A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak to a new student who was purchasing a lesson package for the upcoming season. During our discussion, I was explaining how we were going to approach reaching his improvement goals. I am a firm believer that it takes more than a good fundamental golf swing to shoot low scores. I am convinced that a player must learn to SCORE and learning to score takes practice. If you have been reading my recent post about Practice Styles you understand that practice goes beyond learning a new technique. I have been pushing the importance of dynamic practice. This style of practice is heavily focused on improving what I will refer to as your SCORING SKILLS.
During my conversation with the new student he agreed with my thoughts and told me that when he practices he does “dinner bells.” He had me curious – what are dinner bells and how do they help your golf score? He explained that his wife, along with the wife of his most frequent golf partner, often complained that they played too much golf. So to make up for their frequent absences from home, they invented a practice game to appease their wives. Every round the two gentleman play together, they count the number of strokes it takes them to put the ball in the hole from the time they have a wedge in their hand. For example, let’s say that one of them has 100 yards to the green and hits a sand wedge, which he then hits on the green and takes two putts to complete the hole. This gives him a final dinner bell score of 3. What’s the kicker? For every shot over 3, that person gets a “dinner bell” and is required to put $1 in the pot. At the end of the season, they total their “dinner bells” and take their wives to dinner. What a brilliant idea!
This guy was performing exactly the type of practice that I find so important but rarely witness. It is important to note that there are lots of creative games one can play to benefit their game. I would encourage you to invent your own or feel free to ask me and I will pass on a few ideas. If I were you I would have a variety of games in your arsenal, that work on all facets of practice: putting, chipping, and long game. Invent games that you can play on your own or with friends. Another important thing to do is track your results. Write them down and compare over time. Share these games and the results with your instructor; this information will identify weaknesses and set priorities in your improvement game plan. Pay special attention to them as you make a change, not the changes before and after the change in technique. I find it important to track improvement progress in more than just the total score on the scorecard. In the case of my new student, if I can get him to lower his “dinner bells,” I’m certain his scores will follow and he will reach his improvement goals. His wife may not be happy, but I will accomplish my job of making him the golfer he wants to be.
As always, let me know if you have any questions or if I can help you create your own “dinner bells.” If you found this information helpful, I invite you to use the share buttons below. Thanks for reading and see you on the lesson tee!!