I have a routine for every morning. The alarm goes off at the same time. I hit snooze 3 times. I proceed to shower and get ready the same way every day. I like the routine. It makes life easy. The days where I need to get to work early or my son’s school does something different throws me completely off. The day feels off.
Golf improvement is the same way. I want to follow the exact days on the schedule. I know when everything will happen. When the week is not normal, then planning is critical. I know many people just want to go day by day, but only looking at one day makes it easy to keep putting off practice because the day is busy. Pushing the practice back usually means it won’t happen. To prevent missing practice, I look at the week on Sunday night to see what is happening to get a sense of where to make adjustments.
I was out of town the last few days in NYC. Bethpage Black is on my bucket list, so my plan for months was to blog about an amazing experience on the Black. I could also get in my round for the week that way. Unfortunately, the timing didn’t work and I couldn’t play a round while here. I didn’t want to get off track though, so I planned to still practice while there.
My week generally includes 2 days off. I was gone 3 days, so I could take 2 off and still be on track. This week, I plan to take Tuesday and Thursday off since those are travel days. I am not taking my golf clubs, so creative solutions are necessary. I thought of a few.
Ideas to Stay on Track
My first idea is to practice turning without a club. One of my major problems is my upper body and lower body get out of sync. When that happens, the club gets stuck behind me and under plane. My shots will be blocks or hooks. I could work on staying in sync and getting everything together.
I am a golf nerd who loves all gadgets and training aids. About 10 years ago, someone bought me a golf travel kit. It has a putter, hole, and a couple balls. Here it is on Amazon:
I used it multiple times on golf trips just for fun. I know it isn’t the perfect putting aide, but I can definitely work on starting the ball on line.
A newer version has a telescoping putter.
Putting would be helpful, but I googled driving ranges in Manhattan to see if I could hit balls. I found Chelsea Piers Golf Club. It is a 4 tier driving range with rental clubs. Range time is even better than putting practice, so I decided to head out there.
I completely enjoyed the experience. I received a bay on the first floor. I wish I was on one of the higher tiers, but I still enjoyed the bottom floor. I purchased 128 balls, and the machine auto tees the ball. Great way to be lazy and just hit balls. The Hudson with Yachts in the background made great scenery for a driving range.
My only complaint is the rental clubs. Renting from the front desk is a mistake. They provide old and beat up clubs. They gave me what must have been an original Taylormade 9 iron, a 6 iron from the 80s, and a driver with the bottom caved in. The NY Golf Shop attached had brand new clubs to rent for a higher price, but they closed at 8. I didn’t finish until after 8, so that wouldn’t work. In spite of the equipment, I hit the ball reasonably well. I would definitely recommend the facility to keep up the practice.
Following the plan while out of town requires planning ahead. Take a travel club or find a local driving range. Make sure to not give yourself excuses to miss practice. Looking at the week to know where problems will arise and where adjustments can be made makes success easier. Success won’t magically happen. Success requires constant planning and adjusting to make everything work. Remember, the process is what matters. Keep up the great progress.
Post in the comments your favorite secrets to staying on routine and practicing while traveling.