Disclaimer ** A focused golf fitness & practice routine prescribed by professionals is going to serve you better than you guessing.
Generally speaking, it is your worth ethic, passion and discipline that separate you from the competition. The amount of hours you put in are not as important as the amount of ‘quality’ hours you put in. Quality over quantity. You should be entering your practice & performance sessions with a specific purpose and focused plan. Not just a plan for the day but a plan that factors in your developmental goals relative to body performance and swing performance. This plan also accommodates your schedule and maximizes your time.
Alright, let us agree that a range of Olympic level athletes and top golfers are putting in 8-12 hours per day on their respective sport 4-6 days per week. So, at minimum great players are putting in 8 hours x 4 days per week = 32 hours per week. This mark of 32 hours is rather doable for just about anyone. On the other hand, the best players in the world are putting in 12 hours x 6 days per week = 72 hours per week. 72 hours is elite level performance and very few people have this amount of time available. But hey, who takes days off? Is 72 hours the max? Absolutely not. However, it may be easier if you just pretend that someone is out there working All-day-Every-day . Pretend this person is your competition.
How many hours do you have and how good do you really want to be?
As I mentioned earlier, when it comes to practice it is quality over quantity. College golfers have about 8 hours of sunlight per day. Ideally you are out there soaking up the sun and practicing the full 8 hours. Unfortunately, not all of us are so blessed with the schedule to do this. If you have limited time and resources then do not worry. Start with the time you have and set a plan in motion to acquire the resources.
However much time college golfers choose and are able to devote to your improvement, aim to cover at least the following areas and more respectively.
Putting (short range, mid range and long range)
Uphill, downhill, sidehill, texas wedge etc
Short game (short range, mid range, long range)
Chip, pitch, flop, bump and run, low spinner wedge, ….it is not about which one are you best at. It is about which shot does the golf ball call for.
Bunker (short range, mid range, long range, buried, awkward stance)
If you aren’t going to practice an awkward stance then you will feel awkward hitting the shot.
Approach (short range, mid range, long range)
We make birdies and save pars with our approach. Your aim is to be proficient from all distances with all your wedges, various trajectories and spin control.
Long game (short range , mid range, long range)
I love to see players actually practicing their mid to long game. Par 3’s can be scoring opportunities or they can blow up your round. Repeat after me, “there is no ‘favorite’ club in the bag. Use the right tool for the job.”
Trouble (low draw, low fade, high draw, high fade, low straight etc)
Practice your shot making skills. How low can you keep a 5 iron and how far does it carry? How much curve can college golfers get on your 7 iron? How high can you actually hit your pitching wedge? If you lay your lob wedge wide open and swing full….how far does it carry? If you do not know these things who does? You are going to find trouble on the golfing training program. We either take our medicine or we learn to go for it.
The best answer to ‘how much should a golfer practice’ is to simply say more. If you want more from your game then put in more hours. Be the kind of person who loves more. Put in more hours because you want to beat your competition. Put in more hours because you want to be your best. Put in more hours because you know it will make you better.