Golfers: Get the Most Out of Your Practice Time

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Prescott Arizona’s Talking Rock Golf Pro Shares Tips for Golfing Success

It would be wonderful if we could all just hit balls all day and suddenly get better - however, for most amateurs the key to getting better has less to do with quantity of practice and more to do with quality of practice.

Perfecting your golf game has never been as easy as it is at Talking Rock in Prescott, Arizona. The 3,600-acre private, luxury home community in Prescott offers a peaceful, rural setting complete with modern amenities including a Jay Morrish-designed championship golf course. The 7,350-yard Prescott golf course is managed by PGA member Jim Leisenring, who brings years of excellence and experience to Talking Rock Golf Club.

With a passion for the game and almost a lifetime spent on courses around the world, Jim shares his expertise and quick-tips to help golfers make the most of their practice time.    

“When I observe my students during practice, often they tell me that they aren’t quite sure how to improve their game other than by hitting balls,” said Leisenring, general manager of the golf club. “It would be wonderful if we could all just hit balls all day and suddenly get better - however, for most amateurs the key to getting better has less to do with quantity of practice and more to do with quality of practice.”    

Here are a few tips to help golfers maximize their practice time:

  •     Breakdown and “schedule” your practice time

If you have one hour to practice, schedule 15 minutes for long shots (150+ yards), 15 minutes on short shots (150 yards or less), 15 minutes for putting and 15 minutes for chipping and pitching. Doing this will force you to focus on all aspects of the game and get the most out of an hour. Keep in mind that it is essential to schedule a minimum of half of your practice time to the short game, which makes up almost 70 percent of all shots in a round of golf. I suggest that if you have 30 minutes or less to practice, your focus should rest solely on the short game (putting, chipping, and pitching). Devoting more time to the most crucial aspect of the game is the best way to improve your progress on the golf course.

  •     Take quality over quantity

During a game, you only have one shot to hit the ball the way you want. Take this same approach to practice. Identify a specific target and hit each practice shot with the same concentration you give your shots on the golf course. Go through the same pre-shot routine you use when you play. Hit and evaluate each practice shot with the same effort. Only then are you truly practicing the same shots you hit on the course. On average, you will be hitting less practice shots per session but will get much more out of the shots you hit. Additionally, you will further develop and engrain your routines - a key element to playing more consistent golf.

  •     Constantly check your aim

Always use a guide to check and perfect your alignment. Poor alignment during set up is one of the largest contributors to poor shot patterns, especially if you are hitting multiple shots in rapid succession. Make sure that you identify and aim at your target. This practice will continue to train your eyes to align as well as to identify true shot patterns so that adjustments can be made. It can be as simple as using a couple of irons laid down on the ground to make sure you are aligned with your intended target.

  •     Practice after a round of golf – not before

The best time to identify trouble areas is immediately after a round of golf. Whether it was a poor tee shot, bad putting or a directional problem, you can easily remember what your biggest challenges were for the round. This is the best time to head to the range and focus on the specific aspects of the game, even if only for a short period of time. However, if you prefer to grab a well deserved beverage instead, at least try to get into the habit of taking a few notes while your frustrations are fresh in your mind so that you can add them to the practice schedule.

  •     One ball putting practice

End every practice putting session by playing nine holes with one ball. Be sure that the par for each hole is two. Pick a variety of long and short putts, making sure not to hit the same putt twice, as this presents a true game scenario. Again, the focus should be on your routine and training yourself to hit every putt and shot on the practice tee with the same energy and effort you use on the golf course.    

About Talking Rock

Offering some of the best land in northern Arizona, Talking Rock is located in a peaceful, rural setting and yet is just minutes from Prescott where homeowners have access to shopping, dining, entertainment and numerous outdoor recreational opportunities. It is a 3,600-acre private, luxury home community with a casual western lifestyle and the amenities of an exclusive country club. Its Jay Morrish-designed 7,350-yard championship golf course winds through more than 1,000 acres of preserved open space, presenting residents with the spaciousness of Arizona’s high country. Talking Rock offers spacious custom homesites, as well as Ranch Cottages, Ranch Homes and custom homes in Prescott designed in an authentic ranch style and built by the area’s finest craftsmen.

Talking Rock is a development of Harvard Investments, a Scottsdale, Arizona based real estate development company respected for its high quality, residential projects throughout the Southwest. Harvard designed and developed communities are found in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas, Texas; and in Phoenix, Sedona, and Tucson, Arizona.

Harvard’s Canadian parent, the Hill Companies, is a privately held diversified company involved in real estate development, oil and gas production and distribution, broadcasting, surety bonding, and life insurance. The Hill Companies celebrated its 100th year of continuous family ownership and operation in February, 2003.

More information on Talking Rock and Harvard Investments, Inc. can be found at


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Jody Steele
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