Tom Dyer is from Melrose, MA and was
introduced to golf through caddying at an early age. He was 3-Time All
American at Salem State and made it to the 1987 final sixteen in the U.S.
Amateur. Some of his professional achievements include winning the S.E.
Florida Assistant Professional Championship and qualifying for two PGA Tour
events in 1995. In 2005 he was awarded Southeast Chapter PGA Teacher of
Taking Your Game from
the Range to the Course
If you warm up by hitting practice balls prior to your round
you have inevitably experienced days where you warm up poorly and play great or
hit the ball really well warming up and then play awful. What makes it so difficult to get ones
range swing to the golf course?
The answer lies in how we practice and prepare to play. All major sports are practiced on their
field, court or rink. Golf is the
only game you go to a hitting range away from the real field of play to warm up
and practice. How one utilizes the
practice area will determine how well their game travels to the course.
There is no question that all players need to spend some
portion of practice time working on their swing technique. Beginners need more,
advanced players less. The key is,
this type of practice should not occur prior to play. Pre round warm up for peak performance should focus on
balance, tempo-timing and tension reduction.
Ones best golf is most certainly not played with a voice in
your head reciting various swing techniques that must be executed to insure a
good shot. Playing golf at your
best must be done in an athletic zone with a quiet, positively charged
mind. Golfers experiencing peak
performance typically experience one or two of the following:
- They have
a feel/sensation of their swing.
- A vision
of their swing or ball flight.
key in on the sound of their swing or the sound of pure contact.
relaxed and engaged feeling – like a little kid with opportunity to hit a
ball at a target with no consequences.
How does one learn to have a quiet positive frame of mind
and a sense of how to hit their best shots? You guessed it – through practice. Below is a list of a few things all players should practice
to insure more good shots and lower scores.
varying your swing speed to identify your optimum speed for pure contact
and accuracy. Most great
players have a sense of swinging below their maximum speed for their most
consistent accuracy and solidity of the hit. To identify your best speed practice shots using what
you sense as 40 percent of your fastest swing, 60 percent of your fastest
swing, 80% and 100%. Identify
what speed produces the best results.
balance. Strike shots with
your feet together and then progress to hitting on your right foot only
and left foot only. To stay
in balance one must swing at a pace below your maximum speed. Training a stable base and good
balance will not only help to identify proper tempo but also prepare you
for maintaining balance on the different sloping lies the course
up and practice playing golf.
Hit one ball with one club to a specific target. Then on the next ball, change the
target and the club. Never
hit ten balls with the same club to the same target – that’s not how golf
tying some positive emotion to all acceptable shots. Strive to attach no
emotion to poor outcomes.
Anchoring good shots can be as pronounced as a Tiger Woods fist
pump or club twirl. Anchoring can also be subtle and invisible like an
inward smile. Train your
brain to remember the good so those memories can be called on again and
again in all like situations in the future. How do you reduce your heart rate or stress level when
faced with a difficult shot?
Have some recall of successfully playing a similar shot in the
past. All golfers who took up
the game at a young age dreaming and rehearsing hitting a great shot to
win a big tournament. If positive emotions are tied to successful shots
hit in a practice situation and then you recall that positive feeling
prior to playing a shot in a real situation, you increase your chances of
pulling off a successful shot tenfold!!! It is no mystery the greatest
golfer of all time Jack Nicklaus has minimal recall of his poor shots but
can vividly describe in detail numerous great shots he has played during
In summary, use the majority of warm up time to rehearse (as
well as a portion of each practice session) the skills described and your
scores will go down and enjoyment will greatly increase!!!