Keys to Productive Golf Practice: Less Comfort, More Chaos


“Some golfers practice easy and hope it shows up when the game is hard. Others practice hard to make the game easy.”

– Dr. Bhrett McCabe, Golf Sports Psychologist


Do you consider your range sessions easy or hard? Are you working on new skills or fine-tuning the ones you already have? 

Many golfers organize their practice sessions to be comfortable, but most would benefit from them being more… chaotic. 

Question: How do you make your practice sessions more chaotic? 

Answer: You find yourself a great coach that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

FINDING A GREAT GOLF COACH

The benefit of working with a great coach isn’t limited to the technical feedback they offer. Any good professional golf instructor can organize a practice environment with constraints that encourage skill acquisition, which is one of the most important keys to a quality, productive practice.

Watch how PGA Teacher of the Year and Rapsodo Advisor Mark Blackburn helps his student develop a “feel” in his studio that she can take to the course. 

Her ideal shot shape is a push-draw, but instead of rehearsing the same shot multiple times, Mark asks her to practice exaggerated shapes so she can self-diagnose what she’s doing wrong if things go awry at the links.

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Struggling to practice productively? Wish there was a proven approach that could expedite your learning? Well fear not there is! Practice variability is essentially counter intuitive but primes your 🧠 to learn! Why would you intentionally do something wrong? Well, research by motor learning experts like my man @drwillwu shows variability is vital🤔 Here is @alabamawgolf @carocamiz working her release pattern for a push draw. By intentionally working for ideal (what you want) via under ideal (not enough) & over ideal (too much) your 🧠 starts to work and processes the information more we’ve to let leading to positive change! In fact you begin to realize bad shots (errors) can be massive learning opportunities! What a powerful mindset that is when playing! If you want to expedite your learning as a student then practice variability is essential! If you’re a coach wanting / needing to learn more on the Motor Learning & Control concepts like this then check out my guys @drwillwu @john.dunigan & their @skilledcoaching platform! @mypdev @greystonegcc @academies.swingu @titliest @footjoy @vokeywedges @scottycameron @golf_com @golfdigest @skilledcoaching . . . #golf #putting #golfcourse #golfer #juniorgolf #collegegolf #swingu #golfchannel #whyilovethegame #golfgods #golfclub #pga #pgatour #golfislife #golfpro #golfswing #golfinstruction #golflife #golfcoach #golfpractice #golfdigest #golfmagazine #golflesson #golftips #golffitness #golfdrills #golfswinganalysis

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Doesn’t exactly look comfortable, right? However, this is essentially the Goldilocks Principle for achieving desired ball flight. To feel what’s “just right,” golfers need to feel what is “too much” and “too little.”

For example, if the ball goes too far left on the course and she needs to correct it, she needs to FEEL way under-released so it becomes a baby draw. Conversely, if the ball is goes right, she might need to feel more released.

Mark Blackburn Golf Practice Tips

Mark is describing a key element of quality practice. In practice, failure isn’t a bad thing, but a prerequisite for learning.   

Question: How can I make my individual practices more chaotic and productive?

Answer: Utilize real-time data.

DATA-DRIVEN GOLF PRACTICE

One of the benefits of using technology like the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor during golf practice is it can help facilitate a more “chaotic” practice in a self-guided environment… and force you out of your comfort zone.

Instead of hitting stock shots to the same target, users can analyze the feedback from the MLM to experiment with different shapes and trajectories.

Rapsodo Advisor Trillium Rose agrees. Here are her suggestions for using a launch monitor like the Rapsodo MLM during a golf practice session:

If you’re staying comfortable, your rate of improvement will slow down. Don’t be afraid to let your practice sessions get a little chaotic — the things you’ll accomplish while working out of your comfort zone will surprise you.

For more information on the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor and how it can help you make the most out of your practice, visit www.rapsodo.com/golf/mlm.