A question mostly posed by anyone starting out golf for the first time, and with so many things to work on it may seem impossible to practice everything.
Fear not because we lay out all kinds of scenarios for you to know exactly how often to practice golf.
Beginner golfers should practice 4-5 times a week to quickly pickup on the fundamentals of golf. More experienced golfers should be able to improve their game by practicing 2-3 times per week.
Should You Practice or Play More To Get Better at Golf?
I think most golfers are inclined to want to actually play golf on the course, but there’s so much more value at practicing your golf game off the course.
With that said, getting “better” at golf could mean a multitude of things.
- Does your putting need more work than your irons and driver?
- Is your short game so tragic it’s costing you a chance at breaking 90 almost every round?
- Are your irons failing you so bad you’re hitting 2 greens per round?
- Or, are you driving it so badly you’re considering selling it and buying the next one you see on Amazon?
There are different tiers to how much practice is needed to climb the mountain to reaching your next goal as a golfer.
If you are a 30 handicap it will simply take you longer to fundamentally learn golf basics juxtaposed to a 10 handicap it will take less practice time to becoming a 5 handicap, because a 10 handicapper will already know most of the basics of golf and focuses more on course management and scoring.
So, with all that said…
How Quickly Can You Improve at Golf?
“Improving” at golf comes various levels of how you gauge your golf game and those subsequent rounds you play after making substantial changes in your golf game.
If we circle back around to handicap tiers, a higher handicapped golf improving could mean dropping 5-10 shots over the span of a week or so.
However, for lower handicapped golfers improving could simply mean dropping a shot or so in the span of 3-4 months.
It’s all relative to what you’re shooting and the goals you are setting for yourself.
If you really put in the work and grind out on the bad areas of your golf game then it’s conceivable you could be the one that drops 5-10 shots off your game in a fast amount of time.
How Often Should You Practice Golf to Improve?
So many ways to tackle this question. I’m going to break things down in the form of:
How Often Should I Practice Hitting Driver?
If you already have a shot shape you prefer with your driver (and can execute the shot most of the time) then you are way ahead of the field when hitting fairways.
This doesn’t mean to completely abandon your driver when hitting the range. Remember to practice with a purpose.
Tip: Picture the hardest driving hole from you most recent round and imagine trying to hit that fairway a few times before moving on to your next club in the bag.
What If You DO Need to Practice Your Driver Swing
If you’re consistently hitting your driver poorly it can all but ruin your chances of improving your scores. So, unless you have a 3-wood in the bag that carries 270 yards with a slight draw—it’s time to work on your driver swing.
Practicing hitting drives can be a bit tricky on the range. Simply because you take longer, and harder, swings and can tire you out way more quickly than if you were hitting knock down wedges.
I typically like to rotate between driver and wedges to reset my swing speed before moving on to hitting irons.
How Often Should I Practice My Driver?
On average, if you play golf 1-2 times a week I would knock one of those rounds out and hit the driving range instead.
This could depend on the severity of how bad you’re actually mishitting your drives, but I wouldn’t see the point in wasting time on the golf course if you are consistently missing fairways.
How To Stop Slicing Your Driver
Check out this video from Eric Cogorno Golf. He runs through a few simple tips to get you to stop slicing the golf ball.
Common Swing Faults Causing Your Slice
Most amateur golfers do in fact slice the golf ball when he/she misses it badly, but on the other end of the spectrum are golfers that tend to hook it (yours truly) when the driver swing is a bit off.
Here are some things to key in on how to stop hooking your driver…
How To Stop Hooking Your Driver
Chris Ryan hits on some good tips to help anyone that has trouble with hooking their driver…
Common Swing Faults Causing Your Hook
So, if you are consistently hitting your driver poorly try and take at least 1-2 hours a week working on a few fundamentals to help you get back in the fairways.
Now, moving onto irons…
How Often to Practice Golf Swing Hitting Irons
It’s safe to say that most amateur golfers immediately grab an iron when we hit the range.
