Practice Makes Perfect, Right?  

Kim Anders
Director of Instruction
John Jacobs Golf Schools and Academies Estrella del Mar Golf and Beach Resort
Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, AZ

More Information

The PGA Tour LatinoAmerica Qualifying Tournament is here this week and many of the residents have been out following the players and watching them practice. This has prompted a lot of interesting questions and comments for me to address.  

Comments have included “These guys really swing hard. They sure practice a lot. Their muscle memory is incredible. And, This proves practice makes perfect!”   

Let’s start with the idea that practice makes perfect. Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent! Perfect practice makes perfect.  

Does your practice session involve getting a couple of large buckets of balls, head to the practice tee and start going through several exercises and thoughts you recently read about? If one idea doesn’t work, you move on to the next one on the list? 

When you practice do it with a purpose, a plan. Consider about 40 or 50 balls for a practice session, not a couple hundred. Start with some practice swings – a lot of practice swings using the moves or positions you want to be doing.  

Watch your shadow. If your shadow looks good you probably look good. When you start hitting balls, looking good and doing what you wanted to work on is most important. Where the ball goes is of little importance.  

Hit a few balls making sure you evaluate what you have done, good or bad, on each swing. Then make some more practice swings correcting any aspect of your swing you didn’t do properly.  

If your swing feels good, don’t mess with it. The problem is more likely to be in your setup, or grip, or some part of the swing you haven’t addressed.

A good practice session involving 50 balls should last at least 45 minutes, if done properly. Practice properly! Quality practice not quantity practice. Lots of practice swings, lots of thought about what you are doing and what you want to be doing.  

Hitting hundreds of balls only perfects what you are doing – it doesn’t make your swing perfect, it makes your swing permanent.  

If you need help getting a better swing, see your PGA Professional so you can learn what you should be practicing.  

And finally, Tour players swing faster than most of us, not harder, they practice with a purpose, and muscles don’t have any memory. Only your brain has memory, so train it to make good swings. You’ll be surprised how much your game improves!    

Kim Anders is Director of Instruction at the John Jacobs Golf Schools and Academies at the Estrella del Mar Golf and Beach Resort in Mazatlan Mexico. You can contact Kim at