October 8th 2018
Today I went to the driving range for one final (note: probably not final) practice session before leaving for a golf holiday on Friday. If I’m honest, I rushed it a bit. I think I’m weirdly not cut out for practicing repetitively. I went with my cousin and he said it was the quickest he’d ever gone through a large bucket of (golf) balls in his life.
It was, in his words, “machine gun pace”. That’s probably fair. I do have a habit of doing that, and I always have. I used to go to the driving range with my Grandad every Tuesday, and in the time it would take him to hit 30 balls, I’d already gone through 90. I think it’s because I don’t really think about what I’m doing before each shot. I just kind of hit it and see what happens. Which is, as it turns out, probably the exact reason that I’m not as good a golfer as I could be.
My cousin, by comparison, has a rigorous (and vigorous) pre-shot routine, and he does it every single time. And that’s probably one of the reasons he’s a better golf than me. I rush my shots. I don’t think about what I need to do. I don’t try and keep my swing consistent in the same way he does. I don’t even calculate the trajectory of my club head on impact (I don’t really know what that means, but my Grandad always calls it “the angle of dangle”)
I’m an instinct golfer, insofar as I just walk up to the ball, hit it, and see what happens. In a regular round of golf you don’t really get chance to correct whatever you did wrong on any given shot, because you’ve got to move on to the next one. But at the driving range, you have at least 100 more balls to try and correct whatever you just did wrong.
Or, as my experience was today, you have 100 balls to just repeat the same mistake without actively being able to fix whatever you were doing wrong in the first place. So, I wasn’t really utilising the practice time to its full potential, and my practice time was limited because of how rapidly I got through my bucket of balls.
Until tomorrow, still, it’s better than doing no practice at all, right?