Golf – Skill Acquisition

Skill acquisition refers to voluntary control over body movements in an effort to solve a motor skill problem and achieve a task goal

So! I had a bad score …What now?

I found some weaknesses in my stats for Greens In Regulation (GIR) in the last few weeks and worked on the clubs in the bag to make sure I had the right tools for the task.

Yesterday was a PGA South Region event at Sunningdale Heath, a golf course with many par 3 holes and the odd par 4. I missed the cut for day 2.

Yardages were worked on on Flightscope Mevo and they were spot on for the day. Granted a few wrong club selections from lack of trust in it!! I needn’t have worried.

Also found a new problem that needs attention. Lack of skill. Lost my touch.

Getting up and down 50 yards and in; Pitching, Chipping, Holing Out.

The next step is to work on SKILL ACQUISITION – The easy way.

Driving range practice shows I can plant the ball on a target repeatedly but that isn’t transferring to the golf course in the same way.

Growing up, we had a great bunch of Juniors at Leighton Buzzard Golf Club. Chipping comps, Putting comps, throw your golf balls in and winner takes all.

Nothing to do with technique, just stiff competition.

I think our youthful combined handicap at one point was +8 before everyone started getting full time jobs and the location of a pub.

However, THAT is the practice model I want to try and recreate on the driving range, chipping green and putting green.

Compete with yourself. Measure it.

How many out of 12 are successful? 1, 2, 3?

No problem… Next time aim for one more point. Deduct or double points for the last ball to add a bit of sauce to it.

Driving Range – 15 minutes that was already going to be used

Never hit the same shot twice.

12 ball drills in groups of 3…. Wood, Iron then Wedge.

Each shot on target gets a point.

How many out of 12 each time?

Chipping Green – 15 minutes or so

12 balls from the edge of the green (use 1 ball so you have to restart the chipping process each time, much like the golf course)

You have to “hole out” so grab the putter and roll that ball in after each chip

How many out of 12 did you roll in each time?

Putting Green – 10 minutes or so

1 putter length from the hole, tee peg it at 4 points

1 grip-length further from the hole, tee peg it again

1 more grip-length further from the hole, tee peg it

Now you have 12 points to go from. Inner circle, middle and outer circle.

Normal routine or process, use 1 ball, how many out of 12 each time?

Measure Your Progress

When you’re looking at a 10 minute putting drill, it’s not too much of a chore.

Take mental note or actual note of the numbers you are getting out of 12 for each area of practice. Start to push yourself to make the task harder or to try and get more points each time you are doing it.

This gives you something to measure and track your skill based progress

If these scores out of 12 improve – Your scorecard will do the same.

But I Don’t Hit Practice Balls

No problem, If you tend to sneak out for 9 holes as and when you can, you can do some things to test your skill. Or pick 6 holes with your mates and try something different:

If you hit the fairway, kick it forward 20 yards (makes you want to hit the fairway)

If you miss the fairway, drop a ball 20 yards short and in deeper rough?

Yellowsomes – Play 2 balls and pick the worst one to play from each time?

If you leave a putt short, pull it back a club-length?

5ft putts and in, It only counts if you hole it twice? (Personal Favourite)

If you are in a bunker, put the ball in a footprint or step on it?

MAKE THE GAME HARDER IN PRACTICE – So it’s easier under pressure.

Published by HoleSaleGolf

PGA Golf Professional - Specialist in club building and custom golf equipment. Here to work with you to play better golf and enjoy yourself.

One thought on “Golf – Skill Acquisition

  1. Good observations Freddie. To be able to play as carefree as we did in our youth is interesting. A book I recently read called “silent mind golf” by Robin Sieger touches often on that point. Focus, Faith and Presence are discussed in the book, it’s worth a read, though speed read the 2nd half as it loses its way 🙄
    I used to practice like you did, with my mates and “losing myself” in the solitude of practicing on my own. Testing myself against myself, I’ll a bit more of that, so thanks for the idea 👍


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