If you’re anything like me, you want to improve your golf, but you find it tough to get to the golf course often enough. With that in mind – what can you do to practice golf at home?
In this article I’ll cover my top ways to max out your golfing progress while you’re stuck at home. This isn’t a lengthy list of how to practice at home, but rather some ideas that, if done right, will move the needle.
“Every day you don’t practice or play golf is another day longer it will take you to get good”
It’s an obvious start but hear me out. Practicing your swing at home can be done well, or done poorly. Below are three broad categories of swing drills to select and use:
#1 Swing drills for making swing changes
By far the most common use of swing drills at home is to alter a backswing or downswing position. To begin with, use a mirror or widow and slowly move into the require position. Check your position in the mirror for feedback and adjust as necessary.
Here is where most golfers stop, however you’ll find this leads to an ability to swing it well at home with a broken swing, but poor transfer onto the range and golf course.
Next, practice your required swing changes, but with a slow-motion swing – no stopping. This is surprisingly hard to do. Again, use a mirror or window for feedback.
Lastly, practice your swing changes at 50 – 75% full speed.
This combination of part-practice, whole practice and finishing with more sped up whole practice is the best mix to engrain swing changes when you are away from the golf course.
Golf Insider tip: Create a mini practice club
If you’re in it for the long-haul and you struggle for space to practice golf at home you can create a mini practice club:
- Ask your Pro for an old demo 6-iron
- Cut it down to around half its length
- Thicken the grip with tape (electrical tape works well)
- Place on a new grip
# 2 Swing drills for perfecting impact
Here is a great little golfing experiment for you. Make a practice swing and stop at impact. Take a look at where your club face is pointing. I’m amazed how many amateurs make many practice swings rehearsing an incorrect impact position.
If you’re a slicer there is a high likelihood you are engraining a feeling of an open club face at impact with every practice swing.
Learning a great impact position
Helping golfers create a great impact position is difficult for many reason. But one clear factor is not knowing what a great impact position feels like. The descending strike and compression of the golf ball is something that can be practice really well at home.
This drill can be practiced by draping a towel over the club, like Andrew Rice below, or against the corner of a wall. I personally like the wall option best.
Begin in a set-up position, then without a backswing just press forward against the towel or the wall. You’ll find that as you try to generate more force, your body will want to move into this tour pro position you see below – no technical thought needed.
#3 Mastering your fundamentals
Keep your grip, posture and alignment tidy and you will rarely fall into bad swing habits. 80 – 90 % of swing flaws are a direct compensation of a poor set up.
Using a mirror to master your grip and posture is never time wasted. Just leave a club by a window or mirror. Every time you walk past the club, run through your set up 5 times in a row.
Here is a the full article on how to perfect your golf grip.
Putting drills at home
I doubt anyone would turn down the opportunity to be a better putter. Practicing your putting at home gives you a great opportunity to refine your stroke mechanics in a stable environment.
Ideally practice in a way where you:
- Know you’re aiming straight
- Have a slightly smaller target than a golf hole
- Have clear feedback on what causes putts that miss
Below is the putting drill I’ve used for many years. You can read the full article of how to set up the putting drill here.
If you want a far simpler putting drill, then place a coin 3-6 feet away on a flat surface. Count how many times you can hit the coin in a row. Aim to roll the ball over the coin at a good pace, rather than trickling it up to it. This helps you accelerate the club head through impact.
Get fit for golf at home
I’ve written a couple of articles on golf fitness. Working on your fitness away from the golf course will not magically turn you into a scratch player. However, better fitness allows you to: swing the club more effectively, generate more club head velocity and practice for longer in a more effective manner (people over-look this point).
If you would like an understanding of how and why to condition yourself for golf read this article explaining golf fitness. If you want to skip to the why, check out this article giving you the best golf exercises.
I would highly recommend working on hip mobility and stability. Many golfers suffer in these areas and it is a common cause of lower back pain and many swing compensations.
Visualisation & Imagery
Right – I know I’m going to get hammered by some golfers for writing this. However, I’m currently updating a lecture on motor imagery and I just want to share it as an option that is frequently over-looked.
Imagery is a skill used by nearly all elite performers in some capacity. Many aspiring juniors use imagery without thinking. Remember, it is a skill, and requires some practice to get good at – below are some uses to practice.
Imagery for swing changes
Visualising swing changes can help speed up the process of making a swing change. For this use, picture your swing as you wish it to look, slowed down and in full speed. Add in the feelings you associate with that swing change too. This may be the feeling of your arms pressed against your chest on your backswing. Or how your left wrist should feel to square up the club face through impact. This multi-sensory imagery will help you next time you get on the course and range.
Course management & tournament preparation
Another great use of imagery is to visualise yourself playing your home golf course, or an up-coming competition course. Watching yourself hit each shot in order can really help you feel more comfortable on the day.
Imagery for building confidence
A simple little trick to develop your confidence is to remember the best shot you ever hit with a given club. Having this memory fresh in your locker is a great asset to have just before you pull the tigger on the golf course.
Once you have a key shot for each club lined up, it takes less than 5 minutes to run through each shot in turn of an evening.
Five minutes golf practice at home to remember what an awesome golfer you are.
How to practice golf at home – Conclusion
There we have it. A swift run through ways you can improve your golf when you are stuck at home. Feel free to comment below with your own best practice routines at home.
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Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider