Thursday, September 6, 2012

SMU Golf Team Practice

SMU Women’s Golf
Week 3 Team Practices

Here are our practices from our structured days.  With four rounds of qualifying, the coaches had a good look at stats as well as lots of observation to know what our focus needed to be.  Because we want to be the best putting team in the nation, we will always start our practice on the putting green and constantly work to be great on the greens.  We also saw that we needed some bunker and wedge work.  Finally, with a trip to a tight course, we wanted to set up a situation that challenged the players and then allowed for discussion afterward.  That was the punch shot contest in day 2.  

2:00 Practice at DAC
Please start on the putting green and accomplish these goals:
  • Play around the world from 5, 6 and 10 feet.  Put tees in 6 spots around the hole.  Go around and back.  To win you must make 12 in a row.  You get one second chance at 6 feet and two second chances at 10 feet. You may do this challenge only once per day!  Make it count. Write down your score in your journal.
  • Make 8 in a row from 3 feet, 7 in a row from 4 feet, 5 in a row from 5 feet, 3 in a row from 6 feet and 2 in a row from 10 feet.  This is 25 putts in a row.  You get up to three chances per day to make 25 in a row.  How did you do?  Thought for the Challenge -Repetition doesn't equal mindlessness.  Instead, it should present you with an opportunity to focus and gain confidence through repeated success.  

  • There will be a string around the hole.  Put 4 tees in the ground from four distances each day and putt 3 balls.  Your goal is to get at least 2 of 3 in the donut hole!  The distances can be anything from 20 feet to 50 feet!  Great putters are great at controlling their speed!

  • Make 10 putts in a row from 3 feet using your sand wedge as a putter.  Hit the ball with the leading edge of the club in the equator of the ball.  This drill will help both your concentration and the steadiness of your head and body as you putt.  When you are great from 3 feet, move farther from the hole.  Thought for the Challenge - Is your stroke level at impact?  This challenge will answer that question!

Bunker Shots:
Put 25 balls in the bunker.  Hit to two targets.  If you hole out, take 5 balls off of your pile.  If you put a shot within a club length, take 2 balls off of your pile.  If you leave a ball in the bunker, add 5 balls to your pile.  If you leave a ball more than 30 feet (10 paces) away from the hole, add 2 balls to the pile.  Hit until you have no balls in your pile. 

Do the same drill from 3 distances:  Your full shot with lob wedge, sand wedge and gap wedge.  If you get the ball within 1 club length of the hole, take 5 balls off of your pile.  If you get the ball within 10 feet of the hole, take 2 balls off of your pile.  If you miss the green, add 5 balls to your pile. If you leave a ball 30 feet or more from the hole, add 2 balls to your pile. 

Spend the rest of practice working on what you need.

Note:  Today's practice took about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to complete.  

Touchstone Thursday!
We need to start by talking about team communication and our touchstones.  Which touchstone helps you on the golf course?  Which touchstone helps you off the golf course?  What do we want our mission to be?

Caitlin, Mehar and Felicia
Alex, Jenny and Melanie
Elena, Kim and Jennifer

Task #1 - The punch shot:
You will be asked to hit 3 punch shots each to 3 different targets.  Your combined distance from each target will be your score. 
Task #2 – Bunker shots:
You will each hit 3 bunker shots at 2 targets.  Measure your middle distance.  That means throw out your best and your worst shot and count the middle to each target.  Combine them with your teammates.  Low distance total wins. 
Task #3 – Putting
30 putt challenge.  Each of you will do the 30 putt challenge and combine your scores.  The team with the highest number of made putts wins.  You might want to consider doing your pre shot routine.  Other teams are allowed to distract you. 
30 putt challenge = a tee at 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 feet.  Putt each putt back, forth and back.  A perfect score is 30!

Note: This practice took about 90 minutes to complete.  We had one person on a team putting at one time.  We want to have a person standing alone and having pressure from her teammates to make the putt.  We had a good discussion of the punch shots following the practice.  Here was what we talked about:  Our team adage is, always have a putt for par.  The young players tended to look at the pin when they were in trouble.  The fact that they were measuring the shot put pressure on them to go at the pin.  This is much the same as they feel on the course.  A few of the older players played to different areas of the greens and got themselves a putt for par and were closer to the pin as a result.  Also, we talked about seeing the shot from beginning to end.  The first obstacle is the most important.  If you don't clear it, you will face it again.  What is it hiding?  That is the second obstacle.  The final thing we talked about is distance control.  If you are great at clearing your obstacles because you can control trajectory, can you also control your distance?  We came up with a clear plan:

Goal:  Have a putt for par if possible.
1.  See the entire shot
2.  Control trajectory
3.  Control distance
If you are playing away from the hole, don't be greedy!  Give yourself a cushion. 

Friday – OYO Day. 

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