In this article, we’ll cover a simple golf practice plan to help you lower your scores. The plan includes three skills games that you can implement into your practice routine straight away.
This practice plan contains three skills games that cover all parts of your golf game. If you can spare 2 hours, you can get them all done in one practice session, or split them up and fit them in when you can.
Scroll down for a little more info, or click on the links below to jump to a section.
- Long game practice – Hugo’s range challenge
- Short game practice – chipping target zone
- Putting practice – 3, 6, 9ft putting challenge
These practice games are extracts from the Golf Insider Performance Diary. Check out the performance diary with the link above, or by clicking on the image below to learn more.
Long game – Hugo’s range challenge
We’re going to start by putting a key block into your golf practice plan – a long game skills game.
Hugo’s range challenge is a simple, but effective way to give your weekly range session a purpose, and make practice more fun. Hugo is a Challenge Tour player who uses this game to practice his long game with purpose each week. This skills game is a simple way to continually refine your iron play and driving.
Practice set up
Head to the range/practice ground with 40 balls. Create one of the following target zones on the golf range, or in the distance.
- Easy: 20 yards wide
- Medium: 15 yards wide
- Hard: 10 yards
- Pro: 5 yards wide
For example, in the picture above you could select the left edge of the 150-yard sign and the right edge of the 200-yard sign. In between these two posts is your target zone, as you improve, slowly narrow your target zone.
Begin with your Sand-Wedge. Your aim is to strike a shot that lands within the width of your target zone. If you miss, try again with the same club. Once you succeed, move down to your next club, a pitching-Wedge.
Your aim is to work your way through your golf bag, landing each club within your target area, before you move onto the next club – 9,8,7-iron… all the way through to your Driver.
You have 40 balls to complete this challenge. Your score is the club you get down to with your 40 balls.
This is a great game to add purpose to your golf practice at the driving range. Feel free to start on the easy level. This game can feel like a breeze until you get down to your longer irons!
Click here If you want three more long game skills games
Short game – Chipping zone challenge
Think back to the last time you played golf. What are the types of chip shots you want to improve? It might be a high, short chip, or a longer chip and run. Pick a chip shot that you frequently face when you play.
Grab 10 practice balls, set up this shot on the practice ground and play the following game shown in the video below.
Once you’ve completed the game, tally up your score, then go back to the same location and see if you can beat your original top score.
When playing this game, take note of your shot distribution. Are your chip shots finishing short/long, or to one side? Use this information to refine your technique and decision making on your next attempt.
Putting – 3, 6, 9-ft putting challenge
3, 6, 9 putting challenge is a simple practice game that will challenge you whatever your level. You play it until you complete the challenge, but I advise setting a maximum time – otherwise, you can be there all day.
Choose a straight, uphill putt on the practice green. Place a tee at 1 putter length back, 2 putter lengths back and 3 lengths back. This gives you ~3, 6, 9 feet putts. Next, grab two golf balls and try to hole both out at 3-feet, if you are successful repeat at 6-feet, then again at 9-feet.
If you miss a putt at any point pick up both balls and move back to the start. This putting game really begins to give you the same thoughts you’ll feel over putts in pressured situations.
Once you complete it with 2 golf balls, move up to 3 golf balls the next time you play. I tend to use 5 golf balls – 5 putts in a row from 9-feet is enough to keep me busy on the putting green.
Check out this link for more great putting drills
There we have 3 simple practice games that, put together, make a great weekly practice plan. If you want even more practice ideas and a way to track your progress on and off the course, check out the Golf Insider performance Diary and for more practice content, check out this article on when to practice on the driving range or golf course.
Also, if you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to receive a free weekly article each Monday, sign up for the Golf Insider weekly post.
Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider
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2 thoughts on “Golf Practice Plan”
I have just ordered your Golf Performance Diary. Looking forward to using it and structuring my golf game.
Have you any good advice on how to initiate the Downswing for a Senior golfer? I have paid a fortune on golf lessons but never seem to be able to lower my handicap, which is 23. I have a left sided hip problem so I have to open my stance. Any good advise Will.
Thank You for taking the time to read my email Will.
Thanks for getting in touch. I think my advice would be not to over-think it. A great golf swing squares the club face and path up at impact, with some speed. There are many ways to start the downswing that can achieve this.
Instead I would work out if you’re trying to improve your:
1) Club face at impact (slices and hooks)
2) Swing path at impact (pushes and pulls)
3) Club head speed at impact (distance)
Pick one to work on and really focus on that point during practice. Let the start of your downswing change as a result of you trying to adapt one of the three factors through impact. I know this sounds backwards logic, but I find when players are over focused on their swing they forget to hit the golf shot – the tail wagging the dog if you like.
Stance open/ closed / flared foot all can work well and sit within the above advice, just ensure you are comfortable and can play and practice without injury.
I hope that helps Stuart and gives you a different perspective. Feel free to get back in touch.