How To Control Time: The Missing Link Between Practice and Playing

By Dave Johnston



The next time you visit a golf practice range, take a moment to stand back and observe. First impressions would lead you to believe that most golfers have the skill to score in the eighties. Based on statistics gathered from the National Golf Foundation, the majority of golfers struggle to break ninety consistently.

What is the one piece of advice that is guaranteed to help any golfer play better? How often have you been told to slow down - that you're swinging too fast?

Have you ever heard elite athletes describe their peak performance in terms of relative time; the game appears to unfold in slow motion. The most consistent (baseball) batters often report seeing the seams of the ball rotating in mid-air, even though it's travelling close to one hundred miles per hour.

After shooting a course record, many elite golfers are at a loss for words to account for the performance. It's not uncommon to hear them describe the feeling of having "all the time in the world."

The ability to control time is an essential skill that allows you to access your innate sense of feel. Every poor swing is caused by tension, which is the inevitable by-product of feeling pressured to "hurry up" and hit the shot. Have you ever had the feeling that something just didn't "feel right" as you stood over the ball?

In contrast to other sports, the typical golf practice range has about as much in common with playing the game of golf, as tennis does to ping-pong. The odds of converting your results on the practice range to the golf course are fifty/fifty at best.

How can we increase the odds of transferring your skills from the practice range to the golf course? Create more pressure during practice. The ultimate goal is to introduce time constraints during practice that exceed the time limits you experience during a game.

For example, on the golf course you have approximately thirty-seconds to choose a club, address the ball and complete the swing. During practice, you want to use an audible timer to establish your baseline time and then gradually reduce the time by two seconds until you can complete the swing in twenty seconds.

This process could take anywhere from two weeks to two months. As you become accustomed to the reduced time constraints, your nervous system will adapt to the thirty-second time frame by slowing down. Instead of frantically trying to recall proper mechanics, you will start to develop your innate sense of "feel".

When you learn how to control time, then you gradually overcome the natural tendency to rush the shot. When you have the feeling that time is on your side, then you learn to play by feel. The "secret" to effective practice is creating conditions that make practice more challenging than playing.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com