Making the Transition from the Practice Range to the Course
Laird Small, Director of Golf at the Pebble Beach Golf Academy, and PGA national teacher of the year in 2003, says, “in Winning The Battle Within, the contingency practice on the range, and the inner-game skills the book teaches are ideal for building the bridge from the practice range to the course.”
“There is a big vacuum in terms of transfer training, and it’s really at the heart of playing better golf. “
At the Bob Hope Invitational this year while working with Roger Tambellini and Scott McCarron, our focus was on how to take the vital technique information they had gained from their teachers (Roger with Dale Lynch and Scott with Jim Hardy) to the course – to play automatically. That’s the challenge for all of us isn’t it? It’s just impossible to play our best golf while “thinking” about how to swing. We just don’t function smoothly when our conscious mind is engaged in: “make sure to turn down my wrists at impact,” or “swing to a flatter position at the top of my swing.”
What to do? While on the range practice simulating on course play. That’s the contingency practice Laird referred to in Winning The Battle Within. Use you full pre and post shot routines by changing targets and shot shapes on each repetition. Use the inner-game drills to create and image in your mind – see each shot and feel the swing that matches what you see.
Roger and Scott did just that. Although their results were mixed, both made significant strides toward learning technique and committing it to their long-term memory, thus, automatic play. With attention to proper practice, you can do the same.