Editor’s Note: Back in 2009, PGA Tour veteran Kevin Streelman was just making his mark on the big circuit, and a decade later he’s still going strong, posting Top 20 finishes and keeping himself in the hunt week to week. He put together this Practice Like a Pro feature exclusively for Golf Tips readers. Enjoy.
1. FOCUS ON THE TARGET…ALWAYS
If you want to play like a pro, you have to practice like one. In the following pages, I’ll show you how I practice and the things that help me fine-tune my game, so come time to compete, I don’t have to worry about my swing. Instead, I can play shot-by-shot and concentrate on lowering my score.
To get started, when you practice, always do so with a target in mind for every shot. After all, why hit balls if you don’t aim? Think of a target and don’t forget it.
When I see amateurs hit shots, I notice many don’t have the right pre-shot sequence. So try this. First, take your grip behind the ball while facing the target. I like to do this so I can focus more on alignment, and not worry about my hands. I pick my target, make my grip and I don’t readjust it. Once it’s on there, it’s on for good.
While still fixated on the target, I approach the ball from the side. This helps me see the target and align my body considerably to the left of the target (as evident by my orange stick to the side of the ball). I don’t step directly into position just yet. I’m still zoned in on the target, and the club is held out in front of me. I’m ready to go.
My eyes have moved off the target, and I’m looking at the ball. I also track my eyes across the orange stick representing my target line. Then, I step into my stance from the side, not from behind or at an angle. This helps me align my body more squarely, with the clubface aiming at the target and my body situated parallel to the left.
Now I’m ready to strike. My stance is squared, I have a mental picture of the target in my mind, and my eyes stay glued to the ball throughout my swing. I may peek at the target, and if it doesn’t feel right, I start all over again. Your preshot routine and alignment is critical if you want to compete out here on the PGA Tour.