Importance Of Deliberate Practice

I work 40 hours a week here at Westridge Golf Centre, and on top of that practice working to improve my own game in my free time. Whilst working or practicing, I see lots of members and non members come up to hit balls on the driving range to work on their swing, trying to get themselves hitting the ball better in preparation for next week’s skins match amongst their mates, or the club monthly medal. It’s all very good hitting 150 balls on the range twice a week, and saying that you have put lots of work hard work into to improving your game…….but have you???

 

This is where the phrase “deliberate practice” comes into the conversation. This term was used by psychologist K. Anders Ericsson where his research talks about how humans achieve mastery in a certain skill. In relation to golf, deliberate practice is about improving by pushing your practice beyond your comfort zone. This doesn’t mean just turning up at the range and smashing loads of balls in the hope that you might just start hitting the ball better! Only by practicing with purpose and a bit of pain will you improve. I’m now 29 and have been a Professional for 7 years and have won 4 events in this time, but my last victory was 3 years ago. Over this time I have realised what separates me and everybody else from world class performers is how they approach every day trying to get better! My practice sessions were pathetic, I would get a bucket of balls and start with a short iron working my way up to the driver, not trying to accomplish anything but figure out why the good shots were good and the bad shots were bad! I would have my reasons as to why these were happening, and how I would go about trying to replicate the good shots and eliminate the bad without having any real evidence to support my theories. Soon 1 hour passes by, I had run out of balls and I wouldn’t have achieved anything during the session. This is when I realised that something had to change during my practice in order for me to get better! I analysed my game and now practice specific things in order for me to improve.

When you practice, you need to work on things that are unique to you. Don’t get fooled into trying the latest tip that you read in a golf magazine or see on the internet! You need a personalised plan that stretches you out from your comfort zone. Only you and your coach (If you have one) will know what this is. So when you next go up the range to practice ask yourself, what shots and situations on the golf course make you uncomfortable? What you would like to do well on the golf course? Once you have figured these out, devise a plan to practice specifically on those areas. These can be anything from trying to get the ball closer from 120 yards away, to driving it straighter, or just hitting punch shots with a 7iron in order to control your ball flight for windy conditions. But remember the practice is specific to what you want to achieve in order for your game to improve! Don’t get frustrated if your hitting a lot of bad shots during the practice session, this is a good sign your achieving deliberate practice and not just falling back into old habits and achieving nothing! When trying to get better sometimes you have to take 1 step backwards in order to take two steps forward as they say.

During a lesson I will tell you the areas of your game that you need to improve, and give you technical instruction on how to improve these through deliberate practice on the range. If this is something that interests you and you would like to book please call 613131 and we can discuss this, as well as my new coaching packages for 2019, which offer you monthly lesson prices with daily free range credit included!!! Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog and I hope to see you soon.

 

Christopher Reed

PGA Professional

Westridge Golf Centre

Tips for Playing In Wet And Windy Conditions

While it isn’t everyone’s idea of a great day out on the golf course, playing in cold, wet and windy conditions is sometimes unavoidable. So if your itching to get out on the golf course during the winter months, here are some tips to playing good golf when it’s damp, drizzling, or just absolutely chucking it down!

  • Expect The Unexpected: When the temperature is dropping, the clouds are closing in, the wind is picking up, the last thing you want to be doing is scrambling around frantically trying to find your wet weather gear. Or worse not finding any in your bag at all! If there is any sort of chance the heavens may open, make sure you are well equipped and ready to spring into action if they do. Put all of your waterproofs in the biggest pocket of your golf bag, don’t forget your umbrella, and install the rain cover on your golf bag before you start your round.

 

  • Invest In Quality Wet Weather Apparel: When you are dry and warm in your waterproof pants and jacket as a weather front hits, you’ll be patting yourself on the back for making that purchase of the essentials for winter golf. The latest golf specific designs feature water repellent synthetic material which is lightweight and comfortable so you can swing without feeling constriction which is common when wearing non golf specific wet weather gear. Some jackets also feature ventilation gaps that increase breathability and maintain a consistent temperature, so you don’t get too hot and steamy when it’s tipping it down!

 

 

  • Accept The Weather For What It Is: The one thing you can’t do is control the weather, but you can control how you respond to the conditions. This will have a huge bearing on your enjoyment and subsequent performance when playing. Learn to accept the conditions for what they are, and don’t waste time moaning about them, which will make you more relaxed by accepting the fact that its cold, wet, and windy. Stay positive, lower your expectations, and bear in mind that everyone else playing is in the same boat as you. In Scotland, the birthplace of golf, it rains on average 265days of the year which is evidence that you’re going to play golf at some stage in the rain!

 

 

  • Lots Of Towels And Gloves: Slick grips and straight shots….they just don’t go together, unfortunately. So it goes without saying that a strong bond between golfer and club is of utmost importance when its soggy. This is why the golf towel and wet weather gloves come into their own when you’re getting soaked on the course. Put a couple of towels inside your golf bag(Don’t leave them attached to the outside of your bag for obvious reasons) to wipe the clubs grip dry before playing your shot. To ensure more control wear some golf specific rain gloves which actually increase your grip the wetter they get. They will genuinely come in as a pair to keep both hands dry, and keep your grip as watertight as Man City’s hold on the premier league title!

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog. If you would like to book a lesson with me, please call 01983 613131. Thank you

Christopher Reed

PGA Professional

Westridge Golf Centre

Tips to make playing Golf in the Winter more Fun!

Playing golf during the winter is not everyone’s cup of tea! Weather is often horrible with lots of rain, cold winds, poor visibility, and the condition of the course itself is……..let’s just say it can be a challenge to shoot your best scores with these issues presented when playing. Regardless though of all these things, there are plenty of people who choose to brave the elements in order to practice the game they love. If you’re going to master the course and keep your handicap coming down over winter you will need help to do this. Having a lesson on a regular basis will help you to play better consistent golf, but also having the right equipment will give you the edge you need to beat the elements and play better golf. Below is a list of things that will help you to achieve this:

  • Beanie Hat: It is crucial to stay warm and dry when playing golf in the winter. If you’re too cold you can’t think straight let alone swing straight. Because you lose a great deal of heat through your head, it makes sense to keep it covered with a soft warm beanie or bobble hat.

  • Mittens: Hitting a shot with cold hands can not only be very painful, but your overall feel of a golf shot will be affected therefore affecting performance. Mittens are easy to put on and take off, and are used when walking between shots from tee to green. Most have Velcro cuffs stopping the wind and rain getting inside meaning your hands will be nice and warm when playing your next shot.

  • Rain Grip: Playing in the rain provides plenty of issues, but the most frustrating thing is losing grip on the club because it’s too slippery and because of this your shot becomes affected. Rain grips have a waterproof coating to keep your hands dry and a suede palm to help with grip.

  • Umbrella: The most crucial piece of equipment to have in the rain! Not only will the umbrella keep you dry when striding down the fairway to your next shot, it will also keep your clubs dry whilst you are hitting a shot. Without one of these playing in the rain will be made even harder than it is already!

 

 

We have all these accessories in stock plus many more available which would come in handy for this time of year, starting from £1.75p. So feel free to pop in and start to see an improvement in your game this winter! If you would like to book a lesson with myself please call 01983 613131. Thank you

 

 

Christopher Reed

PGA Professional

Westridge Golf Centre