Calibrate practice session

Purpose:

Fine tune impact to increase stability of skill and consistency.

Priority

This kind of session is a natural progression from having laid down some sound technical foundations. As such, a calibrate session is not directly interested in how you move, but focused on the effects - the different aspects of ball flight and the impact skills that cause them. The purpose would be to increase accuracy and consistency within your basic technique.


Caveat

Task clarity required

You need a basic understanding of ball flight and club physics for this to work (if the ball did X, the club must have done Y). If, after a faulty shot, you can't answer with some certainty the question "What did the club do wrong?", then more coaching is required before you could self-coach in a session like this without launch monitor assistance. See Task Clarity sections for help.


External focus

It is usually more effective if your focus of attention is externally directed (on the effect of club delivery and ball flight), and not internally directed (body movement).

 

Ball flight goals

Keeping things practical, our goal is simply to have an effective and predictable ball flight. Evolving from your technical work would determine whether, for you, that is a fade, draw or straight flight. So a calibrate session will be more effective if there is a clear flight you are calibrating towards. The goal of a "low launching draw", for example, gives a nice clear launch window to measure against.


Feedback

Low tech options include a tour stick placed 5m in front of you on the ball to target line, giving clear feedback about the height and direction the ball launched at. Impact spray and feel could give you impact location. Launch monitors that give you club data, is obviously the most accurate feedback. Not only are they telling you what the ball did, but also highlighting which aspect of the club's delivery needs tweaking.


Task progression

In this exercise you are probably going to be mainly hitting your stock full shot, so the progression would be going through different clubs in the bag.


That being said, you can play games with one club to stretch a particular aspect of the flight. If you were trying to improve your striking by launching the ball lower (supported by a later low point, and reduced loft at impact), you could challenge yourself to launch the ball lower and lower. Maybe turn a 22 deg launch with a 7 iron to sub 20 deg, for example.


Process

Warm up with 10 balls, with clear ball flight intent

Pick out which aspect of the flight most needs attention (e.g. trajectory or direction)

Figure out what the club needs to do differently to solve this

Hit shots focusing on this one aspect.

Observe and modify until you are positively influencing it

If successful, you can choose to move your attention to another aspect flight/impact

 

Brain tips


Fine tuning impact requires very selective focus of attention in execution and response. Be patient if you can’t yet achieve all aspects of impact at the same time.

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