Practice Golf Drills

We set a video camera up on the range at the Abu Dhabi Championships to see what practice golf drills were used by the best players in the world...

Whether you are an amateur or professional, if you play the game, you’ll have your favourite practice golf drills. These are the actions you rely on to get your game ready for the round ahead. We spent a day on the range at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championships to find out what works for the best players in the world. Here are 9 tour player practice golf drills to whet the appetite!

Rory McIlroy Practice Tips

Ian Poulter

The Englishman sets up a simple t-bar system to check his alignment and ball position. Coaches often say that faults in the golf swing can usually be traced back to problems at the address - this is how Poulter keeps his in check.

Branden Grace

The South African uses a two ball takeaway drill. He pushes a second ball directly away from his target ball. If the second ball rolls away on a straight line he knows his swing has started on the right path. This drill also helps establish a good rhythm.

Lee Westwood: How to practice golf

Jordan Spieth

Like Ian Poulter, Jordan Spieth knows the value in checking the basics at address. He places an alignment stick down throughout his practice routine. He also checks his takeaway before each ball he hits – this is part of his pre-shot routine that crucially is honed on the range.

Peter Uihlein

Working alongside coach Peter Cowen, the American uses a foot back drill. By moving his left foot back at address (and keeping the heel off the ground), he is helping his body to rotate through the ball. In Peter’s case, the drill also prevents him from ‘standing up’ through impact.

Marcus Kinhult

The young Swede checks his ball position before every drive he hits. By lining his driver up with the head of the club on the ground and the ball, he can see how precisely the ball position is set. The devil is in the detail!

Oliver Wilson

Before hitting a single shot on the range, the Englishman runs through a series of swing checks. Monitoring his swing plane as well as how centred he is through impact, Wilson is looking to instil good moves right at the start.

Danny Willett

Danny uses a very deliberate pre-shot backswing check. He does this to ensure the arm plane and clubhead are both in a good position at the top of the backswing.

Ernie Els

The veteran South African, you will notice, always continues to move as prepares to hit. This prevents tension creeping into his set up and results in his trademark rhythm! He also uses an alignment stick to check his aim but this also helps him check his divot pattern.

Rory McIlory

The Northern Irishman didn’t use any practice golf drills while we followed him. Just a few balls to warm up was enough… He was the highest placed finisher of the players in this video…!!

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X