My Golf Instructor

Getting Juniors To Practice
Make It A Game. Make It Fun!

Learn practice drills to make juniors have fun while improvving their skills.  Practice Drills Can Be Fun!

There has always been the question, "How do you get youngsters and adults to practice?" My answer; make it a GAME and make it FUN! When I was a junior learning to play the game, whether I was by myself, or with my friends, there was always "a game." I have a firm belief, that if you make something FUN no matter what it is, you're going to want to keep doing it, and you'll continue to improve.

It's Just A Game!

I would like to share with you 3 games my young athletes and adults love. Let's begin with a game designed to sharpen your putting skills. It's one I learned from PGA Professional, Matt Kluck, called "Last One Standing."

1) Last One Standing

  • Begin by dividing the group in half, or as close as you are able.
  • Then, take a piece of surveyor's tape (about 20 feet long) and stretch it from end to end while anchoring each each end with a tee on the practice putting green.
  • Next, place half of the group on one side and the other half on the opposite side, with everyone starting 15 feet away from the tape.
  • The coach, or leader then counts to 3 and everyone putts at the same time.
  • Those closest to the tape, or on it advances to the second round. The players move now to 20 feet away. The advancing ones then move to 25 feet, with each subsequent round moving back in five feet increments.
  • Keep repeating until you have the "Last One Standing."

To make it even more fun, use what I call "funny" balls ( novelty golf balls painted to look like tennis, football, soccer, the earth, an 8 ball, etc). Not only does everyone enjoy this game, but it also works on two important skills we all need: lag putting and developing touch/feel on the greens.

2) Every Club

This second game develops what I feel has become a lost art today, which is shot making. Why is it so important? A great player must have the ability to recover from any situation, any lie; and have the ability to "see" shots they may otherwise never dream possible.

Why is this a lost art? There are two reasons for this. For one, until the early twentieth century, the number of clubs carried by a player was well under the allotted 14 we have today. As a result, they were forced to learn a variety of shots with only a few clubs. The second reason is course conditions. Before the advent of sprinkler systems, improved turf and equipment advancements, superintendents did not have the ability to maintain courses like they do today. Courses were actually mowed by using rabbits, and sheep! Greens ranged from being grass, to an oil-cottonseed combination, to sand, and even to crushed shells depending on what part of the country they were located.

Here's how you play Every Club.

This practice game is played around the green.

  • Select a starting point along with your target hole.
  • You now have one shot with each club in your bag, and they cannot be in order. For example, your first shot might be with a 9 iron, while your next shot from the same spot could now be with a 3 wood and so on. I like to go from a short club followed by a long club, mixing it up so the player has to adjust to different shaft lengths and lofts without becoming too comfortable.

Only being allowed to play one shot with one club, really puts the pressure on just like you get on the course. More importantly, it allows the discovery and creativity of developing shot making skills with clubs perhaps never previously considered. After time, the player will stumble upon a better way to play the shot with a club that previously wasn't even on their radar.

Drills Can Be Fun AND Build Skills At The Same Time!

Our final game teaches young athletes, and adults to learn the importance of managing not only their adrenaline, but also their emotions. The sooner they learn these skills, the better they become. These skills are accomplished through the game 'Sprint Challenge'.

3) Sprint Challenge

  • Place targets on the practice range or short game area. Targets can be of any distance.
  • Have everyone line up ready to race.
  • Each competitor has their own designated area they will run to where practice balls have been positioned. The hitting stations MUST be even.
  • Continue by placing the club to be used ten feet before each hitting station.
  • Give the GO signal and everyone at once sprints to their club.
  • Upon reaching their club, the athletes must compose themselves by slowing their breathing and heart rate down.
  • This is followed by executing their pre-shot routine and then playing their shot.
  • After hitting the shot, the athletes will place the club in its original spot then sprint back to the starting point ready to begin again.
  • Closest to the target selected wins!

I hope you've enjoyed learning a few ways to make your practice time FUN no matter what age you are. Remember, you can never go wrong if you make it FUN-just be a kid!

Suzanne Noblett

Suzanne Noblett coaches young athletes and adults in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and is the owner of Noblett Golf Services, Inc. She is an LPGA Class A Member and 2-time LPGA Midwest Section Teacher of the Year. She has also been recognized by Golf Range Magazine as one of the Top 50 Instructors in the United States. Her credentials also include being a member of the Certified Golf Coaches Association, Proponent Group, and has received training from U.S. Kids Golf. Find Suzanne at

Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
- Driving (68)
- Putting (127)
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
- Lack of Distance (108)
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
- Grip (65)
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)