Out With the Old; In With the New

How do you get better at golf faster? This is a question I hear many golfers ask. I will try to answer this question and provide a solution to help all golfers progress.

Well-documented research and studies of elite performance show that we develop a level of competency, regardless of the activity, after 50 hours of deliberate practice. We also know that the learning process is accelerated when we participate in game-like activities and in the actual game itself. In other words, we learn better by practicing in the environment most like the one we will compete in. After decades of different thinking, it has been difficult to bring our minds around to putting a beginner on the golf course straight away. It looks terrible, chaotic, and completely out of place. But this poses another question: Are we more concerned about losing our golf balls and digging up divots than we are about teaching people how to play the game? It has been a long and exciting quest for what deliberate practice actually is. With the help of master teaching professionals, professors, and research analysts around the world, we have concluded that deliberate practice in golf is measured by how many hours a golfer spends practicing game-like repetitions or actual games themselves.

Can you ride a bike? If so, answer the following questions: Did you go to a school that specialized in bicycle riding? Did you do bike riding drills? Did you complete technical progressions when learning how to ride a bike? Your answer will probably be no. You learned how to ride by getting on the bicycle and trying to ride it. You immersed yourself in riding. You fell off and got back on again, and in the process, you improved your ability to balance and pedal. How did you learn to walk? You learned by doing it, along with many errors during the process. One final example: You have sat in your mums car for 16 years. Youve seen her push the gas pedal, the brake, put the hand brake on, and steer. Does this mean you know how to drive? Perhaps you understand the concept of driving, but you do not know how to drive until you get in the driver’s seat and attempt to do it.

Sport IQ is basically a term describing an individuals knowledge and abilities in their sport. In golf, we examine a golfer’s IQ, but do we improve it as quickly and effectively as possible? Here at Bishops Gate Golf Academy, we understand that game and game-like practice environments teach the game, and we see rapid increases in our students’ golfing IQ.  Are you practicing to look good in practice, or are you practicing to improve performance? At Bishops Gate Golf Academy, it is a question we ask ourselves everyday when structuring practice for our student athletes. Making game-like practice part of your every-day practice is the key to getting better, faster.

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