Never Practice Your Game on the Golf Course

Recently, I heard from one of our readers who, having read the blog post Golf Essentials #1: Keeping Your Dominant Eye On The Ball, determined to master the skill described in the post. (Click here to read it.) The only problem was that she had decided to do it while playing. She found herself testing different eyes, focusing on one side of the ball or the other, and of course, with the pressure of the golf game, she got totally confused and her score showed it.

There are many skills to master in the game of golf and great resources (books, videos, instruction) that can teach you how to improve your game. But trying out those skills and practicing new ideas should always be confined to the practice range or putting green— never during a round of golf.

I’ve made the mistake more than once to “test out” a new idea while I am playing a round of golf. Big mistake. Without the confidence that practice brings, my experiments usually cause me to play badly. One simple example: I wear a glove on my left hand when I play golf, and I usually leave it on when I get to the green. Many golfers remove their glove in order to have a more sensitive feel when they putt. But I am not one of them, though I’ve been told it’s the “better” way to play. So the other day, right in the middle of a round, I decided to take my glove off while putting. Big mistake. Putts went everywhere but in the cup. I wasn’t used to the feel of the club in my bare hand. It felt strange, and I found myself concentrating more on that, than on the putt itself. At the next hole, I kept the glove on, and had more success. I agree that putting without the glove is probably the better method, but I need to spend some time getting used to it before  trying that out on my next round.

Conclusion: The place for practicing those new techniques is off the golf course. Take yourself to a practice range, green — even your backyard or living room. When you have built up enough confidence in your new method, then take it to the golf course. May you birdie every hole!

  1 comment for “Never Practice Your Game on the Golf Course

  1. my caddy
    August 23, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    I actually try not to use my gloves at all except when practicing at the driving range where repeated swings, especially with the driver, can cause deep callouses.

    Good point on not trying out new things out on the course- I hate it when people start practicing new swings and hit all over the place.

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