How not to practice

I've done all I can do.  Now I have to put my faith in Triple Antibiotic ointment and Band-Aid to restore me to playing shape.

I’ve done all I can do. Now I have to put my faith in Triple Antibiotic ointment and Band-Aid to restore me to playing shape.

I had my 7th golf lesson last night, which, per usual, was humbling for the first 30 minutes or so.  But I was able to walk off the instructional tees with a plan and a sense of optimism for the future.

That would have been all well and fine, except that the my range work was so pitiful on the whole, and with my 3-wood in particular, that I was convinced that I need to hit a few more balls to “find” my stroke.

I know better.  I should have headed to the parking lot, got in my truck, gone home, reflected on what I’d learned, and checked the calendar for when I might be able to get back to the range. But, unfortunately, Man O’ War Golf lets you hit unlimited range balls on the day of a lesson, in theory, to let you work on what new knowledge you might have acquired during your session.

Despite my relatively disciplined, almost methodical approach to improving my golf swing so far this year, like Pavlov’s dog, today I took the bait.  I reverted back to my old habit of hitting balls until my hands literally bled.

I know I’m in the middle of a long process, but it didn’t matter after my lesson.  I know that flailing away with a driver or 3-wood when I’m already tired will most likely lead to bad habits and out-of-position compensations in a desperate attempt to make the ball do what I want it to do.

Damn it, if the secret really is in the dirt, I was going to hit golf balls until I found it tonight! The first 50 or so post-lesson balls were fine.  Thereafter, the results were predictably “mixed.”  At least at the conclusion of my first extra bucket of balls I took some time to work on chipping and pitching at the practice green complex adjacent to my tee station.

I hope I actually learned something tonight.  Otherwise, I will have to find out if Tommy Gainey is onto something with his two-gloved approach.

I hope I actually learned something last night. Otherwise, I will have to find out if Tommy Gainey is onto something with his two-gloved approach.

Now, thanks to my dogged stubbornness, I won’t be able to properly grip a club for several days.

So what, if anything, did I learn from this minor meltdown?  One, not to wait so long between golf lessons, or at least a tune-up with a professional. Two, I re-learned how not to practice.  Banging away at ball after ball without any plan or objective isn’t productive for me. And three, when my fingers start to hurt and I feel like I might develop a blister, it’s time to stop because I’ve already been practicing too long.

I hope you, Dear Readers, can take something instructional from the fact that what you just read was typed with just a left hand.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “How not to practice

  1. Pingback: The 7th Lesson – Swing Path, scared straight | One Bearded Golfer

Post your comments or questions here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s