Applied Golf Skills Practice: The Secret Every Amateur and Professional Needs to Know to Transfer Their Golf Skills to the Golf Course Faster
Is there anything more frustrating than hitting the ball great on the practice range but not being able to do it to anywhere near to the same standard on the golf course?
Maybe you are someone who holes a lot more putts on the practice green than you hole on the golf course; or possibly you chip and pitch your ball closer to the hole on the practice green, but you find that you hit it a lot further away from the hole on the golf course.
I’m sure you are familiar with this problem, it’s very common for all standards of golfers, and it often appears to be the biggest obstacle to get in the way of lowering handicaps and golf scores.
David and I are very familiar with this problem and we see golfers from average to pro level struggling to get their practice game standard to the golf course within a reasonable amount of time.
We describe this as "transference ability," which is the ability of golfers to perform their golf skills equally as well on the practice ground and on the golf course.
Train on the Practice Ground to Perform on the Golf Course
Transference ability is most commonly observed with successful tour golfers who have developed this ability to practice skilfully and then perform on the golf course with virtually the same level of success.
What’s interesting about the idea behind transference ability is that it is another way of describing your ability to learn a skill set thoroughly enough to trust it when you perform it on the golf course in tournaments.
The key word here is "trust," and as we all know or have probably heard, "trust must be earned."
However, it is how trust is earned that is the real key to successful transference of skills to the golf course, and in this article I'll show you how to do it easily and well.
So What Exactly is Trust and Why is it Important?
Well, the dictionary describes the word Trust as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.
Basically trust as it relates to golf performance describes your level of belief in the reliability of your golf techniques under any type of perceived pressure on the golf course in tournaments.
Therefore trust is primarily developed as a consequence of the way your golf skills are practiced and developed on the practice ground.
What we are really talking about is your golf practice methodology, your practice approach, or the specific way you practice your golf skills to bring about changes in the way you perform them on the golf course in tournaments.
Basically from this point forward it will be helpful for you to start seeing your golf practice as a series of strokes or trials that grow or expand your learning potential.
This takes place within a period of time on the practice ground, or even on the golf course.
Like learning any motor skill, you are required to perform multiple repetitions to augment or boost learning potential.
The key to successful transference of skills from the practice ground to the golf course will ultimately get down to your commitment and resolve to perform each-and-every-stroke with your full attention on each stroke, and your intention to perform each stroke to the best of your current ability.
When you perform each stroke you are in fact generating a small experience over and over, and it’s the quality of each individual experience when repeated many times that ultimately leads to improvement, and eventual reliability in your technique.
I’m sure you realize that it is not uncommon for some golfers to practice their golf stroke for many hours but not experience anywhere near the level of progress they desire.
Why does this happen?
The 2 main reasons we come across at Pro Tour Golf College are a poor attitude over less than stellar results, and unproductive practice habits.
So how can we improve this situation to fast-track our golf skill development so we can achieve better results on the golf course?
With 2 unique concepts I'm going to share with you.
Aiming Your Attitude and Applied Golf Skills Practice...
Aiming Your Attitude in the Right Direction
Why do some elite golfers miss relatively easy putts when they have a great stroke and are good at reading greens?
Well you can be competent at being incompetent. Huh! You can practice something with a poor attitude and when you produce less than desirable results, you get angry and frustrated.
So in this scenario it doesn't matter how good your stroke is, or how well you read greens. An excellent putting stroke and exceptional green reading ability with poor attitude towards missing means that you will struggle to transfer your skills to the golf course successfully.
So all the good stroke and green reading work you have done up to this point is nullified or cancelled out by your poor attitude to the missed putts.
We see golfers all the time make things that are bad, worse. They take one experience which they find offensive, and they emphasize their displeasure in a way that encourages more of it.
This is more common than you would think and the way out of it is to apply a simple yet profound principles of Zen that we teach at Pro Tour Golf College to all our students that can turn around this attitude in a heartbeat.
