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Old 04-20-2011, 09:44 PM   #176
dagolfdoc
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Glad to hear there's some improvement from the routine! It's amazing how much better your overall game becomes once the putting/short game improves! Keep up the work on the areas that give you problems - you'll be setting new personal lows soon!
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:13 AM   #177
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Hey guys - I've been on the road for the past 6 days & haven't had a chance to reply to some questions I had via PM - my apologies. Hopefully, I can get most answered tonight!

One question was regarding putting grips - there are many types of grips: traditional, cross-handed, claw, saw, etc. I'll touch on traditional.

I personally prefer the grip to match the players body type - if you take your take your normal putting grip & take your bottom hand off the club (right hand for a rh player) then flatten your left wrist, take a look at the face - is it square? For most players I see, when they flatten the wrist, the face is open - if this is the case, you'll want to turn your left hand clockwise until the back of the left wrist and the face match. A good starting point would be putting your left thumb on the right corner of the grip - this will allow you to square the face without any manipulation. You'll then want to put your right hand on the club so it matches the left hand (it will probably feel very much "under" the club and it may feel like the palm is facing more skyward). The first few putts will feel pretty awkward, but after 10-20 putts, you'll notice a more consistent roll & the balls will be starting on line much better. This isn't a one-size-fits-all grip, but it's definitely a good start if you're searching for a consistent grip. If you can find a video of Brad Faxon putting, his hands sit like this on the putter. I have some great video of him, but don't have it on this computer - I'll try to post them this week. Once again -not everyone putts like this, so I don't want anyone to think I'm saying this is the ONLY way to do it - just a good starting point for anyone who's struggling with the putter. One thing I do like to see in all putter grips is that the shaft and the forearms are in line (when looking down the line) - if your putter grip is proper - the shaft will blend perfectly in line with the forearms, and in most great putters, the forearms and the thighs are parallel.

Another question I received was about using one club or several around the green. I might have touched on this in another thread, but I prefer to learn to hit multiple shots with one club as opposed to using several. I grew up using several different clubs around the green, and I found, at least for me, that it lead to too much confusion when I was decided which club to use. Once I went to primarily one club (I use 58* for 95% of my shots around the green & use my 54* for longer, running shots) I had more confidence & commitment to the shots, in addition to making practice easier since I only had to use 1 club around the green. Lot's of great players have used multiple clubs, and in certain situations I'll still use a hybrid or 7-iron to chip, but overall I prefer learning get really good with 1-club instead of being mediocre with several. For a player who might be struggling with club selection, starting with one club around the greens is a probably an easy & effective way to simplify & improve.
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:38 AM   #178
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

I just found this thread and have only read the OP, but as a .8 handicap I can very confidently say I would never ever be able to finish this in a single day. The "x out of x" drills are achievable, but the "x in a row" just aren't possible for me. I don't get why some drills are so easy to complete and some are impossible. 4 out of 10 on the green with a 5 iron compared to 20 in a row inside 3 feet from 45 feet at varying locations? The 5 iron equivalent to that putting drill should be like 15/20 on the green.


But the idea of the routine is what counts, to get people out there working on something useful instead of just slapping the ball around on the range. Though I do find it hard to believe many people could actually complete this routine in 1.5 to 2 hours, no matter how damn good they are.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:46 AM   #179
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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I just found this thread and have only read the OP, but as a .8 handicap I can very confidently say I would never ever be able to finish this in a single day. The "x out of x" drills are achievable, but the "x in a row" just aren't possible for me. I don't get why some drills are so easy to complete and some are impossible. 4 out of 10 on the green with a 5 iron compared to 20 in a row inside 3 feet from 45 feet at varying locations? The 5 iron equivalent to that putting drill should be like 15/20 on the green.


But the idea of the routine is what counts, to get people out there working on something useful instead of just slapping the ball around on the range. Though I do find it hard to believe many people could actually complete this routine in 1.5 to 2 hours, no matter how damn good they are.
I completely understand your thoughts, and I thought I'd share my thought process in making the putting 25/25 as opposed to a % of success. I believe putting is the one area where anyone can become proficient. Most players will never hit it 300 yards, they just don't have the flexibility, strength, or ability to hit it that far. However, putting takes no strength, you can be male or female, young or old, and develop relatively good putting skills. I think if the average player wants to improve, putting is a great place to start, but I placed the bar pretty high because I wanted to develop true consistency and with that, increased confidence. As a good player, I'm sure you've been around some tour-caliber players - if you watched a tour player roll putts on a relatively flat putting green, they could probably roll 100/100 inside 3 feet of the hole from 20, 30, 40, feet - their touch is so developed & precise. I don't expect the average player to have the touch of a PGA Tour player, but I didn't want the variance factor -- hit 10 inside 3 feet, but 4 other putts 6 or 7 feet away - which leads to inconsistency & 3-putts.

