He's turning 30 this month and so we've sort of used it as an excuse to really enjoy every dinner and every nice outing. With that, I look forward to his actual celebration night when I will be able to limit the alcohol (too busy drinking water) and waking up feeling nice and sparkly the next day. Wahoo! Just keep adding all of these great benefits to the list.
How has this affected my golf? We golfed twice last weekend, thanks to the long holiday, which set me up for some changes. I am usually a culprit of usually not stopping to use the restroom during a round of golf. However, my new habit of guzzling water consistently every hour and a half means that I will need bathroom breaks at least every two hours. If you do the math, I'm in the clubhouse before a round, in the middle and at the end. But hey, it's not a big deal because it turns out that I'm staying hydrated throughout the round even in the summer when it's not so easy.
More to come later... Thanks for reading!
THE LESSONS BLOG FROM AMY, THE GOLFER BABE
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