3 Strategies to Maximize Your Golf Simulator Practice

Golf Practicing During Bad Weather Indoors in a Golf Simulator

All golf practice isn’t created equal. 

While a golf simulator isn’t quite as good as hitting from real grass on the driving range, it’s much better than no practice at all. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than paying Pebble Beach’s $595 tee times (that’s without a caddy).

How to Practice in a Golf Simulator

But like practicing on the range, a lot of golfers don’t make the most of each simulator session. Use these three strategies to ensure you’re making progress toward your golf goals. 

1. Distance Management

Knowing how far you hit each club is one of the most important parts of golf. If you don’t know your distances on the course it’s nearly impossible to pick the right club and hit greens in regulation.

Use your simulator to effectively track how far you hit each club and make a yardage guide. Check out the Under Par guide to creating a yardage guide to do this effectively if your simulator or launch monitor does not have a tool to do this automatically. 

For lower handicaps, working on your distance management with your wedges is a key element of scoring. Dial in your yardages with your wedges during the offseason to build confidence heading into the season. You should see your average birdies per round tick up as you get better at distance management with your wedges.

2. Shot Shape

The second way to effectively use a simulator is by working on your shot shape. You can do this two ways; block practice and the 9-shot drills.

For a block of time focus on hitting a shot shape that isn’t natural for your swing. Maybe it’s a draw if you normally play a cut or flighting it low if you hit a lot of high shots. Work on that shot shape over and over again to feel the motion.  

Then, move on to Tiger’s patented “9-shot” drill. 

The goal is simple, hit all nine shots in a row with one club. That includes three fades, three draws, and three straight shots at high, low, and normal trajectories. 

If you struggle with all nine shot shapes, don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, the goal isn’t necessarily to hit all nine in a row but instead mix up practice and learn club face control.

This way when you’re on the golf course and need to avoid a tree or other obstacle, you’re prepared for any type of shot. 

3. Playing Golf 

Finally, use a simulator to play golf instead of just practicing like it’s a driving range. Play 9 or 18 holes when you can and go through your full pre-shot routine. Talk out the shot, pick your targets, and challenge yourself in the simulator just like a normal round of golf.

You can make it even more difficult by adding consequences if you miss the green or fairway too. A good example is having to do push-ups or squats if you don’t reach your goals. Plus, these exercises will get your heart rate up and simulate nerves in tournaments as well.

Use these three simulator practice tips to mix up your routines and ensure you’re ready to go low when you tee it up. 

About the Author
Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard is a full-time writer, author, creator of Wicked Smart Golf and +1 handicap amateur golfer. He left his corporate, national sales career in 2017 to pursue entrepreneurship and professional golf; since then, he’s competed in 160+ tournament days and went to Q-school in 2019.

Now, his mission is simple -- help more golfers play better without swing changes. Learn more about his book, Wicked Smart Golf, to play better golf without changing your swing on Amazon now!


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