I know it seems that some of the areas are pretty difficult, but I think as a low handicap player, you might actually find the routine too easy if you give it a try. Unless there is a significant weakness in a certain area. When the Georgia Tech golf team began using the routine, Nicholas Thompson hated it - at the time, he was one of the best ball strikers in college, but his putting was nowhere near the level of his ball striking. He despised the putting because he couldn't do it at first. Once we made some changes in his stroke and he improved his putting, he didn't really mind it & could complete it easily.

FWIW, I do the putting part of the routine 3-4 times per week over my lunch hour & it takes me around 30-40 minutes to complete. I don't really get to practice much, so I don't get the time to do the whole routine, but I try to make the time for the putting either over lunch or before I begin my day. I think if you try it, you'd be surprised at how quickly you could complete it (barring a specific weakness). Give it a shot if you can & let me know your thoughts - also, since you mentioned you didn't get a chance to read the entire thread, I mention that players are encouraged to adjust the numbers to suit their desired goals, so feel free to change it for your individual needs.

Thanks for the feedback - let me know if you try it & your thoughts!
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:44 PM   #180
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

I'm pretty balanced with my game. Nothing is great, but nothing is too weak besides my sand game, really. I guess I should try it out before actually saying it'd be impossible for me, I just don't see myself being able to do it lol.

Plus I'm the type of player that practices about 15 minutes before the round and is good to go. I hate hitting the range. The short game is where it's at.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:10 PM   #181
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Whew, gave the putting side of this a shot today.

Knocked the 3-footers out on my 3rd try. Then tried 5-footers just for kicks and made my first 16 in a row! Really helped my stroke a lot.

I did the 20-footers on my 2nd try, not too bad. 30-footers were another story, it went like 4, 5, 4, 11, 16, 9-ish, 20. I didn't have time to finish the 45-footers but I didn't do well on them either. Need to practice lagging a lot more.

Back and hamstrings are burning though now lol
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:20 PM   #182
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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Back and hamstrings are burning though now lol
Yeah, I can't practice short game for more than like a half hour before my lower back gives way.

That's probably why I just work on 3 and 5 footers for 10 minutes, lag putt for 5 minutes, then do various chip shots for another 10 minutes.

A quick 30 balls on the range and I call it a successful practice session lol.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:59 PM   #183
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

I'm 21 so I probably have considerably less back problems than the average person. But I hit bout 70 balls on the range, chipped for 45 minutes, then putted for about an hour. I plan on hitting the course this weekend, but the wind is supposed to be 30+mph here the next couple of days, so we'll see.

Very nice practice session for me except for some lady brought her 3 year old kid to the range and they came up right next to me. Imagine trying to focus and hit shots while a kid is yelling and running around, ugh.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:08 PM   #184
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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Very nice practice session for me except for some lady brought her 3 year old kid to the range and they came up right next to me. Imagine trying to focus and hit shots while a kid is yelling and running around, ugh.
I remember once I had same situation. Kid was messing around with my golf bag. I asked mother whats her name, she said angrily:
"It's a boy. But mummy like pastel colors" (he was wearing something like pale pink sweater, green shorts etc.)

5minutes later they were gone
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:34 PM   #185
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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Yeah, I can't practice short game for more than like a half hour before my lower back gives way.
Same. I'm 27 and I've already injured my back twice playing golf. I even try various stretches and exercises to prevent lower back pain but nothing works...after about an hour on the range or putting green my back is still generally hurting. I'm still trying to figure out the solution.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:57 PM   #186
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

When I went to the S.H.O. I noticed all these guys are super skinny and I assume they work out their back/abs a lot? Like the tensile exercises maybe not compression so much. Anyway do you do "core" exercises at all? I don't do **** and I have a beer belly. But I assume I should actually work on strengthening my core muscles. College was a loong time ago. Can't believe how amoebic I've become in a decade.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:30 AM   #187
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

