Track ResultsA good practice session for muscle memory includes a simple tracking method for your results. Choose one target and 11 balls. After hitting all the balls to your target remove the five closest and the five furthest from the hole. Place a marker at the eleventh ball. This is your median point. Now you can measure the distance and come back another day or reload and start the process again trying to better your previous results. This is also a fun way to compete with your friends. You do not have to use eleven balls. It is only important to use an odd number in order to find the median distance.
We experience a host of different conditions on the course. I give many short game lessons where the goal is to instill a solid and basic understanding of how to hit a chip shot. We hit balls from the edge of the green because that is the most often condition we face whether from long grass or a tight lie in front of the green. The ability to hit a chip shot and to understand the way a ball responds to impact and the green is important. Preparing for on-course conditions requires that we move around the practice green hitting long, short, high, and bump-and-run shots. We may use different lofted clubs with the goal of making the same swing for either a chip shot, pitch shot, or some variation regardless of the club we choose.
Practicing the short game and creating on-course conditions requires a lot of creativity. There are an endless number of conditions. So the next time you are practicing at the short game area move around and hit many different shots. Even when the shot requires a low bump and run, try to loft it up. And when you think it requires a lofted shot, try bumping the ball through the rough or into the bank. Be creative. There are different ways to get the ball close to the hole. Try landing the ball high on the fringe so that it takes a completely different track to the hole using the slope of the green. It might be necessary to throw a ball under hand at the trajectory you think it should land. This will also provide helpful feedback.
Whether you are trying to practice your bread-and-butter shot through repetition or creating numerous on-course conditions, be creative and make it fun.