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From the Practice Range to the Golf Course

    The Longest Walk In Golf

    The Longest Walk In Golf

    Are you familiar with the “longest walk in golf”? This phrase refers to the brief time it takes to walk (or ride) from the practice range to the golf course.

    Often ignored in traditional instruction, this transition period can have a profound effect on your state of mind and body.

    Have you ever hit shots like Fred Couples on the practice range and proceeded to play like Fred Flintstone?

    Every golfer, at every skill level, has experienced this phenomenon.

    Is there a plausible explanation?

    In most sports, there is an obvious connection between practice and playing. Baseball players practice on a diamond. Apart from the booing fans, the practice environment emulates actual playing conditions.

    A pitching machine can be adjusted to fire one-hundred mile per hour fastballs.

    Tennis players practice on a regulation size tennis court. In addition to strenuous cardio training, the practice partners are highly skilled competitors who challenge the player to continually improve their skill set.

    In tennis and baseball, the practice regimen can be more challenging than actual game conditions.

    How about golf?

    Most driving ranges are relatively flat, have perfect grass (or artificial turf), no trees or water and no time limits. The player can take as long as he or she wants to execute a shot.

    This time element is a critical factor in transferring your skill set from the practice range to the golf course.

    While a combination of the above elements make for a relaxed practice environment, they have little in common with actual game conditions.

    Most of us are easily lulled into a false sense of security. As soon as you hit the first (inevitable) poor shot on the golf course, this security is easily shattered.

    Can you see how a typical golf practice range has about as much in common with playing the game of golf, as tennis does to ping-pong?

    Is there anything we can do to re-create our practice prowess more consistently on the golf course?

    Based on my experience with over eleven-thousand students, the majority focus on “fixing” their swing, instead of locking-in the feeling of their best shots.

    This mindset reinforces the feeling that you will never be good enough to move beyond an obsession with swing mechanics. It’s a vicious circle.

    Perhaps a change in beliefs (on the real benefit of practice) may be the key to transferring your results from the practice range to the golf course.

    In the next article, you will discover the one element that will help re-create playing conditions on the practice range, and ultimately, help you learn to play by feel.

    When you learn how to control time, then you join the elite ten percent of golfers who control the game, instead of letting the game control you.

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