As us golfers are aware, golf is a game that requires practice – and lots of it. But sometimes getting to the course isn’t always possible – especially right now when the country is in lockdown. Just because you can’t get to the course doesn’t mean you should neglect your golf game. In fact, now is the perfect opportunity to work on your skills.
As a result, here at Golfsupport, the team have put together this handy guide outlining simple ways you can practice golf at home to perfect your putting, swing and chip shots.
How to practice golf putting at home
Putting is, undeniably, one of the most important aspects of the game and it is the part that lowers your scores the most. But, thankfully, putting is one of the “easiest” elements to learn and practice away from the course. If you want to be more consistent in strike, accuracy and distance, it is worth spending time perfecting your putting skills at home.
As most of us are aware, putting practice involves a lot of repetition in order to get the correct speed, stroke and green reading. The best way to practice putting at home is by working on your putting stroke again and again. To do this, a putting mat is useful (such as the one pictured), and they can be purchased online at Golfsupport and be delivered to your door.
Using resources at home
If you don’t have a putting mat at home, another simple and inexpensive way of practicing your putting is using a clear, flat floor space and a plastic cup from your cupboard – it’s as easy as that.
All you need to do is place the cup on its side 10 feet away from you, with the open-end facing forwards – this will act as the “hole”. Next, line up 6 golf balls around a foot apart (if you are indoors, you may want to use practice balls) and putt them into the cup one after the other.
To make it more of a challenge, each time you miss, you must start all over again. Consider varying the distance between the balls and the cup for extra difficulty if you have the space!
How to practice golf swings at home
Whether you prefer to use a driver or a wedge, where you make an impact on the face of the club is crucial and can determine the quality of your shots. If this is an area you struggle with, it is entirely possible to practice this at home.
Perfecting the basics
First things first, mastering the basics at home is one simple way to ensure you keep making great progress as a golfer. Use a mirror or window (for immediate feedback) to perfect your golf grip, golf posture and alignment. It’s easy to slip into bad habits which can prove disastrous to your game, so it’s worth practicing – even if you think you’re a pro!
Check your grip, positioning and movement against textbook examples and tweak as necessary. It’s a good idea to practice this over and over again, until it comes naturally. You can do this by practicing your swing shots slowly in front of your mirror or window. If you can get this “perfect” five times in a row, it’s time to move onto practicing your swing shots.
Perfecting your swing
Once you have perfected the basics, it’s time to work on your swing. It is advisable to use a practice net to try out different golf drills, such as swing tempo or trajectory. Launch monitors are a modern way of practicing away from the course, and have become a popular way to give feedback when taking shots into a net too. There are many options available out there, each with varying specifications, so be sure to do your research to ensure you are choosing the best launch monitor for you and your budget.
Practice golf nets (such as the one pictured) can easily be assembled and dismantled, to provide a great barrier to ensure that your balls don’t get lost in your neighbour’s back garden (or worse, a window!). More often than not, golf nets come with detachable, movable targets, which allow golfers to focus on improving accuracy if they want to focus on a specific area of their game.
How to practice chipping at home
In order to keep your score low, mastering the green can save you a couple of shots each round, so it makes perfect sense to dedicate time to practicing your chip shots whilst at home in the garden, or on a carpeted surface. When practicing chipping, it’s a good idea to work on distance control – perhaps the most essential wedge skill – and trajectory, which is where a net can come in useful.
Using a net
For every chip shot you hit, you need a clear picture of what your golf ball is going to do. Visualising the flight and landing spot is essential, so why don’t you practice this golf drill at home?
When working on trajectory, pick a target and try to land the ball at the same distance with a low, medium, and high trajectory. You can either do this with the same club and experiment with ball position, opening or closing the face, or altering your technique, or you could also choose different clubs to achieve different trajectories. This practice exercise helps to give you a better sense of what’s required to keep the ball a little lower or higher, in order to hit the target more accurately whilst playing a round of golf on the course.
Chipping nets (such as the example pictured) are a great way to work on your accuracy and trajectory too. These can be used both indoors and out, in order to improve your ability to hit the target time and time again. Here are some ways you can practice your chip shots:
Using resources at home
One way you can practice chipping at home is using a golf club, a selection of golf balls and a bucket/small bin. Simply place the bucket/bin about 10ft in front of you and place a selection of balls down around a foot apart. Begin chipping them and see how many you get into the basket/bin. You can also move the net closer or further away to work on your chipping range if you want a bit of a challenge.
Feature image credit: l_martinez / Shutterstock