I'm really fit, but just being bent over putts and chips for 30 minutes straight is something I'm not used to, especially since I don't practice very much at all. My back doesn't start to hurt, it just more or less gets numb and loses its strength until I rest it for a little bit.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:00 AM   #188
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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When I went to the S.H.O. I noticed all these guys are super skinny and I assume they work out their back/abs a lot? Like the tensile exercises maybe not compression so much. Anyway do you do "core" exercises at all? I don't do **** and I have a beer belly. But I assume I should actually work on strengthening my core muscles. College was a loong time ago. Can't believe how amoebic I've become in a decade.
This doesn't just apply to the quote, but to pretty much everyone, it's really important to take small breaks when practicing putting! Putt for a few minutes, then stand up & stretch! I usually will spend 20 minutes on the green then go & do something else, then come back to the green later for another 20 minutes - an hour on the green is tough on the body without breaks!

As far as conditioning goes, I'm trying to get our fitness expert from the club on the forum - he's a high level TPI guy & works with several tour players as well as amateurs, and he's golf-specific! Hopefully, he'll get on here soon, but for now, if you can do 10-15 minutes of stretching each day focusing primarily on hamstrings, hips, and back, that would be a good start - any core strengthening you can do would be a plus. I'd recommend doing some stretching & some balance drills (stork drills are great & take 5 minutes) this would make a major improvement over a short time & really help prevent pain & injury, while helping you increase consistency & distance in your game.

I'll try to post some stretches tonight & I'll see if I can get Chad to join the forum!
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:03 AM   #189
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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I'm really fit, but just being bent over putts and chips for 30 minutes straight is something I'm not used to, especially since I don't practice very much at all. My back doesn't start to hurt, it just more or less gets numb and loses its strength until I rest it for a little bit.
You lucky dog!! I wish I could be thin without exercise & good without practicing, but unfortunately for me, I need more of both!
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:59 PM   #190
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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You lucky dog!! I wish I could be thin without exercise & good without practicing, but unfortunately for me, I need more of both!
I definitely work out quite a bit, but I don't usually practice more than a half hour a day on average throughout the summer. I will probably have to start grinding a little more on the range and putting green for a couple weeks since I suck right now though haha. But once I hit that groove I can usually coast by without doing much.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:09 AM   #191
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Going out to the course this morning to begin this routine. I'm excited to see if it can jumpstart my return to being a competent golfer again.

Between this and ship--this's excel sheet to keep stats, i'm ready to get back to normal.

Thanks dagolfdoc!
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:46 PM   #192
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

So was going to try the putting and the lag putting and the chipping if i could get it all in this morning and then play a round.

25 3ft putts in a row - 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 25 lol had alignment issues at first but finally got it honed in and it stayed

20 inside 3ft from 20ft -0, 0, 0, 10, 0, 20 kept leaving them all short, i had 10 balls so on that 4th attempt missed the 1st one in the second batch

20 inside 3ft from 30 ft - 5, 3, 10, 0, 5, 0, 0, 0, 3 finally at this point i've been out there for a while so put this to my next session and went and played a round

putted pretty good for me....i like the routine so far.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:25 PM   #193
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

LOL, played my first round of the year last Wednesday, shot 92. Then played the same course today, same tees, same wind conditions, everything...shot 79.

In between I read this thread.

The amazing thing is that's ALL I did. I didn't even practice the short game, just read about it. All I did do was practice 3-footers for about ten minutes before playing, and then some quick lag putting (making sure to focus on 'not caring' where the ball ended), and then run out and play. I remembered a tip from one poaster about trying to not watch the ball while putting and just listen for it to hit the hole, and then another about using the 'hinge and hold' technique of Phil Mickelson for around the greens and tried to keep those in mind for the round. Missed the first 3 greens and got up and down on them all, then continued to strike the ball well through most of the round. It's pretty sick just how much a decent round hinges on the short game, but it does, because my ball striking was actually worse today than it was last week. Golf is so strange.

