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

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  1. 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. 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.

    • 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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