THOUGHTS ON HOW TO TAKE YOUR GAME FROM THE LESSON/PRACTICE TEE TO THE GOLF COURSE Purtzer Golf Academy - How We Teach Golf Paul Purtzer Other A gamemental gamepractice teeto the course Nov 20 2014 As a PGA instructor, a common comment I get on the lesson tee is that I hit the ball great on the practice tee but then I can’t take it to the course. I have had the same experience myself. Golf is a funny game that way. There are a few stages to becoming a more proficient player and different ways to take your “A” game to the course. Stage 1 LEARNING THE BASICS When I started playing, I had no idea what I was trying to do when hitting the ball-I looked at the ball and swung. Fortunately, our dad knew we needed help and lined up with some lessons with the teaching pro at the golf course. He was patient with me and taught me the fundamentals. He suggested I practice hitting on the range much more than playing the course so I could improve my technique quicker. I practiced a lot on the practice tee and played some on the course as well. Stage 2 IMPROVING I started realizing what I was trying to do a little better, but had trouble doing it and being more consistent. My teacher had me put club shafts on the ground to help with my alignment, which helped a great deal as well as consistently helping me technically with my swing. He also discussed the ball flight laws-what made the ball start to the left and curve to the right, etc. I got the golf bug and started working harder on my game and started seeing some good improvement. BEST ADVICE Go see the best PGA Instructor you can find as often as you can-it will be more than worth it to do so. Stage 3 GETTING TO THE NEXT LEVEL To get much better at golf you have to work hard on the fundamentals and become technically more proficient. You have to think mechanics, practice hard and realize when you develop bad habits-you need to feel odd sometimes to make the right move in your grip, stance, swing, etc. AND if you want to get better quicker you will probably have to exaggerate the move, your grip, etc. It is hard to change bad habits-you are in a battle between your old, bad habits and the new fundamentals will make it difficult to feel comfortable and maintain good rhythm. At this stage, it is difficult to work a lot on your pre-shot routine, because you are spending most of the time working on improving your technique. Stage 4 FINAL STAGES At this point you feel more comfortable that you know where the ball is going to go. Most of the great players are here-they are thinking more about a good pre-shot routine, picking a good target, gauging wind conditions, distance from hole, what club to use, and focusing more on the target. When they play, they are playing more by feel and not thinking much about mechanics. Most top players practice hard on mechanics on the lesson/practice tee and play by feel. IN CONCLUSION Most great players are continuously trying to perfect their technique. When they warm up before a competitive round they may think about mechanics for the first few minutes, but after that they are focused on their targets and playing shots to those targets. Most top players visualize their shots, but before they could do this on the course they practiced it on the practice tee. Only when your shot making is extremely good, is this something you should spend a lot of time on-work on your fundamentals-full swing, short game and putting. I would recommend that you get regular help from your PGA teaching professional, spend as much time on the practice tee as you can after you see him/her, swing the club in your living room or the backyard in front of the patio window and watch yourself swing. Then, go on the course when it is not busy and play a few holes at the end of the day (or when your course is slow) and hit extra shots off the tee, into the greens, pitch shots, sand shots, etc. As always, it is our hope this tip will help you enjoy this great game even more! Call us today to make sure your fundamentals are correct so you can play your best golf and have more fun on the “links”, not to mention enjoy our fantastic weather. Also, call us today for our November-December Playing School Specials, Christmas/New Year’s Parent-Child Camp, Fill-in-the-Gap discounted last-minute private lessons, our Junior “Over the Top” program and upcoming Junior Camps and our other great instruction programs. Director of Instruction, Paul has been a member of the PGA for over 25 years and is a former PGA Tour player. He has an extensive background in playing and teaching golfers, from the beginner to the winner of the 1996 U.S. Open Championship, Steve Jones. Paul is one of the most highly-regarded golf instructors in the country, and he has collaborated with some of the finest instructors in the world. Paul's positive, supportive, hands-on approach to instruction complements his technical knowledge of the golf swing, which makes him one of the most sought after golf instructors in the country.