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Game of the Weekend: “Eighteen”

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Studies consistently have shown the importance of random practice and how such practice is more transferable to the golf course. While you may be working to improve your ball control during practice, don’t forget to shift gears and spend just as much or more time preparing for all situations (physical, mental and emotional) that the game throws your way. Have purpose when you practice; better preparation leads to better play.

This Game of the Weekend, called “Eighteen,” is a full-swing game aimed at helping you hit more greens in regulation. It’s a game that forces you to change clubs for every shot you hit and where you’ll also score the results so that you can improve upon those results during a second trial of the game.

Game of the Weekend: EIGHTEEN

  • Gear needed: Bring ‘em all!
  • Time needed: You’re going to hit 18 full swing shots so depending on the length of your routine it might take 15-25 minutes.

Rules

Golf is easy when you hit a lot of greens and this game measures exactly that — greens in regulation. For this game, pretend that you’ve hit every fairway in regulation giving you 18 perfect chances to hit the green.

Using the following clubs, and in the exact order listed below, hit 18 shots to various targets and add up the number of shots out of 18 that would have landed on an average-size green. I realize that with certain clubs, depending on your ability level, that your target may be smaller. Feel free to alter what is acceptable to you as well as any of the clubs listed below. If you don’t have targets on your range that are exactly the yardage you’ll need to match the clubs, simply aim over or short of something on your range. Be sure to judge the wind, go through your routine, commit and you can even chart your scores at the interactive practice website www.golfscrimmages.com.

  1. 8-iron
  2. 6-iron
  3. Sand Wedge
  4. 5-iron/Hybrid
  5. 9-iron
  6. 7-iron
  7. Pitching Wedge
  8. 4-iron/Hybrid
  9. 8-iron
  10. 6-iron
  11. Sand Wedge
  12. 5-iron/Hybrid
  13. 9-iron
  14. 7-iron
  15. Pitching Wedge
  16. 4-iron/Hybrid
  17. 8-iron
  18. 6-iron

Benefits

Here’s what this game helps you with:

  • Anytime you alter the target and club for every shot you hit, your practice sessions have more learning, retention and transferability than when you pound away using the same club over and over.
  • You’ll be engaging your mind and decision-making skills much more with a game like this than when you just fire away mindlessly.

Practice needs to be as difficult as, or more challenging than what you experience on the course!

Previous Games of the Weekend

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Trent Wearner is the No. 1-rated teacher in Colorado by Golf Digest Magazine, as well as a two-time Colorado PGA Teacher of the Year (2004, 2014). Along the way, he has been recognized as a Top 20 Teacher Under Age 40 by Golf Digest, a Top 50 Kids Teacher in America by U.S. Kids Golf and a Top Teacher in the Southwestern U.S. by GOLF Magazine. Trent is also the author of the book Golf Scrimmages and creator of the website GolfScrimmages.com

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. rymail00

    Oct 11, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Ooffa,

    I think you may of missed the main point of this article or every other article he or others may have written. It’s about practicing with a purpose. There suggestions/games to keep your practice fun and to get the most out your probably limited time to actually practice. These drills might seem basic to someone who does get improvement from their practice.

    Personally I find the range and putting green/short game area just as much as much fun as actually playing. So these drills are nice change from the normal practice routine I do have which is the same every time.

  2. Phillip Tshabalala

    Oct 11, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Hi. Tried it yesterday and missed only 3 times, game changer! It helped me to focus on every shot and repeat my setup and take away regardless of club selection. Looking forward to today’s round.

    • Trent Wearner

      Oct 12, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Philip – thanks for the comment. Glad to hear it’s making a difference in your practice. Keep it up and it’ll continue to pay off!

  3. ooffa

    Oct 10, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    OMG. Pick different targets and aim at them. Thanks for the advice. Brilliant.
    (Face Palm)

  4. rymail00

    Oct 10, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Always like when these games pop up on the main page.

  5. DC

    Oct 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    I fully agree that targeted and challenging practicing accelerates improvement. Thank you! I enjoy your posts.

  6. Christestrogen

    Oct 9, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    No 3W….?
    Cool drill and will try it

    • Trent Wearner

      Oct 12, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Christestrogen – thanks for the reply. You can certain toss in one of your fairway woods if you’d like. You can and should alter the game based around the clubs that you use most often on approach shots. Thanks again and have a great fall!

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Instruction

How Far Away from the Ball Should You Be at Address?

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How far away from the ball should you be at address? This video is in response to a question from Tom McCord on Facebook.

In this video, I look at the setup position. I offer a simple way to check your distance from the ball at address with your driver, irons and wedges.

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Tour Pros Revealed: 3 Tests to See How You Stack Up

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You want to be better at golf, more consistent and longer off the tee. I am sure a lot of you would love to stop hurting. You would like these things with minimal work, if possible. You also want them yesterday. That about sum it up?

