2016 PGA Golf Practice Plan

Every tournament my fellow pro’s would tease me that I am not working enough. Using the excuse that because I was a “teaching” pro, I had more time than the others to work on my game. This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

I am a golf professional first, but I am an entrepreneur at heart. This means I am constantly trying to come up with innovative ways to improve our coaching programs at the academy, online, as well as grow our business in all aspects. I teach 15-20 hours per week, but I spend at least 40 hours running a business per week.

My Goal in 2016?

Returning back to the South Texas PGA for the first full season since moving to coach at Ohio State University, I made it my goal to win our section Player of The Year and qualify for the PGA National Championship (for PGA Professionals).

The Player of the Year receives an exemption into the PGA Tour Shell Houston Open. Owning a golf academy and coaching in Houston this would be a huge benefit in addition to accomplishing my life long dream of playing in a PGA Tour sanctioned event.

My 2016 Practice Plan

Like I said, players often joked that I wasn’t working enough, I practiced more than they did and that’s why I would finish better than them in tournament events. Farthest thing from the truth. Sure I played a couple holes during playing lessons, a few casual scrambles and maybe 9 holes here or there with some friends. But not a true round of golf that the avid golfer does weekly or monthly.

What I DID NOT do

  • Bang balls on the driving range – never hit one full bucket in a day
  • Practice at the short game area – outside of a skills competition
  • Practice my putting for hours on end
  • Never spent more than 20 min practicing at one time

What I DID do

  • Assessed my game, technique, tendencies
  • Educated myself on cause and effect so I could make adjustments
  • Practiced my swing technique indoors to build proper muscle memory
  • All practice was in a skills test or competition
  • Visualization, relaxation techniques – mental game exercises
  • Aware and deliberate about executing an efficient pre shot routine
  • Specific workouts that included exercises for balance, flexibility and speed

My Result

I didn’t achieve my ultimate goal to play in the Shell Houston Open, but I did manage to qualify for the PGA National Championship in June of 2017, which will be aired on the golf channel.

The total season includes 5 “majors”, those are the five tournaments that are awarded points. Through the first three events I was number 1 on the Player of The Year points list, in great position to achieve my ultimate goal .

After the third event I made a STUPID mistake in my plan. Ball striking as always been a natural strength of mine, if I made more putts – who knows, maybe I would be playing for a living! One day at the academy I decided to refresh myself on Aimpoint for green reading. Sounds harmless, but it was the most STUPID thing I did all year and ultimately cost me a chance for player of the year. I think Aimpoint is a great tool to have, but I will explain a little later how you need to be careful if implementing it into your game (especially if you don’t have time to practice)

The 4th event at Oak Hill Country Club in San Antonio I averaged 36 putts per round, shooting 76-76  finishing way down the leaderboard. It was a good learning experience, but I fell to 3rd on the points list after the event.

For the 5th and final event of the year I didn’t have a chance to practice much, only played a 3 hole practice round due to weather but in those 3 holes I made three putts outside of 10 feet. What did I change from the previous event? Committed to going back to my natural putting routine that is focused on feel and visualization!

Unfortunately I got off to a rough start starting the first round, due to poor tee shots that put me in bad spots, but I battled to shoot +1, 73 – putting me in 21st place after round 1. After the round I hit a few tee shots on the range to work on my tempo, and went home to relax since my body is not use to playing 18 holes! The next 2 rounds I hit it better and shot -2 (70), and -3(69) to capture the last spot!

I finished the tournament -3 the last 4 holes to qualify for the national championship and finish top 5 on the points list for the year. The most interesting part is what saved me, my putting! I averaged 30 putts per round for the tournament, and on the last 4 holes I made 4 crucial pressure packed putts.

15th hole, 10 footer for birdie √16th hole, 12 footer for birdie √ 17th hole, 5 footer for par √

18th hole, 5 footer for birdie (downhill that broke 8 inches) √

Why Aimpoint Was Bad For Me

Aimpoint is focused on angles, and I am a FEEL player. Although it gave me some good lines, it took me out of my routine that is based on feel and seeing the arc of the putt. If I had more time to work on it, it may be great for me – but I didn’t have the time. Getting back to my natural routine created more comfort, leading to confidence and ultimately making more putts.

I know all golfers have the time to work on their game as much as I do. They just need a specific plan in place to work on it when they have free time. Golfers need a clear plan, apply time management skills, access to education and drills and anyone can become a good golfer!

NO EXCUSES, Get a strategic plan and spend 10 minutes per day doing something! I have put my drills, practice programs with video demonstration and education into an online training program. You can get it now for $2!

 

About The Author

woknowsgolf@gmail.com

JJ Wood is a PGA Professional & Performance Coach. JJ provides golf lessons online and in person at the Golf Performance Group in Houston, Texas. As a former NCAA golf coach, JJ provides college golf recruiting service mentorship and mental game coaching for golf.