The Value of Deliberate Golf Practice
10,000 hours of practice to become expert. 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become expert.
Practice golf smarter not harder. Is your golf practice efficient?
A recent golf study showed that for the average golfer, which is a golfer that averages 100 for 18 holes, deliberate practice was 30% of the total process of becoming a better player. This is roughly 1/3 of the total process!
The surprising part of this study (in my opinion) is that once a player reaches the international championship level (PGA Tour), deliberate practice only accounts for 1% of player success.
All of us are different in many ways. One golfer may need more deliberate golf practice than the other player. One golfer may need more “block” practice than the other. Block golf practice refers to repetitive swings with the same golf club without going through routine and simulating a round of golf.
When one of my players is going to make working on their long game the main focus for the day I have them break down their golf practice in 1/3’s.
The first 1/3 is deliberate practice and block golf practice on fundamentals golf drills while switching targets, clubs, and distances. In this phase of the practice it is similar to block practice because we are doing specific drills to accomplish a fundamental golf move, such as solid contact. I coach my golfers to do this in a deliberate way, so you are not hitting the same shot over and over.
The next 1/3 (block practice), is spent working on technique and refining your specific drills to improve your golf swing technique that will make you a more consistent ball striker. It is very important to do this in the middle of your practice session instead of at the end. Working on your takeaway on your full swing, would be an example of this phase.
The final 1/3 (deliberate practice) is focused on simulating pressure on the golf course. We do this by going through your pre shot routine, having one performance cue, and completing your post shot routine for each golf shot you hit on the driving range. You constantly want to be changing clubs, the shot you are hitting, etc. If you are still struggling with your technique mix in some block practice again but finish with this final deliberate golf practice every day!
All golfers growth curves are different and it is my job as a golf performance coach to show you what process is the best for YOU to achieve your potential on the golf course.
Practice is really important but it’s not everything. Experiences and situations that mimic competition or the golf course is equally important to becoming a better golfer.