|8:00 AM practice at DAC and the team is focused already. We have two putting goals on today's practice schedule and it is our team's culture to begin each practice on the putting green. Our goal is to be the best putting team in the nation and our priorities for practice reflect that goal.|
We now have four competitive rounds in the books and we have some good statistics to study and use for planning practice and formulating game plans. We have a week of practice prior to the next competitive round of qualifying. The coach's focus for Tuesday is improving the team's bunker play, getting ready for Red Sky's large greens with some long chip practice and as always, making putts.
Thursday, we are going to work on a skill that we have seen lacking, which is learning to hit less than full shots to the prescribed distance or hitting punch shots from trouble to a certain distance. We played a wedge game last week that was 3-fold. First, they were asked to lay up to a certain yardage and record how well they did with that task. Second, they were asked to hit their preferred wedge shots into the green and finally, they were asked to get that shot up and down. What we found out was, we weren't very good at the first skill, which greatly effected the second and third skills. This is also what we often see in competition.
Players practice their "go-to" shot from 80 yards, but when in trouble, they have a hard time punching out to 80 yards. Their punches often travel 20 extra yards into the far rough or even into more trouble. In addition to learning to punch the ball or control trajectory, Thursday's game will help them learn the little things that help you control your distance, such as gripping down on the club, taking a shorter swing or laying the face of the club open and playing a cut shot. We will keep score and compete and it will be a fun way to learn a new skill. The truly competitive players will read ahead and practice what they will do and further their learning. The determined players will leave the course and go to the range to improve upon what they did during the 9 holes. The mark of a great team is finding the challenges of each practice and working until they are mastered.
Tuesday Team Practice from 8-9:30 AM:
(4) 20 minute segments:
1. Bunker – Use 9 balls in the bunker. Hit 3 to each flag on the green. You must get 2/3 within your wedge’s length to finish the set.
2. On the green over the hill, hit chips from the bottom to two towels. Hit 3 balls to each towel. You must get at least one ball to settle onto the towel and one ball to be within a wedge length of the towel. The 3rd ball must be within 2 wedge lengths. If you get it done prior to 20 minutes, hit to downhill targets.
3. Put 5 tees in the ground around the hole at 4 feet. Use a hole with a lot of break. Make 10 in a row. Use your routine, putt one ball from each tee and then work your way back around. No do overs from the same place. Focus on speed and using the high side of the hole to help you.
4. Do the Mustang Drill - Put 5 tees down around the hole at 10 feet for each tee. Putt from each tee once. Use your routine. When you make a putt, move the tee back one putter length. When you have moved a tee twice, pick it up when you make the 3rd putt. Play with a teammate to make it more fun.
9:30-11:00 Work on what you need or go play.
On the 1st hole, use 1 more club than you normally would from that distance. On the 2nd hole, use 2 more clubs than you normally would from that distance. On the 3rd hole, use 3 more clubs than you normally would from that distance. On the 4th hole, use 1 more club than normal and follow that pattern. Work on controlling your trajectory, tempo and swing length to take a little off the shot and control your distance. After play, we will have a team goal to reach prior to leaving practice.