My Golf Instructor

Indoor Practice
It Can Be Better Than Outdoor!

Many times it's not realistic to practice outsideSometimes Outdoor Practice isn't an Option

Years ago when I went to work at the Michael Jordan Golf Center in Chicago I encountered indoor practice. We did have heated tees out on the range, but because it's like 20 degrees nine months out of the year even the die hard Chicago golfers need some reprieve! They had built a nice little studio with one mat, a net and some fancy cameras. I thought to myself "this will never work, people want to see the ball fly". I do have to admit that a lot of students were resistant at first, but once they came inside, got warm and were able to focus on their game instead of being cold, the advantage of being out of the elements started to show. Something strange happened. I quickly noticed how my winter time students improved faster than those in the summer. To most this wouldn't make sense. After all, they were hitting off of a mat, not seeing their results and hitting in a contained area makes a lot of golfers feel hesitant to swing full out. The key part of that last sentence is that they could not see their results.

It was amazing to me that when a student could not see where his or her ball was going, how they focused more on what their body was doing. It is natural to most people to want quick results, but unfortunately our society (especially Americans) has gotten extremely results oriented. We want things fast and easy. Food, phone calls, movies, answers, you name it. It can all be gotten at the push of a button or swipe of our finger. Some day someone will be reading this article and even that will be outdated. It will be voice or face recognition or some new technology. Rarely though do we enjoy or lavish in the process. Unfortunately golf doesn't fit in too well to our rushed society. It is best approached like a martial art. It is a life long journey to mastery.

Focusing on Practice, Not Results, Can Lead to Improvement

When I can get a student to work on their game indoors and forget about the result, success abounds. He or she becomes so much more in tune with what his or her body is doing that results indeed do come quicker. I tell my students over and over that they don't need the ball to change their swing. They can completely revamp what they are doing by simply practicing in their house going over technique and positions. Sure, eventually we need to swing at full speed, feel our ground contact and read what the ball is doing. Those things however, don't change our movements. We need to focus on our body and our senses first and then worry about the result. With good mechanics and rhythm results are guaranteed to come anyway so why fret about it.

The number of drills and practice techniques you can work on indoors are almost endless. It's all about learning the correct motion and positions and getting your brain to tell your body to do it over and over until you no longer need to think about it. Whether or not the ball is there, your brain should not care! If the weather doesn't cooperate, the course is closed or you simply don't have the time, just 10 minutes a day in your house will keep your game on track.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

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
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