Mind Without Mind
Mushin means No Mind, or Mind Without Mind, and simply describes the ability to not judge yourself or add emotion to a situation. When golfers miss putts or hit bad shots and get upset they are judging themselves and applying emotion to the situation which intensifies it.
This is what we mean by Aiming Your Attitude. Aim your attitude away from judgement and emotion to a place of complete acceptance. Keep an open mind and realize that with growth there is always resistance. You must continually adjust your attitude to the up's and down's of performance.
Transferring your golf skills to the golf course gets down to a lot more than just making perfect looking golf swings and putting strokes. Your attitude to the way you develop yourself in practice plays a huge part in whether you can develop your transference ability.
It's also going to get down to a very specific way of practicing your golf skills so that you give yourself the best chance possible of transferring them to the golf course sooner.
Applied Golf Skills Practice, The Secret to Transferring Your Golf Skills to the Golf Course Faster
The students at Pro Tour Golf College are just like you. They want to improve their skills and transfer them to the golf course sooner rather than later, and we have a very specific way we go about doing this.
I'm sure that you would agree that it would be helpful if you could practice your skills with a specific practice process that manages your skills as it guides you towards effective skill transfer?
Every student in our Tour Golfer Bridging Program goes through our E.G.I.S Assessment at least 3 times over a 10 week period to basically find out how good they are with their short-game and long game skills.
For example, during the assessment the students will hit sets of 10 shots to various targets located between 10 yards/metres and 25 yards/metres from the edge of the green covering chip, pitch, bunker, lob, rough and buried bunker shots that are defined by target zones of differing sizes.
After the assessment has been completed they add up their results and their results place them in a specific colour category based on the score they had.
For example, in a recent Greenside Wedge Skills Assessment at our Jakarta Indonesia location, one of our students William (Name changed for privacy) had the following results in the 6 sub categories of the Greenside Wedge Skills Assessment.
E.G.I.S GREENSIDE WEDGE ASSESSMENT - SUB CATEGORY RESULTS
1. Chip Shots.........................30% = Yellow Target Zone Golfer
2. Pitch Shots........................52.5% = Orange Target Zone Golfer
3. Bunker Shots.....................27.5% = Yellow Target Zone Golfer
4. Lob Shots..........................32.5% = Yellow Target Zone Golfer
5. Rough Shots......................47.5% = Orange Target Zone Golfer
6. Buried Bunker Shots..........25% = Yellow Target Zone Golfer
Now if you study our Greenside Wedge Skills Target Zone Practice Matrix (below) you can see that we can guide and manage William's learning by adjusting the size of his target zones when he practices these particular skill sets, and also give him a reasonable benchmark to aim at achieving to bring about skill transference on the golf course in tournaments.
Basically William's score of 30 percent in his chipping assessment places him in the Yellow Target Zone category, and the matrix suggests that he needs to achieve results of 50 percent or higher (70 percent of the time) in this colour zone when he practices his chipping skills before he can graduate to the Orange Target Zone level.
You can see that the Orange Target Zone has a smaller target radius for chipping, and a 10 percent higher benchmark to achieve for William to graduate to the Red Target Zone.
In other words, as William improves his skills the challenge becomes slightly more difficult, and the benchmark is higher to achieve as well.
Applied golf practice gets down to your attitude to improvement and how you go about learning and developing your skills.
A quality investment in your golf practice will grow the reliability of the different strokes you need to compete successfully on the golf course.
You must develop an ideal performance attitude (Mushin) for every single stroke you make and then combine it with a method of practice that challenges you as it manages your improvement.
Successful skill transference really boils down to your ability to perform your skills reliably, so it just makes good sense to build the best attitude possible with every shot you practice, with the best practice method available.
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College
The Professional Golf Tour Training College for Serious
Amateurs and Professionals
ALL THIS FOR LESS THAN THE COST OF 2 GOLF LESSONS
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4. YOU GET LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE E.G.I.S PROGRAM IN THE MEMBERS AREA FOR A VERY LOW INVESTMENT
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