Practice at Home: 3 Ways to Boost Your Golf Game
Unfortunately, chances are strong that you don't have a multi-acre, immaculate, private practice facility in your backyard like the one Tiger Woods has. (Heck, he's practically the only professional golfer with that sweet a setup). But that doesn't mean you can't practice at home. Here are three ideas for using parts of your living space in the eternal quest to shave strokes off your handicap:
1. Putting Practice
This is by far the easiest aspect of your golf game to practice at home. If you have a carpet that is not of the shag variety, you can use it to practice the three- to five-foot putts that can be the difference between winning and losing your next match against friends. Even mediocre carpets can tolerate those putts, the success of which is more about getting the ball started on line than anything.
If you're really serious about turning your homestead — or a corner of it, anyway — into a practice putting area, you have a couple options. First is any one of a bunch of synthetic outdoor greens currently available on the market. Alternatively, you could do what a number of PGA Tour pros do, and bring it inside — but not with Astroturf. It turns out that the material that most accurately replicates a Tour-quality putting green is car trunk carpeting. And not just any car trunk carpeting, but that of a Toyota Camry. PGA Tour member Ben Crane outfitted a room in his house with the surface, and 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson soon followed suit.
2. Golf Fitness
This is the least fun item on this list, but it may be the easiest to implement. Even if you don't have a bunch of free weights, exercise machines and medicine balls, you can still get into better golfing shape. That's because the vast majority of golf-specific exercises are meant to help your joints and your core — and nothing other than your own body weight or stamina are needed for resistance.
Planks, pushups and lunges are a great starting point for a golf-specific workout. Any exercise that targets your core and helps with explosiveness will help you hit the ball both farther and straighter.
3. Full Swing
Speaking of hitting the ball, productive full-swing practice can be challenging, but not impossible. If you have a backyard with a flattish patch, consider investing in a hitting net, which is available from manufacturers such as Rukket and IZZO. If you're able to take that plunge, save your grass by picking up a decent-quality hitting mat as well. Some companies even make them with faux turf of varying length to simulate intermediate and primary rough lies.
Of course, you can also check out our Golf Tips video series featuring Golf Academy of America's staff of PGA professionals. This series covers everything from common myths and mistakes hurting your game to how to correct reverse spine angle and improve your long putts.
Interested in what goes on at Golf Academy of America? Ask us a question at any time on Twitter, get an inside look on Instagram, and follow Golf Academy of America on Facebook for new videos from our campuses!