Amateur golfers don’t just practice inefficiently because they don’t know HOW to practice, but because they don’t know WHAT they’re practicing. The goal of this article is to highlight the importance of distinct practice objectives.
According to Mark Blackburn, golfers should separate their practice into two distinct categories: technical work and skill work. He explains:
As Mark described, technical work focuses on assessing the patterns and positions. Skill work focuses on shot execution.
There are innumerable ways to practice technique with a Mobile Launch Monitor. Video playback in the app offers immediate feedback when working on mechanical changes. Additionally, the Coach Connect feature gives a golfer the opportunity to take lessons from some of the most well-renowned coaches in the world.
Technical practice sessions might be more “blocked” – rehearsing the same shot multiple times in a row – while skill sessions should be more random. You almost never hit the same shot twice in a row on the golf course, so why hit the same shot multiple times in a row when working on skill acquisition in practice.
“Golf is the ultimate variable game…You want to have the versatility necessary to navigate a golf course and hit a variety of shots.”Mark Blackburn
Skill development requires challenge and exploration. Even if you don’t intend to try a shot on the golf course, practicing a shot – at the edge of your ability – is critical for developing your skill. Hal Sutton said it well here:
So you want to work on skill acquisition, but don’t know how to organize your practice? Mark Blackburn shares two version of a ladder drill you can practice with your wedges on the range. One challenges the golfer to control a variety of distances with each club while the other focuses on trajectory.