As we step out onto the golf course to play a round with friends or by ourselves, it’s common to dream of having a great round with a low all time score. I often think about the days when I used to score in the 60’s and could drive the ball 300 yards while keeping it straight.
These days, I spend most of my time teaching golf to others and learning how to better help you improve your game so I can give the best tips and lessons here on the blog and in our training programs on FoyGolfAcademy.com
But one thing I know for a fact, is to shoot scores in the 70’s and finally break out of scoring in the 80’s, 90’s etc. is that you need a solid golf practice routine.
This routine is key to follow a few times a week at the golf course when you have free time to just practice. Focus on practice drills that work on putting and chipping, and drills for the golf swing at the driving range.
So what drills should be included in your golf practice routine to help you break 80 in golf and start scoring in the 70’s soon? These 3 plans linked below are a great start but let’s also dive into a new training routine in this article.
Golf Resource: Foy Golf Academy Practice System + Practice Plans
Golf Practice Schedule
First, let’s talk golf practice schedule. In order to get good at anything in life, we need to invest lots of time into it. Building a skill like in golf, takes time.
Set a golf practice schedule that works around your life and job schedule. I used to practice just 3 times a week and still see improvement similar to when I would practice 7 days a week.
Find time after work to get out to the golf course for two hours at most. On weekends aim to spend 2-4 hours at the course practicing. In total you could easily find ways to carve out 5-10 hours a week for your golf game practice time.
This is not time spent playing on the course. This is 5-10 hours a week dedicated to practice drills on the putting green and chipping area of your golf course’s practice facility. Also time spent at the driving range hitting balls with purpose.
Golf Practice Routine to Score Lower
Putting Practice Routine:
Start off each practice with putting. Then we will move to chipping next and end practice at the range.
Short game comes first because it is the most important aspect of improving your golf score. You can hit okay golf shots to get to the green but if you can’t chip and putt, your score will suffer.
With putting, start by working on close range putts from a few feet away from the hole. Get great at making these putts because there is no excuse to miss a close putt.
It’s a wasted stroke when we miss and adds up on the scorecard so work on making putts from 1 foot, 2 foot, 3 foot, and 4 foot away from the hole until it feels automatic, and you can make 95 out of every 100.
I use a circle drill, where I’ll set tees or ball markers around the hole in a circle to mark 5 putts from different angles so I can experience different breaks and slopes in the green rather than hitting putts from one flat spot.
Every so often, test yourself. Keep a log of 100 putts on paper and track how many you make out of 100, using sets of 5 or sets of 10.
Phil Mickelson does this putting drill where he must make 100 putts in a row from 3 feet before he moves to another drill.
After you finish warm up from putting close distance to the hole, move back to 6 feet (about two club lengths).
Hit 50 to 100 putts from 6 feet, going around the hole in a circle again to work on all sides of the hole which will have different slopes and breaks in the green to impact the putts roll.
After working from 6 feet, move back to 9 feet.
Repeat this putting practice routine a few weeks and then switch it up and start working on long distance putts to build speed control.
Measure out putts from 20 feet, 30 feet, 40 feet, 50 feet, and 60 feet to mark with a tee. Hit 10 putts from each distance.
The goal with long distance putting is to get the ball to roll and stop within a few feet of the hole, then we can use our skill from close range that we built above in the 1 to 4 foot putting drills to finish off the hole in just two total putts.
If you find yourself taking 3 putts or more to finish a hole, you need to work more on putting!
Golf Resource: Foy Golf Academy Practice System + Practice Plans
Chipping Practice Routine
Chipping is a lot harder to build skill at compared with putting so it may be worth dedicating twice as much time to chipping practice as putting. Every 1 hour spent putting, spend 2 hours practicing chipping.
The key to successful chipping is getting the ball to land on the green where you want and with the speed / roll out you are anticipating.
For example, one golfer could hit a high chip shot that lands on the green in the exact same spot as another golfer who hit a low, runner. But the results will differ because one golf ball has more spin and less momentum
Work on chipping from fringe (short grass that borders the green) first and then step back a few feet into the rough (taller grass) and practice hitting chips. Notice how the change in grass affects the club and grabs onto the club face.
Focus on landing the ball on an exact spot you are aiming for. This builds your distance control. Start by laying a towel down on the green and land golf balls on the towel as the “target” spot you are aiming for.
Move the landing spot around different distances to get familiar with long, medium, and short chips.
Lastly, work on getting chips as close to the hole as possible so you have a short putt left to save par!
Mix up which holes you chip to on the practice green. Find holes close to you, holes in the middle of the green, and holes on the far side of the green.
Hit 25-50 chips to these different holes to learn how the ball rolls, and learn distance control again. Focus on the landing spot based on how far away the hole is and how much roll you expect once it lands.
Follow this chipping practice system in our How to Score in the 70’s Practice Plan.
Okay, next let’s talk about the driving range routine.
How to Practice on the Driving Range
Once we’ve put in a solid amount of time and reps on putting drills and chipping drills, let’s buy a bucket of balls and head over to the driving range.
At the driving range, we will work on building a golf swing that hits the ball straighter and longer distances.
Warm up with just some practice swings to get the body loose.
Set down a couple of alignment sticks pointing out to the flag we want to aim at so we can align our stance perfectly aimed at the target. Now every swing we make we can judge the golf ball’s flight result knowing we are aligned properly.
Hit 10 golf balls with the same 7 iron golf club and see what the natural tendency is. Do you pull hook 7 out of 10? Do you slice 8 out of 10 of the golf shots?
Learn what your natural swing tendency is now that we are aligned straight at the target. You’ll discover how severe your slice or hook is by how far left or right it goes of the target.
As far as warm up routine before a round of golf, I like to work through each of my clubs, hitting 2 to 3 golf balls with each. I usually start with my shortest club like a wedge and work through to the longest club in the bag, the driver.
So hitting wedge, 9 iron, 8 iron, 7 iron, all the way up to driver.
Any left over golf balls can get extra swings with the driver to dial it in before heading to the first tee to start my round.