Learning vs. Performing in Golf

From Dr. Greg Rose On March 31, 2021
One of the most important things you can do to improve your golf game is to practice intelligently. Practice is only effective if it helps you to learn. And as Titleist staff member Dr. Greg Rose reveals,... performing well during practice is not the same thing as learning. Performing well is having success in an isolated moment. Learning is harder. Real learning is about improving a skill and retaining that new level of proficiency.

So how can you tell if you're truly learning vs. performing well during practice? Something that Dr. Greg prescribes for all his players is a retention test. Set a simple goal. Create a test – a drill or game in which you can measure a particular skill with a score (number of chips inside three feet of the cup, for example). Then, wait two days. Come back and go through the same test. If you performed as well as your first go-around, you've learned the skill. If you don't score as well, you need to focus again on improving technique and mechanics until the new skill is more fully ingrained.
One of the most important things you can do to improve your golf game is to practice ... intelligently. Practice is only effective if it helps you to learn. And as Titleist staff member Dr. Greg Rose reveals, performing well during practice is not the same thing as learning. Performing well is having success in an isolated moment. Learning is harder. Real learning is about improving a skill and retaining that new level of proficiency.

So how can you tell if you're truly learning vs. performing well during practice? Something that Dr. Greg prescribes for all his players is a retention test. Set a simple goal. Create a test – a drill or game in which you can measure a particular skill with a score (number of chips inside three feet of the cup, for example). Then, wait two days. Come back and go through the same test. If you performed as well as your first go-around, you've learned the skill. If you don't score as well, you need to focus again on improving technique and mechanics until the new skill is more fully ingrained.
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