Everyone Hates Golf Practice, Yet We All Come Back!

I am working out in the suburbs this week at a client and I quickly realized that there is a grass driving range just down the street from the office.  I brought a few clubs with me yesterday and utilized my lunch break to get a little practice in.  I thought I would have the range to myself since the weather wasn’t great and it was right around noon.  Boy was I mistaken.  Just like me, there were TONS of people out hitting balls on their lunch break.  The range is just across the street from a business park and the stalls were filled with guys wearing ties and dress shoes.

It was cool to see so many people out actively working on their game in bad weather and in the middle of the day, but it got me thinking about the nature of golf practice.  Is there any other sport where numerous people will go out on their lunch break and take part in an utterly frustrating and sometimes demoralizing game?  I’m sure there are a few people out there who go shoot free throws, bowl a few frames or throw the baseball around but not nearly in the numbers that people go out and practice golf.

In all the years I have played sports I have never experienced the amount of frustration while practicing as I have with golf.  I have played competitive sports my whole life and have put in countless hours of practice that has been rewarding and made a tangible difference to my playing ability.  Golf is not the same.  I have often left the course or range feeling like I have taken steps backwards and lost all confidence in what I had been previously working on.  I really believe this is unique to Golf.  I am not saying that players don’t experience setbacks in other sports, but how many times have you seen people at the range slamming clubs on the ground or expressing their frustration in a very visible manner?  I can’t remember a time when I have been at a crowded range and not seen someone have a minor melt down due to frustration.

Regardless of that frustration factor we all still come back for more!  It blows me away how much we are willing to put up with in terms of frustration to try and get better at this game.  What blows me away further is that people think they can get better simply by going to the range and hitting balls with no foresight, keys to work on or outside help to assist them with their swing.  It is never going to happen.  Never ever.  Just hitting balls to hit balls is more detrimental and increases the amount of frustration we normally experience.  I can’t stress enough the importance of utilizing your practice time with a focused approach that is aimed to helping your game.

Pounding balls at the range to pound balls never got anyone on the Tour.  Try and focus your practice where your game needs it the most and by all means take a lesson to identify glaring bad habits that you are most likely engraving into your muscle memory at the range.  When you go out and practice with an attainable goal in mind you will leave feeling much happier and optimistic about your game.  Trust me, it makes a difference and you will feel much better walking off the range and enjoying a small laugh to yourself at all the players slamming their clubs in frustration.

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