With the light evenings getting ever longer, there’s no better time to try out a few practice drills so that next time you’re playing seriously they might save you a few shots.
We’ve picked out five that can be tried painlessly and might even prove fun. Practice with a purpose is important, rather than beating balls aimlessly and these tips will, hopefully pay dividends and be reflected in your scorecard.
1. Stay committed through the shot.
What you’ll need: Place a ball on the tee as you would for your driver, then place another tee six inches in front.
Why?: This drill will help maintain your commitment through the ball at impact and follow through, especially in your driving.
How to do it: Take your address position, as you would normally with your driver or 3-wood and in the follow through, imagine you are trying to hit an imaginary ball off the forward of the two tee pegs. The path of the club will stay low through impact and give a more penetrating flight.
2. Brollie good drills
What you’ll need: An umbrella, a) stuck in the ground, b) laid on the ground.
Why?: The first will give you a good hip action, the second will help develop a good takeaway and powerful coil.
How to do it: a) Place your left foot against the umbrella stuck in the ground perpendicular to your left side. Now swing the club avoiding contact with umbrella by rotating your hips clockwise in the backswing, anti-clockwise in the downswing. This will help prevent a destructive sway in your swing and promote a better shoulder turn and more power. b) Lay the umbrella on the ground and point the handle at the target. Set up with the back of the club against the handle and push it away from you in the takeaway. As it moves slowly along the ground your arms and body move as one unit to create a powerful coil and slow rhythm.
3. Balance of power
What you’ll need: Merely address the ball with your feet together.
Why?: You’re trying to create more balance in your golf swing.
How to do it: Take a 7 or 8-iron and hit a few chip shots with your feet together, build it up slowly to a half swing, noting how you have to swing slower to maintain your balance. With a little practice you will be able to make a full swing in which your hips turn rather than slide. Ian Woosnam practises this a lot. I once saw him hit 1-iron 250 yards with his feet together, without toppling over.
4. Keeping the knees still
What you’ll need: A Football, basketball or beachball Why?: This drill keeps unnecessary leg drive to a minimum
How to do it: Many self-taught amateurs adapt a fierce leg drive in the follow through which tends to lead to loss of balance, a dip at impact and an unstable swing path.
With a ball pressed between your knees take your address position and you’ll discover you are forced to make a good, slow hip turn as you turn your shoulders. Imagine the ball’s there next time you play and you’ll discover your centre of gravity remains consistent and it improves your tempo.
5. Through the goalposts
What you’ll need: Place two tees like goalposts opposite your right toe at address six inches apart and about eight inches behind the ball.
Why?: Through the goalposts is the correct swing path for your takeaway and downswing
How to do it: Avoid hitting either tee in the takeaway or in the downswing will ensure a square clubface at impact. It will take practice but is guaranteed to develop a repeating action and a consistent impact position.
Now you tell us...are there any practice drills you have tried that have improved your game? Pass on your secrets on The Forum, they don't have to be too scientific, merely simple things that work for you or maybe help make practice less monotonous.
Article first published May 2002, updated April 2013.