In the next 5 minutes, you’ll learn about the one thing that solves these problems for good. Before we dive in, though, I want to tee up three stats for you from my research.

  1. PGA Tour players can jump between 18-22 inches off the ground while LPGA Tour players can jump between 16-20 inches off the ground. Long drive competitors can often leap 30+ inches off the ground!
  2. Elite-level golfers who drive the ball 300+ yards can shot put a 6-pound ball more than 30 feet with less than a 5-percent difference in right-handed to left-handed throws.
  3. Elite golfers in the world can hurl a medicine ball with a seated chest pass just as far in feet as they can jump in inches (ie. a 20-inch vertical leap and a 20-foot seated chest pass).

What do these numbers have to do with you and your game? More importantly, what do these stats have to do with solving your problems? Let’s start by telling you what the solution is.   

Objective Assessment and Intelligent Exercise Prescription

Say that three times fast. It’s a mouth full… But seriously, read it two more times and think about what that means.

It means that before you act on anything to improve your health or your game, you need to objectively assess what the problem is and get to the root cause. You should use quality objective data to arrive at intelligent health and golf improvement decisions based on the long-term likelihood that they will be successful. We can’t just select exercises, swing changes or training aids based on what is hot in the market today or what the latest celebrity was paid big bucks to sell to us.

There is a reason why the infomercials you see today on Golf Channel will be different in 2 months. The same gimmicks run out of steam when enough people realize that is what they are… gimmicks. When looking to achieve your goals of playing better golf and/or having less pain, don’t just grab for the quick fix as so many golfers today do. 

We are in the information age. Information from quality data is power. Using this data intelligently, you can fix problems in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost. Hopefully, I am giving you the power to make a meaningful and lasting change in your game. I’m sorry to say that most amateurs will not be hitting 300+ yard drives despite what the latest marketing ploy will have you believe. But, if you know what tests you can do to measure the areas that affect your distance off the tee, you can at least gain insight into where your biggest return on your time investment will be. 

This is where working with a golf fitness expert can be so valuable to you. Not only can they help you interpret your results from the tests, but they will also be able to prescribe you the most effective means to move closer to 300 yards from where you are right now.  

If you have a problem with your car not accelerating as fast as you would like or not being able to reach top end speed on the highway, I hope you take it to the mechanic and don’t just look up quick fixes on YouTube to see what you can do on your own. The reason you pay the mechanic to fix your car is because that is what they do all day. They will get it done as quickly as possible. More importantly, they’ll get correctly so that the problem doesn’t pop up again in 2 weeks.

A golf fitness expert is no different. Use them for their expertise and knowledge. Once you have a diagnosis of what is holding you back and a plan to correct it, you are on your way and won’t have to waste any more time or money trying silly quick fixes that never stick.

The three statistics mentioned earlier represent numbers measured across the globe by industry leaders and at our facility 3-4 times per year on hundreds of golfers each time. Our facility has thousands of data points. With this much data comes the ability to draw conclusions from objective assessments. These conclusions drive the intelligent implementation of successful solutions directed at the root causes of problems for thousands of golfers around the globe.

The first three statistics have an R-value of over 0.85 in correlation to clubhead speed. Translation: if you perform well in the first three tests with high numbers, you are very likely to have a high club speed. Further, if you improve in any of those three tests relative to where you started, you are almost assured to have a higher club speed than when you began (assuming swing technique and equipment is relatively unchanged).  

Keep in mind that in statistics, correlation is not the same as cause and effect. But when the R-value is that close to 1 and anecdotally you have seen the results and changes we have, you put some weight behind these three tests. So:

  • See how high you can jump
  • See how far you can shot put a 6-pound medicine ball
  • See how far you can chest pass a 6-pound medicine ball from a seated position

Doing so will give you an idea of how much power you have in your lower body, total rotary system and upper body respectively. Train whichever one is the worst, or train them all if you want. Rest assured that if you improve one of them, you will more than likely increase your swing speed.  

By doing these assessments and addressing the one or two weak areas, you will improve with the least work possible. Sounds about what you were looking for, right? If you are able to identify where you need to improve BEFORE you buy whatever is claiming to fix your problems, you will save lots of money and time. You will actually start to improve with the least amount of work possible and in the least amount of time possible.  

What’s next? After completing the assessment tests, start working to improve them.

  • Coming Soon: Lower Body Power for Golf
  • Coming Soon: Upper Body Power for Golf
  • Coming Soon: Rotary Power for Golf
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The 2 Best Ways to Control the Club Face

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In this video, I explain how to control the club face correctly in the golf swing. I offer two great explanations of common issues with club face control.

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