The 4-3-2-1 Practice Drill


Before I get into this tip – if you think you’ll get better at golf by playing Saturday and Wednesday, you’re wrong. Yes, playing regularly is good but doing so without practice is not a recipe for constant improvement. Are you working on something? Are you trying to gain more consistency? Are you trying and practicing new things on the course? STOP. Take the course to the driving range and not the driving range to the course. Follow these steps to simulate the pressure of the course on the driving range. 

Step ONE: After your regular stretches, warm up with 12-15 shots. Hit these shots with a relatively short iron. Small swing with a slightly assertive routine. 

Step TWO: Use FOUR golf clubs. Long, medium-long, mid and short. A good combo will be as follows: 9-iron, 7-iron, 5-iron, FW-wood OR driver, 4-iron, 6-iron, 8-iron.

Step THREE: Make groups of golf balls as pictured above: 4-3-2-1.

Step FOUR: Hit four shots with the shortest club (9-iron). Three shots with the mid-club (7-iron). Two shots with the med-long club (5-iron) and lastly one shot with the long club (FW-wood). 

It is 10 shots covering various distances. Get the percentage and be true to yourself. 60% is a great result! Why? Note the following… The shorter shots are ‘easier’ as it is clearly an easier club to hit than the 5-iron. So make these shots count and make sure you get on the scoreboard here. You’ll need it later. By the time you get to the last three shots you are hitting more difficult shots and you feel that pressure, as on the course. Also, on the course you are hitting the very long clubs a lot less than the mid and shorter clubs. This simple drill simulates all of that and you are actually practicing with a purpose. Remember to go through your whole routine before every shot. It’s all about taking the course to the range, not the other way around! Go for a specific target and be honest with yourself. Does the shot count or not? This form of practice also takes time, so you are not waisting time by hitting shot after shot and making mistakes. Go for it, try it. I challenge you. You won’t regret it.