Get rid of the rust and hit the ground running this season with these must-try, tee to green drills
10 Best Pre-Season Golf Drills
It’s time to dust off the clubs and get your game in shape for the new season – it’s going to be your best yet! Coming back from a break, and often it’s that short game touch that we lose. However, for many amateurs , the whole game can feel a little alien come the start of a new season.
With our selection of the 10 best pre-season golf drills, which cover every area of the game, you’re sure to hit the ground running when you tee it up for the first time – and you’ll be razor sharp in all departments.
So, let’s get rid of the rust.
1 Par 18
The aim of ‘Par 18’ is to turn three shots into two. Take a different club to three different locations, about 15 to 25 yards from the pin. Observe the different flights and how each shot rolls out. Then, go and putt out – that’s all nine balls. This drill links your chipping to your putting, and there’s a consequence. Make sure you record your scores, so you start to add some pressure to your practice sessions. Can you shoot par?
2 Bunker BasicsThis must-try drill will improve your understanding of how you want your club to interact with the sand when faced with routine greenside bunker shots. When practising, having an image to look at will help, so draw a box in the sand to form a small rectangle around the ball (as pictured above). Your goal is to remove the sand inside the box. The box gives you a visual of where you want the club to enter before throwing the sand out towards the target.
3 Hybrid Coin DrillTo get that downward impact with the hybrid, place a coin two or three inches in front of the ball and play your shot as you would do normally. If you miss the coin, it’s because the sole of the club is travelling upwards too soon – the likely result is a thin contact. You want to hit the coin, as this tells you that you have the correct downward angle of attack. This will lead to purer and more consistent strikes.
4 Centred Ball-Striking
This drill helps golfers to understand how the angle of attack affects the strike – and it can prove really effective in getting your ball striking quality back after a layoff. It will test to see whether you can adjust your attack angle for each of the three shots above (low tee, mid tee, high tee).
That angle of attack will be steeper for the ball teed low, fairly neutral in the middle, and when pegged up high you’ll be hitting the ball on the up. You should be able to adjust so every shot finds the middle of the clubface.
5 Putting Rhythm
Firstly, get yourself some alignment sticks before the new season gets underway – they’re fantastic for putting drills. Now, every putt should have the same rhythm, regardless of distance; it’s what we call the 2:1 ration, so if you take two seconds going back, you have a second to hit it. A lot of golfers have too long a backswing and then decelerate, which messes up your speed.
Note how the stick is restricting the length of the backswing. Set up for a ten-foot putt and take your stroke without hitting it. If you can learn to accelerate, you’ll stop leaving so many putts short this season.
6 Strike DrillGet your chipping on the money this season with this terrific drill. Place a £10 note on the ground and set up with your feet about the width of the note apart. Practise getting the sole of your wedge to brush the ground. The club first makes contact with the ground at the back of the note and it leaves the ground close to the front of it.
7 Flamingo DrillDon’t worry if anyone is watching – they’ll soon be copying you when you start sweeping up from close range. Standing on just your lead leg will help develop your stability – a key factor in holing out more consistently from short range. The ‘flamingo’ will also help deliver more solid strikes, and prevent the hands from becoming too active.
8 Weight TransferThe golf swing is all about rotation, flexion and extension. When you throw a ball, you do all that – which makes this tennis ball drill so effective. Executed correctly – and if there was a wall directly in front of you – the ball would bounce down, hit the wall and offer you an easy catch as you rotated through to your finish position. If you come out of your squat and throw the ball last, you’ll catch it. Here, the ball hasn’t reached the ground but you can see the person is out of the squat.
9 Power DrillBy using a towel to whip your bag, you can instinctively learn how to use your muscles better. If you’re guilty of using your arms and hands only, and not your body, you will lose that stored energy early; the towel will be rather limp. Compare the sound of hitting the bag – much more of a crisp ‘snap’ – when you turn and rotate into the finish. This is that stored energy being released.
10 Chalk DrillHitting the ground in the ideal spot is vital when it comes to the quality of your ball-striking. You want to be hitting the ground between the front of the ball and your lead foot. To help encourage this, draw a square box in front of the ball with some chalk. You don’t actually need to hit the ball – just take some swings and get used to striking the chalk with conviction.You’ll soon find yourself striping your irons.
For more tips and drills from the Golf Monthly Top 25 Coaches, visit golf tips.