Practice Something to consider before you waste your time

 mattwalterpga ·  
mattwalterpgamattwalterpga Murfreesboro, TNMembers  55WRX Points: 68Handicap: Being a Teaching Professional LOLPosts: 55 Bunkers
Joined:  in Juniors/College Golf Talk #1

I accidentally did an experiment with a bunch of my kids where they were trying make as many putts as possible down a 4 foot metal ruler. They first did their test in December where they recorded their best streak and total putts made out of 50 but what happened recently was interesting.


Last week, everyone failed to improve because I simply asked them to just hit 50 putts and see if they could do better. Last night I asked them to beat their streak first and then with the remaining putts go to 50 and see if they can improve their total made as well.


To my astonishment every kid did better last night versus last week.


Food for thought before you assign practice goals.

Posted:

Matt Walter, PGA

On -, @mattwalterpga for all social media
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  • leezer99leezer99 Boy - 2026 Members  1719WRX Points: 1,039Handicap: A BillionPosts: 1,719 Platinum Tees
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    Pretty interesting stuff Matt. What you got for lag putting improvement?

    Posted:

    There's definitely something more important that I should be doing.

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  • mattwalterpgamattwalterpga Murfreesboro, TNMembers  55WRX Points: 68Handicap: Being a Teaching Professional LOLPosts: 55 Bunkers
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    Goldilocks drill. Try to make first putt. Let's say it comes up short. The second putt has to go long(don't try and make it). Third putt then has to stop in between first two (the hole should be located between 1st and 2nd putt). Tighter the grouping the better. Typically try and tell the kid to hit it as equally long or short as the first putt.

    You can also add left and right as they get better.

    Posted:

    Matt Walter, PGA

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  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members  1548WRX Points: 365Posts: 1,548 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Feb 19, 2020 5:58pm #4

    I am all for these drills but I noticed that at some point you must practice like you play. If your learning speed and feel or even lag putting this is great drill but if your looking to make putts you need to move the ball every time and have a new position.

    the best drill I have seen is act like the putt hit the green in regulation and play 18 holes and see if you can break par.

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  • mattwalterpgamattwalterpga Murfreesboro, TNMembers  55WRX Points: 68Handicap: Being a Teaching Professional LOLPosts: 55 Bunkers
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    Not totally true. Even tour players do simple drills like putting down a string on a straight putt. That would defeat what your saying right there.


    The answer is not block or random practice and which one is better. The questions how much of both do you need to improve. It's a sliding scale and it can be fluid.

    Posted:

    Matt Walter, PGA

    On -, @mattwalterpga for all social media
  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members  1548WRX Points: 365Posts: 1,548 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Feb 24, 2020 12:45am #6

    I never said they don’t . If you going for learning speed and a certain repeatable stroke then it’s good to practice the same putt over and over again. If you looking to lower your score and have repeatable stroke already you better practice making it the first time because that is how you play. My kid only started to see improvement in actually making putts by practicing this way. You don’t get second chance to putt or even hit a ball on the range so you need to practice that way a lot.

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  • DaddyCaddieIUDaddyCaddieIU Members  83WRX Points: 36Posts: 83 Fairways
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    I think what he’s trying to say is everyone’s recipe to improvement can be different, that’s great your daughter found one way that works for her, but keep in mind in a month or 6 months, may need to switch it up!

    Posted:
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  • mattwalterpgamattwalterpga Murfreesboro, TNMembers  55WRX Points: 68Handicap: Being a Teaching Professional LOLPosts: 55 Bunkers
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    So again that’s great it worked for YOUR daughter. I’ve taught hundreds of kids and know enough coaches to say thousands. IT’S NOT THAT SIMPLE. Some kids respond better with confidence making 100 three footers in a row that are dead straight and others going around the circle. Sure I love having kids putt for 9holes to test a baseline but that doesn’t correlate to the best drill to making more putts. There’s times and places for training like your talking about. I’ve seen kids get better at putting by simply walking with their putt on the green pushing a golf ball through an obstacle course to learn face awareness. There’s more to this equation than hitting one ball, from multiple spots. Sorry to be brunt but again it’s not block or random practice. It’s how much of both do you need to get improvements.

    Posted:

    Matt Walter, PGA

    On -, @mattwalterpga for all social media
  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members  1548WRX Points: 365Posts: 1,548 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Feb 24, 2020 5:46pm #9

    Again I am not disagreeing with. I am just saying you need be careful and practice like you play sometimes. I know you are an instructor but endless drills only go so far. As a parent who pays for instruction I need to see results or the instructor gets fired. I fired a few instructors for endless drills that looked great on the practice range and green but never produced results and ended just wasting time. I am seeing results now and that is because it based on instruction which dictates we Must practice like we play.

    a complete beginner should do drills but once you master skills you have to practice like you play. I am not a angainst drills at all and they have there place when you need to practice certain things but you must focus on what you want to achieve for them to be effective.

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  • mattwalterpgamattwalterpga Murfreesboro, TNMembers  55WRX Points: 68Handicap: Being a Teaching Professional LOLPosts: 55 Bunkers
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    So with your model why both even doing drills or using the practice area? You should always play. Get off the practice area then. Lol

    Posted:

    Matt Walter, PGA

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  • mattwalterpgamattwalterpga Murfreesboro, TNMembers  55WRX Points: 68Handicap: Being a Teaching Professional LOLPosts: 55 Bunkers
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    like I said in my initial post. Be open minded to how u setup the reward system. If they fail it could be as a result of drill design.

    Posted:

    Matt Walter, PGA

    On -, @mattwalterpga for all social media
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  • J_carpJ_carp Members  77WRX Points: 57Handicap: 1Posts: 77 Fairways
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    Really like the Goldilocks drill, trying to teach my nephew the importance of lag putting recently and it was a struggle to get through to him (as is the case with most 10 year olds). Going to have to try that out next time.

    Posted:

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