A few weeks ago I was hitting some balls on the practice fairway. It was late afternoon and there wasn’t anyone else about – the perfect environment to get lost in your thoughts, explore, learn and have some fun.

I don’t practice that often, but when I do I rarely hit the same shot two times in a row. I hit an array of shots, low ones, high ones and I attempt to maneuver the ball both ways. This is the only way I feel I get something from the practice session. If I don’t play around, I get bored and feel I get exercise rather than any beneficial improvement.

For some reason I was getting a little bored. Even though I was enjoying the experience of being outside and feeling club whack ball, I was getting distracted and tired of the usual routine. In most instances this is a sign to stop, go do something else or call it a day. Today I decided to ramp the practice session up a little.

When most of us practice our golf we choose peachy lies. We sit the ball up on a nice bit of grass and hit away. This is all fine and dandy but we’re not always pushing ourselves.

A perfect lie

So I looked around and found a nasty bit of turf with lots of divots. I plonked some balls down and started hitting. The poor lie forced my mind to be on the job. Any slight mishit was punished with a poor result and any boredom was punched out of me.

A nasty golf divot – perfect to challenge yourself in a practice session

“how else can I challenge myself further?”, I asked. This was quite a bit of fun and I wanted more.

I grabbed some pills and headed for a nearby bunker. The sand was fine and fluffy and if I was going to hit some good shots the contact needed to be spot on. My first shot was no good – I hit the ball fat and it was miles short of the target.

A challenging lie from the sand

After a few minutes I was in the zone – clipping the ball from the sand and watching it fly true. Hitting different shots was certainly difficult but in most instances I was getting some success. Before I knew it I had killed 30 minutes and felt I had a challenging and worthwhile session.

If you find practice boring or you feel you’re not getting anywhere with your practice sessions, then maybe you need to challenge yourself further. While hitting perfect shots from perfect lies seems like a good idea, sometimes you must push your learning system.

If nothing else you’ll learn something new and when faced with the “normal” it will appear so much easier. How else can you ramp up your practice session?