At SMART Golf & Fitness Instruction we break down golf improvement into 3 parts: Training, Practicing, and Playing. There are two transition areas, one between Training and Practice, and one between Practice and Play.
The first part of improving your golf game is Training. This portion involves learning new movements and motor patterns, often times without the use of a golf ball, and sometimes even without the use of a golf club. You will spend the vast majority of your time with our Fitness Experts in the Training phase where you will learn how the body moves in the golf swing. In this stage you will begin to correct bad habits while engraining proper movement patterns through high repetition. Feedback aside from ball flight is essential in this stage since we are more concerned with doing the movement correctly than we are with hitting a good shot. Luckily, at SMART Golf & Fitness we have a variety of sources of feedback including mirrors, live video, BODITRAK, K-Vest, and of course your instructors. It is important to prioritize proper movement at this stage, as it will set you up well as you transition into the Practice stage with your PGA Professional golf instructor.
After training we can move into the Practice stage of learning. Now that you are on your way to understanding movement patterns and the most effective way to use your body, you can start focusing on executing quality golf shots. In the transition stage between Training and Practice there is still a great deal of focus on moving properly, only now we also want to see the ball performing the way you intend it to. Once you have developed a swing that both you and your coach are satisfied with it is time to work on skill development. This means learning how to manipulate your swing so that you can alter shot shape, trajectory, spin, or distance. Trackman is key at this stage, after each shot you will have access to club and ball information so that you know exactly what type of ball flight your swing is producing. This is also where you will learn how to hit different types of shots around the green and develop skills that you can take to the golf course during the Playing stage.
Between Training with your Fitness Instructor and Practicing with your PGA Professional you ideally have learned how to move effectively in your golf swing and developed a set of skills that you can take on to the golf course. Having those skills is a great start, but learning how to use them effectively in order to lower your scores is the biggest component of the Play stage. We all know someone that is an incredibly skilled golfer but seems to have difficulty putting a full round together. With your PGA golf instructor you will learn how to manage yourself and your game on the course. This involves learning when to take risks and when to play safe, it involves learning what shot type is appropriate in different scenarios, and how different wind and ground conditions will effect the golf ball. We have all made good swings that ended up in bad spots due to poor judgement on the golf course. In the Play stage of learning we aim to minimize stokes lost due to poor judgement or miscalculations, as that may be the difference between playing well and scoring well.