Mark Kagaoan: Make sure you practice with a purpose

Practicing doesn’t have to be that painful as long as you practice with a purpose and find a good routine. Here are a few steps that can make your range session a little more enjoyable and productive.

Step 1: Find a PGA Golf Professional and take a lesson already!

Self-medicating is just as bad as listening to your playing partners dropping their two cents on how you can be the next Ben Hogan. Your local Golf Professional went to school and got certified for golf, so let them tell you what’s wrong with your swing and how to correct it. Be open to change and remember that change is not easy. It takes patience and practice.

Step 2: Practice With A Purpose

Knowing that you have a swing change to work on, you must take your time to learn the new move. Swinging slowly and smooth will help your body adjust to the change.

First, try practicing the move without any golf balls. We often tend to be intimidated by the ball when it’s in front of us. You all know how it goes… easy practice swing followed by a cool strut up to the ball and you slice one out of bounds possibly shattering a windshield in the parking lot.

Second, practice your new swing at about 50 percent of your normal swing speed. This helps the body adjust to the new swing and makes it easier to repeat. When you’re ready to try it with a golf ball, take about 6-7 slow practice swings before swinging. Try to maintain that 50 percent swing speed when attempting to hit the ball. If we take a full swing at full speed our bodies will go to the most comfortable move which is back to our old habit. When working on a swing change you tend to feel awkward and uncomfortable. This all means that the swing is changing for the better. Stick with it and you will soon develop a more fundamental and consistent swing.

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