The Killer Practice Swing

I have written about this before, but I have to address it again. I played this past weekend with a good group of buddies and witnessed the most absurd practice swing routine I have ever seen. Let me try to explain.

The practice swing routine was this:

  1. Walk up to the ball
  2. Take 3 – 4 full practice swings
  3. Step off the ball and look at the target
  4. 1 – 2 more practice swings
  5. Look at the target 2 more times
  6. Swing

I don’t know about you, but this routine is ABSURD. This buddy of mine shot a whopping 99. Breaking that down he took 99 actual strokes. Add on 6 extra practice swings to each of his real strokes and he took 594 strokes during our round. Even if he only took the low end of his routine he took 396 strokes. There is no possible way that taking that many practice strokes can be beneficial on the course. Not to mention it must be exhausting.

When we asked me why he was taking so many practice strokes, his response was that he wasn’t comfortable over the ball. If you ask me, taking less time in between shots and just getting up and hitting the ball would probably help him get more comfortable hitting shots. It sounds like he is thinking way too much over the ball and the results are not in his favor.

Watching my buddy go through his painfully long routine made me think about mine. To be honest, I was happy with where I was with my routine. I have evolved mine to include one practice swing and two looks at the target before pulling the trigger. It takes a ton of the technical thought out of your mind when you know you have to pull the trigger. It also speeds up play and doesn’t allow you the same amount of time to think of all the things that could go wrong.

How many practice swings are you taking and why? Give it a look and consideration.


5 Comments to “The Killer Practice Swing”

  1. One practice swing for me and only at half speed, a couple looks and go. Show your buddy the Kevin Na video from last year’s Players Championship.

  2. I don’t take any. I line up, let it go. Once in awhile I will take a couple practice swings while I am waiting, but it is not usually near the ball…..just my bag. Your friend must be tired when he is finished playing!


  3. I am seeing a common theme here around “less is more” when it comes to practice swings. Thanks guys.

  4. Wow when you put it that way almost 600 swings in one round is crazy. I usually do a handful at the first tee, but after that, rarely.

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