Focus on what you can control – your own game – by writing down a plan that combines activities on and off the course
It’s hard to remember a lot at one time, isn’t it? Homework, chores, tee times, or maybe when you told your parents you’d take out the garbage but forgot?
Not to worry – we’ve all been there!
Going forward, try implementing the practice of writing things down. It’s great advice from Jeff Stalcup, who works as a PGA Head Professional at The Orchards Golf Club in Michigan.
Along with hosting Drive, Chip & Putt competitions, Jeff and his staff are still busy with two PGA Jr. League teams, a junior golf league and development programs for kids to stay engaged at The Orchards.
He’s got a lot to remember, which is why he always prepares with a plan.
When you write a goal, plan or ‘to-do’ task down, it helps you remember that certain thing better.
Tip #1: “When you write a goal, plan or ‘to-do’ task down, it helps you remember that certain thing better,” says Stalcup. “You’re more likely to actually do it, too, rather than just thinking about it.”
Now your turn! Grab a piece of paper or even use the Notes app on your phone and create a practice schedule or to-do list for the week. Not everything has to be golf-focused, but writing it all out will give you a nice visual.
You don’t want to get burnt out with golf, so maybe work in some other sports and activities to keep your muscles and mind always working.
Tip #2: “Try to keep it fresh,” says Stalcup. “You don’t want to get burnt out with golf, so maybe work in some other sports and activities to keep your muscles and mind always working.”
As an example, Monday can be 30 minutes of chipping; on Tuesday, head to the practice range for driving and irons. For Wednesday, take a break from the course and shoot some hoops, throw the football or baseball with a friend, or go to your local park and kick the soccer ball around.
Head back to the course on Thursday for some putting practice, and then take the day off on Friday to have some fun. On the weekend, try to get out on the course with your friends and family, putting all that scheduled practice to the test!
“Or, play in some local tournaments to add a little more competition to the mix,” notes Stalcup.
Although this is just an example schedule, it gives you an idea of how a written plan can help big time with staying engaged in golf.
Another part you can build in to your schedule is working with your local PGA Professional to stay tuned up when you’re not competing.
“It can be a monthly or bi-monthly lesson, but your coach knows how you swing, so checking in with him or her is always a good idea,” Stalcup adds.
Accuracy outweighs distance in Drive, Chip & Putt because it’s better to get some points vs. none
Tip #3: When you are practicing, make it purposeful, too. Picture the driving grid that you’ll see at your next Drive, Chip & Putt competition. Now transplant that grid onto your local practice range right in front of you. Focus on always hitting that grid, first, and then your driving distance second.
“Accuracy outweighs distance in Drive, Chip & Putt because it’s better to get some points vs. none,” says Stalcup. “Visualize all the flags at 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 yards, and then the edge of the grid. Paint a picture of it in your mind, and go.”
Show us your Drive, Chip & Putt practice schedules/to-do lists by tagging @DriveChipandPutt on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!