What prevents you from getting to the course more to practice your game? Bad weather, family commitments, and Zoom conference calls can make it challenging to find time to invest in your golf game.
You may want to consider the idea of practicing golf at home. You don’t need to drive to the course to get better. You can sharpen your game from the comfort of your house.
Do you have 15 minutes between conference calls? Work on your putting. Do you have 30 minutes before your son’s basketball practice? Fix your golf swing.
Practice golf at home and use your spare time to lower your scores and your golf handicap. Regardless of what you need to fix in your game, we’ve targeted ideas below to help you practice golf at home.
How To Practice Your Putting At Home
We could all save strokes on the greens. Improved putting means more birdies, more par saves, and more fun.
Equipment You’ll Need
Your Putter & Golf Balls
We recommend you keep the putter you use on the course in your house when you aren’t playing. Keep a couple of balls with it. This gives you quick access whenever you have a few minutes to practice golf at home.
Putting Mat or Green
There are more options for golfers than ever before. You can easily find an inexpensive putting mat or indoor putting green for your home. They’re easy to store when you aren’t using them and are perfect for your office, den, or basement.
Putting Training Aids
If you’re serious about improving your short game, you may want to make a small investment in a putting training aid. We recommend a “putting mirror” and/or “gates.” Both are used by professional golfers around the world and will help you build a more consistent putting stroke.
At Home Putting Drills
Once you have the right equipment, you can do almost any golf putting drill in your home. Here are a few of our favorites.
Very straightforward drill. Hit putts using only your dominant hand (right-handed golfers use their right hand). This will help you create a smooth putting stroke that properly releases the clubface. This golf practice at home will also improve your hand-eye coordination.
Gate Putting Drill
The concept of gate putting was created by Tiger Woods and now companies actually sell “gates” for you to use. You set up one gate directly in front of your ball and a second one halfway to the hole. The idea is to roll the ball through both gates and into the hole. To accomplish you’ll need to properly execute the line and the speed of the putt.
Speed Control Drills
Your golf practice at home is a great way to advance in putting speed control, sometimes even more so than on the putting green. In your home, you have different speeds. A hardwood floor simulates a very quick green and a thick carpet would be a slow putting surface.
Use any target you have in your house. A plastic drinking cup is fine. Try different length putts on different surfaces and learn how to make a solid putting stroke on different speed greens.
How To Practice Your Swing At Home
Is bad weather preventing you from a trip to the driving range? Work on your swing at home.
Equipment You’ll Need
If you want to practice golf at home, you’ll need to be able to access your clubs. Just holding your clubs can help keep you sharp during the winter months.
They can be quite expensive, but adding a golf simulator to your home will allow you to practice golf at home anytime. You’ll need space in your basement, garage, or bonus room for all of the equipment.
You might be able to use the mirror in your bathroom, but ideally you have one that you can move out into the middle of a larger room.
At Home Swing Drills
If you’re lucky enough to have access to a golf simulator, you can perform any golf swing drills. The golf practice at home ideas below assumes you don’t have a golf simulator in your house.
Do You Recognize Your Reflection?
It can be somewhat shocking to see what your golf swing looks like and it can be hard to make changes. A mirror gives you the ability to see your swing positions. Take slow-motion swings and check the mirror to understand where the club is at the top and how your impact position looks.
Improve Your Balance
You don’t need to hit a ball to improve your balance. Pull out your 7-iron and make some full swings. Can you make a full swing and finish on balance?
Improve Your Grip
Most amateur golfers could play better if they worked on how they grip the golf club. This can be a difficult change and it’ll feel awkward at first. Get comfortable with your new grip without the embarrassment of hitting wild shots. Alter your grip and make swings in the comfort of your home. By the time you visit the driving range, your new grip will feel “normal.”
How To Practice Chipping At Home
Golf chipping may be the most challenging part of the game to practice at home, but it can be done. The goal should be to improve the consistency of the strike of the golf ball.
Equipment You’ll Need
Wedge & Golf Balls
Pretty simple. Bring your sand wedge in the house and a few golf balls. If you’re worried about breaking something, you might want to use plastic (practice) balls.
A small mat will protect your floors and carpet. No one wants to explain to their spouse why the rug has a small hole in it following your chipping practice. If you have a putting mat, you can use that as well.
At Home Chipping Drills
Your golf practice at home won’t include hitting flop shots or bunker shots. The goal is to improve your ability to pinch the ball off the turf. Stop hitting chip shots fat and/or thin.
Chip A Coin
For this first drill, you don’t even need golf balls. Place some coins on your golf mat and try to chip them up into the air. Do you want to try a fun game? Put a coffee mug a few feet away and try to make the coins in it. This drill teaches the correct chipping motion.
Chip-in On Your Putting Green
In the putting section above we talked about getting an indoor putting green or mat. Instead of putting on it, try to chip your ball into the hole. Try different length chips and hit shots with different face angles. You’ll quickly learn how opening or closing the clubface changes how the ball will react.
Bonus: Other Practices For Golf At Home
We aren’t done yet. There are other areas of your golf game that you can practice at home.
Focus On Your Fitness
You can play golf for your entire life, but you need to take your fitness seriously if you want to continue to improve as you get older. Tiger Woods started the golf fitness craze and now there are exercises designed to help golfers improve. If you can’t work on your swing, work on your body.
TPI Workout Program
TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) is a program designed with golfers in mind. You can find a TPI-certified expert who will perform an assessment of your swing and body. Using this information, they can design a workout program to improve your golf game.
Would you like to hit the ball farther? Outdrive your buddies and reach more par 5s in two by taking advantage of speed training. SuperSpeed is an example, but there are several available on the market.
Speed training is an exercise program that’s built to do one thing. Increase your swing speed on the golf course. This is the perfect golf practice at home activity. If you have 30 minutes, you can complete a speed training session.
Bobby Jones famously said, “Golf is a game that is played on a 5-inch course - the distance between your ears.” We can all improve our mental game and this is an easy method to practice golf at home.
Watch The Pros Play
You can learn a lot by watching professional golfers on TV. Listen to the conversations with their caddy to understand how they approach different shots. Pay attention to how they handle pressure. Watch them visualize shots prior to starting their swing. Identify actions that may help you on the course and give them a try the next time you play.
Review Your Course Management
Do you lose strokes when you play because of poor decision-making? Spend a few minutes thinking about your last round and give your course management a grade. Identify times you wasted strokes. For example, penalty strokes (hazard, out of bounds, etc.), 3-putts, or missing greens with short irons. The key to course management is to know when to play aggressive and when to play smart/conservative.
Assess How You Handle Adversity
How you respond to adversity on the course is another great item to consider when you’re practicing golf at home. What happens after you have a bad hole or hit a bad shot? Do you snowball and let one bad shot impact the next one or do you re-focus? Be honest with yourself and develop a plan to handle on-course frustration. Don’t let one bad hole ruin your round.
You Can Improve Even When You Can’t Make It To The Course
We all get busy with life. Now more than ever, we’re spending more time at home. That doesn’t mean you can’t work on your golf game.
Hitting a few putting, taking a few swings, or watching a little golf can be a great way to relax and keep your game sharp. Be creative. Find fun ways to practice golf at home even when you can’t play.
Golf practice at home can be rewarding and impactful. Good luck and we hope you get out to the course soon.