In case you missed it, our partners DJ and Neil from No Laying Up introduced a driving range game on Instagram named Call Your Carry. Call Your Carry is a game developed by Golf Blueprint, a popular game-improvement tool which develops tailored golf practice plans and exercises based on decades of learning theory and performance research. The purpose of the game is to develop more control and awareness of carry distance with irons. Rather than choose your own distance for every shot, a partner picks a random distance for you (and vice versa). You don’t get to pick your approach distances on the course so why would you pick them in practice?
If you’ve ever watched NLU’s on-course content on YouTube, you’ve probably seen Neil trying to get up on and down from behind a green. Neil has a ton of game, but airmailing greens is a bit of his speciality. While the vast majority of golfers overestimate their carry, Neil has managed to underestimate his for over a decade.
“I’ve still been banking on my clubs going as far as they went in high school for probably the last 10 – 12 years,” Neil Schuster said.
Call Your Carry is an extremely easy driving range game to play with friends (literally, just start picking numbers), but can be played solo, as well. Just grab a number generator app, deck of playing cards or even just write numbers on small scraps of paper and pull them out of a hat.
As you can probably guess, we aren’t highlighting this driving range game just because it’s fun, but because it can help facilitate a more productive practice session.
If you want to get better at golf, you have to hit a lot of balls. As Ben Hogan said, “The secret is in the dirt.” But improving at golf isn’t just a product of how much you practice, it’s a product of HOW you practice.
The vast majority of golfers show up at the range with no plan. They’re there to get better, but they just don’t know what to do. We’re massive proponents of simple games like Call Your Carry because they immediately elevate the quality of your practice for three primary reasons:
1. It Randomizes Your Practice
You won’t ever hit the same shot ten times in a row during a round, but we do it in practice all the time. There is benefit to repetition (also called Blocked Practice), especially for high-handicappers. That said, research suggests that deeper motor learning occurs through random practice, not blocked practice. Although a golfer may perform better during a blocked practice, random practice is more effective for lasting skill acquisition.
2. It Provides Immediate Feedback
Anytime you’re practicing with a Mobile Launch Monitor you’re practicing with feedback. However, incorporating a game like Call Your Carry heightens your awareness and associates that feedback with a feeling and an intention. Rather than just assess the result, you’re able to assess the whole process.
3. It Makes Your Practice Matter
Whether playing for a beer or playing for pride, assigning stakes makes practice more engaging. Most of the time when golfers practice in a self-directed environment reps lack defined objectives. Even if you have a target on the range, you’re not considering other factors that impact results like trajectory, launch angle and speed.
The nature of a technology like the Rapsodo MLM is that the immediate feedback creates a more productive and engaged practice environment, but by using the data to “gamify” your time at the range, the MLM can also make your practice more fun.
To learn more about the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor, visit: rapsodo.com/golf/mlm.