Column: One hour practice

In her latest column, Jennifer Greggain shows it is possible to fit a productive golf practice into a busy life.

Let’s face it, not all of us have a lot of time to practice our golf game. Who can hit hundreds or thousands of balls to keep their game from suffering?

We all want to get better, but simply don’t have very much time in our day to day to make that happen. But here is a one hour practice routine that you can easily fit in at least once or twice per week.

First of all, think about your game for a moment. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Also, consider which parts of your game are used the most.

For the average player, at least 30 to 40 per cent of strokes are on the putting green, whereas only about 15 per cent is driving. However, as I watch golfers practice at the course, nearly all of them are working on swing mechanics, usually with their driver.

Can you see how this doesn’t match?

I recommend that at least 50 per cent (or more) of your practice time be spent on the short game.

My one hour practice includes 15 minutes of putting and 15 minutes of chipping.

Good putters can do two things really well. They can control distance on longer putts and they are confident they can make putts inside six feet.

Be sure to choose putting drills that build these two skills.

For your next 30 minutes, head to the driving range. After a good five minute warmup, spend 20 minutes on approach shots with your wedges through mid irons.

These are the most crucial shots you need to keep sharp with your full swing. Be sure not to forget practicing those awkward distance control pitch shots from 30-80 yards.

This leaves five minutes for your longer game, including your driver. It is important to keep the ball in play off the tee, but that is one small component of a strong game.

Finally, I see many students who spend ample time on the practice tee, but don’t see results on the golf course.

This is because most people don’t practice simulating golf.

Recent research in motor learning reveals that the most ideal learning environments are consistently challenging the brain.

Do you think that repetitively hitting the same shot to the same target with the same club offers a challenging learning environment? Absolutely not, which is why players who practice this way don’t get the desired results.

This means that the most efficient way for golfers to spend their precious little practice time should be simulating golf as much as possible.

Some examples of this are visualizing a golf course on the driving range, and hitting different clubs to different targets.

On the putting green, use one ball, not three like most golfers do.

Go through your entire routine including marking the ball and reading the green.

For short-game practice, consider creating a mini course, requiring you to hit one ball to a practice hole and then make the putt.

It doesn’t take a significant amount of time to get in an effective and efficient practice session, but be sure to consider what you are spending your time on and how you can simulate actual golf as much as possible.


Jennifer teaches is the Director of Instruction at the Chilliwack Golf Academy. She played professionally on tour for over 10 years, including two years on the LPGA.

She was named the 2010 CN Canadian Women’s Tour Low Teaching Pro of the Year, and is now the lead instructor of the Sardis Golf Academy.

She is also a two-time Pepsi Northwest Women’s Open Champion.

Greggain can be contacted at 604-798-9805,, or at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford school board trustee Phil Anderson has stepped down after sharing an offensive image on Facebook. (File photo)
Abbotsford trustee temporarily steps down after sharing post relating COVID masks to slavery

Phil Anderson to receive training after comparing wearing a mask to slavery on his Facebook page

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on B.C. highways – checkpoint at Manning Park

Four checkpoints are set up Thursday, May 6 around the province

UBC Sports Hall of Famer Carrie (Watson) Watts (far right, front row) helped lead the UBC Thunderbirds to the 2004 national championship, their first since 1974. She served as assistant coach a few years after graduation. (Photo/UBC)
Agassiz-born basketball star inducted into UBC Sports Hall of Fame

Carrie (Watson) Watts helped lead the team to their first championship in decades

Winnie Peters, centre, spoke about the loss of two husbands over the years, both of who were murdered. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls event in Hope on May 5, 2021 included prayers for men who have been killed as well. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)
Red dresses hang in Hope’s Memorial Park in remembrance

Group gathers for National Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

B.C. announced the launch of an app May 7 that connects youth struggling with mental health and substance use with “life-saving” social services. (Screen grab)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youth and children launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6-million to fund a virtual care platform

Rex, an elderly golden Labrador retriever, is surrounded by his rescuers in Golden Ears Provincial Park. (Special to The News)
VIDEO: Dog survives plunge over Gold Creek Lower Falls in Maple Ridge

Fire chief asks for visitors to be more cautious in Golden Ears Provincial Park

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Amazon has announced the creation of five new facilities in B.C., to employ about 2,000 people. (Amazon/Special to Black Press Media)
Amazon adds new facilities in Langley, Pitt Meadows, Delta, Vancouver

The Vancouver port centre will be the first Amazon centre to feature robotics in B.C.

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Serious crash in Surrey sends 1 to hospital

Surrey RCMP say one of the drivers fled on foot, but was later found at an area hospital

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Most Read