How to be efficient so you can play more and practice less
“Smash factor is ball speed divided by club speed. Smash factor relates to the amount of energy transferred from the club head to the golf ball.”
- TrackMan golf
Some of us who watch golf have heard the term “Smash Factor”. Basically it describes how efficient the transfer of energy from your club head to the golf ball was. Stay with me here, I am going somewhere interesting with this. I would like to take this term and point it in another direction. At you.
What is your Smash Factor?
Practice is important when you are trying to get better at golf. Problem is, most people are practicing wrong, or at least very inefficiently. You have a limited amount of time to devote to golf, wouldn't it be great if you could practice less and play better. It might be even better if you practiced the same amount and drastically improved. It’s possible if you learn how to practice.
Short game is king. You should dedicate 50 to 70 percent of your practice to short game. Let’s look at it this way: if you could make 90% of your 3 foot putts, how many 3 putts would you have? The cup would seem huge. You could lag almost every putt close and walk away with a 2 putt. Now, imagine that your chips start falling into that 3 foot circle. Missing a green wouldn’t be that bad.
Line up and pick a target. Should go without saying, but so many golfers skip this during their practice. First, pick a target for every shot. Second, throw a club or an alignment stick down on the ground and line up with your target. You have a target for every shot on the course, let’s practice like you are playing. After all aren’t you trying to play better golf.
Focus. Create focus by using metrics. Hit 20 chips and see how many you can get within a flagstick. Hit 10 seven irons and see how many you can get on the green. These are things you can measure. Either you get 6 chips within a flagstick or you don’t. Try to beat your number from your last practice session. You need to create focus. If you practice without focus you have a low Smash Factor.
Here is an example of a practice session. Do this twice a week exactly as written and you will play your best golf. Before you start, get a Smash Factor lesson to make sure your fundamentals are correct.
First, stretch out and warm up your body. If you need a good warm up routine set up an appointment with a certified fitness professional to evaluate your personal needs. Seriously, see a professional, this is nothing to mess around with.
Place tees in the ground making a gate thats just a little larger than the length of you putter head. place a golf ball just ahead of the gate and hit a putt to the hole. Hit 9 putts each at 2 feet, 4 feet, 6 feet and 10 feet away from the hole. Take your time and line up the putts. This makes you hit the center of the putter, which is the most important part of putting.
Hit 9 putts each from 15, 20, 25 and 30 feet. Try to get as many putts as you can inside a putter length.
Set up at 50 yards. Hit a small chip that travels about a driver length. Your next chip should go just past the first ball. Continue to hit shots until you reach the pin at 50 yards. Then hit shorter shots until you arrive back to a driver length. Your goal is to hit as many shots as you can that (on the way out) get past the previous shot but don’t get to the flag. I have seen skilled players hit more that 20 shots each way out and back without missing. Don’t get frustrated if your first try you get 5.
Hit 5 balls each at 4 targets. The first two targets, hit a 7 iron. Make sure you have a club or alignment stick on the ground lined up with your target. The second two targets, hit a 5 iron or hybrid. Take note of how many balls you get on each green.
Tempo and balance
Again pick a target and set up an alignment aid. Hit 5 drives at 70, 80, 90 and 100%. Hold your finish and make sure you feel balanced. Then work back down from 100% to 70%. You will quickly find the tempo that works best for you. Balance is key, if you lose your balance, that swing is too fast.
This is a great practice routine that works. Of course your results can be even more dramatic by customizing your routine. By taking into account your strengths, weaknesses, available time and goals you will experience incredible results. It’s time to focus and build a plan so you stop your inefficient practice and start crushing your Smash Factor.