What is it? Why does it matter?
Golf is, in my opinion, the most challenging sport on the planet. One of the reasons for that is taking what practice to the golf course is incredibly difficult. We’ve all done it; we hit the ball incredibly on the range and then get to the course and just can’t keep it going.
You just never hit the ball on the course the way you do on the range.
Why is that? Well, because you aren’t practicing properly. You need to be employing transfer practice, so that you can be clutch under pressure.
Stop folding when the moment is big, and start clutching up!
What is Transfer Practice
Transfer practice is when you work on transferring that swing work you did on the range to the course. This is when you put pressure on yourself to hit a set number of greens, or a set number of fairways, or make a certain number of putts.
It's making your practice matter and putting that pressure on you in a practice setting.
Take yourself away from the range and make it difficult. An easy way to do transfer practice is to take ten range balls and hit them at a green. 150 yards out, you need to hit the green 9 times out of 10. This will help you to be able to hit the green most of the time when a pressure situation comes up. If you find this doesn’t add any kind of pressure to your practice, go ahead and give yourself a reward and a punishment for getting your set number.
It needs to challenge you, make you want to succeed, and absolutely dread losing.
A great example of this would be if you succeed and you hit your 9 or 10 greens out of 10 from 150 yards, you get to drink a beer in the clubhouse, hit less than 9, and you have to do 15 push-ups right there on the range.
Make it matter, and you will feel the same pressure you do on the golf course.
Why Does it Matter?
I spoke a little about it, but transfer practice is the most important practice you can do after putting in any kind of work at the range. Let's say you just had a lesson, and you are working on a swing change, a grip change, or any kind of big change to your golf game. Your body does not immediately commit that to be the norm.
You have to work to get your “muscle memory” to a point where you are going to be able to do it without thinking.
Because, as soon as you get into a pressure situation, that memory can fail, and your body will automatically revert back to an old swing. So, you have to do transfer practice before you can just move to the course and expect to hit it perfectly. It gets worse and worse and worse as you are put under more and more pressure.
How to Practice a Change
Any time that you make any changes to your golf game, I recommend doing it in the offseason. During the golf season, you can only play so many times, so get consistent with what you have, then work on your swing in the offseason, when you can’t play as much.
To start any kind of swing change, I recommend working with a PGA Certified Coach. They can walk you through the best way to go through the process.
Whether you work with them or do it on your own, however you go about it, follow these steps for a swing change.
1. Decide on the desired change and start working on it using mirror work so that you make the correct motions. Use this like tai chi, but for golf. Go very, very, very slow with your swing, watching yourself in the mirror.
2. Find a drill to do that will work on your desired change while hitting a golf ball. This could be placing a tee on the ground outside the ball to ensure you are not coming over the top if that is what you are working on. Or, rolling a ball back with your takeaway if you are working on that.
There are thousands of drills you can do to enforce the desired outcome.
⭐ Bonus tip. If you have a CTRL Swing Master Training aid, build a model for yourself with this swing change using your Swing Master to drill into it the swing change you are making so you have a model to work with at the range.
This will enable the device to give you feedback as if you had a coach watching your every swing when you are practicing.
3. When you are doing this drill, wean yourself off of the drill by taking away the drill and taking swings without it every 4th or 5th swing. Start working down to fewer and fewer swings on the drill and more and more swings without the drill so that you can transfer what you are learning with the drill to the range.
4. Work on your swing change without the drill on the range. Take videos frequently so that you know for a fact you are doing it right with your swing change, or use the Swing Master to give you feedback on every swing, so you don’t have to take very many videos.
5. Transfer practice time! You have your swing changed; you need to do some transfer practice in order to take that swing change from the range to the course. You can do some of the things I mentioned above. Use it with tee shots and hitting a “fairway”. Do it by hitting greens, getting up and down while chipping, making putts, whatever you are working on transferring to the course, and creating a challenge for yourself.
This will put pressure on.
⭐ Another bonus tip! The CTRL Swing Master is coming out with a new mode! We are releasing this new mode to help you build up confidence and work on playing under pressure while you practice!
This is a great way to work on your transfer practice. I would recommend finishing every range session using our new mode!
Transfer practice is a vital part of improving your game, and not enough people focus on it. I know for a fact that you have at one point in your life talked about not being able to hit the ball on the course like you do on the range, and that's because you have done nothing to transfer it over.
You need to be able to take a great swing without thinking about it in order to play great golf.
Get out on the range and use your new Swing Master mode in order to take what you do on the range to the course, to a tournament, and cement it into your game.