So thanks for the thread golf doc, and thanks to everyone who poasted in it. I can't wait for some time to get on a practice green and do the whole routine myself and pick up another 13 shot improvement
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:39 PM   #194
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

have finally got out to practice for the first time this season this last week:

worked on the 3-footers on what I'd say was a fairly tricky area of the practice green, and I had at least a dozen consecutive attempts of <5 putts made in a row before I ran off the 25. I would circle the hole, wasn't just hitting from the same spot everytime, and I think practicing on a trickier area was what helped to force me to concentrate on each putt. I was surprised at how difficult it was -- maybe that's just from not stepping foot on a golf course or green for 7 months or maybe it's just me making excuses.

also worked on the 20-footer lags, which wasn't too difficult at all. before I left I gave ten putts from 30 feet and it was a little harder but still didn't seem that bad.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:34 PM   #195
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Dagolfdoc - interesting routine. I have a similar warm up and mini practice version of this that I'd like to share.

About me - I'm a 1 handicap and I play a lot... 4-5 18 hole rounds a week, and regular lessons and practice sessions. I'm 34.

If I am playing a serious match, or just have some time to go practice, I go through a standard routine leading up to my tee time... it goes like this:

1) Go the front putting green at my club which is pretty flat. Take three golf balls and make 3 2 footers. Then, I go back to 4 feet, then 6 to 8 feet, then about 10, then 15, then 20, then 25. My goal is to get a feel for my set up, stroke, and distance control as I work backwards into longer puts.

2) I go to the chipping green with a shag bag. With a wedge, I pick a short, medium, and long chipping target. I chip 3-5 balls to each hole, with the goal of getting as many chips as possible into "makeable" range. Again, my goal is get get a feel for my chipping stroke and distance control. I scoop those balls, then I pick a few new holes with a bump and run type chip, with something like an 8 iron. If I'm practicing only, I'll do this a few more times, constantly rotating targets to alter the feel/swing, and I'll pick different clubs to get a variety of lofted vs. running shots.

3) I go to the pitching green which has a bunker. I'll pitch a few short shots with a wedge, then move back a bit and hit a few more shots (5-10 at each location). Then I'll pick a few specific landing spots, do a few shots over the bunker for visual intimidation, etc. Last, I drop 10 or so balls in the trap and pitch them out to different distances. The goal again is a variety of distances to dial in my feel.

4) Finally, I go to the range and begin to hit balls. If it is before the round, I don't try to hit a ton of balls. I'll start with a half wedge shot and hit a few, then a few full wedges. Then I hit 3 or so balls with longer and longer clubs... 9 iron, 7, 5, 3. Then I will hit 4-5 3 woods and drivers. I always pick specific targets on the range to check my alignment.

As a pre-round warm up, this is a great way to get dialed in, and it only takes me about an hour to go through the routine. A longer practice version might take 2 hours or so.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:39 PM   #196
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

I feel the most important feature of dagolfdoc's is creating pressure on yourself by setting concrete goals in each exercise and achieving them and moving on to more difficult goals.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:50 PM   #197
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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have finally got out to practice for the first time this season this last week:

worked on the 3-footers on what I'd say was a fairly tricky area of the practice green, and I had at least a dozen consecutive attempts of <5 putts made in a row before I ran off the 25. I would circle the hole, wasn't just hitting from the same spot everytime, and I think practicing on a trickier area was what helped to force me to concentrate on each putt. I was surprised at how difficult it was -- maybe that's just from not stepping foot on a golf course or green for 7 months or maybe it's just me making excuses.

also worked on the 20-footer lags, which wasn't too difficult at all. before I left I gave ten putts from 30 feet and it was a little harder but still didn't seem that bad.
G-bebe - good to have you back playing - what took you so long? ha ha! We need to get you to some warmer weather - 7 months is a long withdrawl. Glad to see you getting back into some practice weather, and I look forward to hearing about your improvement - I'm sure you're going to make up for the last 7 months & get lot's of golf in over the next couple months. Keep us posted, and let me know what I can do to help you improve!
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:27 PM   #198
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Hey BCEagle I just re-read my post above and I didn't mean to come across as confrontational or anything.

I was just pointing out the difference between the two as dagolfdoc's is more of a straight up practice routine, whereas yours is a great way to get a feel for a course right before you play a round.

Anyway, I just got back from my first attempt at the routine and it didn't go too well. Three feet is a lot longer than I thought, and 20 feet is a lot shorter!
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:49 PM   #199
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

i agree on the 20ft being a lot shorter....

the 30ft lag is KILLING ME! i've attempted about 15 series at it and got to 17 but other than that its about 10 is the highest....its brutal

but its still fun lol
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:36 AM   #200
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Ya, I found the lag putting way less stressful than the 3 footers.
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