To be honest it’s pretty easy since most the clubs in our golf bags are irons, so if you think about it we already practice with them more often than other clubs.
But, if you are hitting your irons so bad that you find yourself chipping on most the holes you play—then it’s time to start putting in the work and practice hitting irons more than you’re doing now.
How Many Golf Balls Should You Hit in Practice?
A medium-sized bucket of balls is usually around 60-70 golf balls. For me that’s a normal amount of balls IF you’re spending most of your time hitting full iron shots.
However, this can be tricky because things can change while you’re hitting balls.
Let’s say you’re not exactly “striping it” and the last thing you want to do is groove a bad swing and mechanics.
Tip: If I’m hitting poorly, I like to pull out some wedges and work on some smaller swings to sort of reset myself and then eventually move back to hitting normal iron shots again.
Just make sure you are not overdoing it and getting fatigued hitting balls. Especially if you’re hitting range balls right before playing a round of golf.
Should You Hit Golf Balls Every Day?
I mean if you don’t have a full-timer job? Of course go hit balls every day 🙂
If you are part of the population that does have a full-time job, then you can still squeeze in some swings at the house. This is still very beneficial to maintain some muscle memory in the event you can’t make it to the course or driving range.
If you do have a routine of hitting golf balls every day, try and make sure you’re still practicing with a purpose and not just hitting balls into open space.
Tip: Work on eliminating one side of the course (The Jack Nicklaus way) and see if you can work through an entire practice session by eliminating one side of the course with every shot you hit.
Can You Practice Golf Too Much?
Imagine yourself asking this question to Tiger Woods.
Golf is such a complex sport with so many areas to the game I don’t see how’s it’s possible to practice too much on your golf game.
Even if you’re cranking out driver-after-driver on the range and you simply can’t swing anymore—you could still practice putting immediately after since it requires little-to-no movement whatsoever.
Now, a caveat to this would be if you have recently had to undergo any type of medical procedure.
For instance, let’s say you want to play golf after cataract surgery—then yes it is very possible you could rush back too quickly and make matters worse for yourself if your doctor advises you not to do so.
But if you’re just starting out playing golf I would 100% advise you to practice as much as you can.
How Often to Practice Golf
We’ve created a chart to show [what we believe] are the 4 main buckets of golfers, and how much time per week should be spent practicing his/her golf game…
|Times per Week|
|Full-Time Job w/ Kids||1-2|
|Full-Time Job (No Kids)||3|
|New to Golf||4-5|
How Often to Practice Golf Short Game to Improve
Practicing on your short game requires much less coordinating than practicing on your long game.
Simply because anyone can chip golf balls around the house and work on their tempo.
As important as the short game is in golf, I’d recommend spending at least 10 minutes a day on chipping the ball and focusing on angles at which you strike the ball.
How Often to Practice Putting to Improve
If putting is the most important part of golf(most say yes) then it would make sense to practice your putting as much as possible.
As mentioned above, even when you’re at home you can roll out a putting mat and get your reps in so you can hone your stroke in so it feels more natural when you hit the course.
I personally have this putting mat here and believe it really helps with my alignment and how the ball rolls off the putter face:
- Adjustable Speeds : Choose from 4 stimp tested speeds ranging from 7.5-13 on one indoor putting green.
- Custom Slope: Practice with our wedge tool to custom your slope which can improve your putting levels.
- Alignment & Distance Control: The smart guideline improved accuracy and greater control on every putt and enable several fun games to be played.
I would easily spend 15-20 minutes a day working on your putting stroke because making those 5-6 footers consistently drastically lowers your handicap and keeps the flow of your round going.
Practice Often, Practice Smart
Now that you’re armed to the teeth with information on how often to practice golf, let’s hit the course and start making those changes to improve our scores and lower our handicaps.
Set some goals and track what works so you KNOW where you need to improve along the way.
Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wolfitgolf and let us know how often you are practicing and the results you are getting from grinding on your golf game.