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30-Day Practice Plan

Welcome to my COVID-19 30-day indoor (or backyard) practice plan. Over the next 30 days I’ll publish a video and some brief notes each day that will help you improve your golf game. I’ll publish the videos here, as well as:

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via Twitter or email.

Skip to a Day


By the way…

If you enjoy these videos, please consider supporting myself and Dave Wedzik by buying either our Lowest Score Wins book OR our LSW 4-Video Set. The latter was just released on Day 7 of this 30-Day Program and provides nearly 2½ hours of information that will help you shoot lower scores on the golf course tomorrow!

P.S. If you have a copy of the book, message me on Twitter or Instagram about how to save $30 (US) or 33% (outside the US).

Day 1 – Early Backswing

In the first day we examine the setup, grip, and the early backswing. Faults that we often see:

  • Bad grips (palmy, weak)
  • Bad setups (back flat, butt out, grip between thighs or too far away, wide)
  • Hands go out early
  • Hands/forearms roll the clubhead in early
  • Clubface rolled open prematurely

The drills for today include:

  • 1:30 – Left wrist only
  • 1:30 – Right wrist only
  • 2:00 – Split hand grip
  • 3:00 – Add pivot to A2

Day 2 – Shoulder Pitch

Today we practice turning our torso (as loosely measured across the shoulders) on the proper pitch or angle, roughly perpendicular to the torso angle at setup. Faults that we often see include:

  • Turning the shoulders too flat, which can cause a bunch of problems.
  • The head moving all around as the golfer “adjusts” his shoulder pitch in transition.
  • Poor contact

The drills for today include:

  • 1:00 – Airplane Wings
  • 2:00 – Shaft Across the Shoulders
  • 3:00 – Shoulder to the Spot

Day 3 – Trail Arm Work

On this third day, we’ll talk about one of the most common problems in amateur golf — the way the trail arm works in the golf swing. Far too many people do one or both of these things:

  • Get the trail elbow too far “around” or “behind” them.
  • Over-bend the trail elbow (below about 90°)
  • This causes all sorts of other issues that affect path, low point control, club face control, speed, “lag,” and more.

The drills for today include:

  • 2:00 – Left Arm and Reach
  • 2:00 – Left Hand Under Right Elbow
  • 2:00 – Two-Step Swing (Fold Elbow, Turn)

Day 4 – Lead Wrist Cupping and Palmar Flexion

The wrist conditions throughout the downswing have profound effects on the club face position, the “lag,” and so much more. The club face position will affect the path, which affects the quality of the strike, and on down the line. Suffice to say, the wrist conditions are very important and can create a lot of problems that cascade throughout the entire swing.

Typically, we see two common traits in golfers concerning the lead wrist:

    First, and far more common:

  • Golfers grip the club palmy and weak. This often lets them have a “flat left wrist” at setup, but hinders their ability to deliver a “flat left wrist” at impact.
  • These golfers will be cupped or even add cupping to the lead wrist at the top of the backswing (A4). The toe hangs “down.”
  • As a reaction to that, and in an attempt to square the face, the golfer will do a number of things, including throwing the club out over the top in an attempt to swing left (“path is instinctual,” and the golfer feels the face is open, so they swing left to try to start the ball left) or flip the wrists to attempt to square the face. Both of these are demonstrated in the video.
    Second, and less common:

  • Golfers attempt to maintain a “flat left wrist” at the top of the backswing and are flat or even slightly arched. These golfers are often laid off, too.
  • Because they’re not Dustin Johnson, and often exacerbated by the club being laid off, these golfers cup and swing “over the top” throughout the downswing: the wrist gets “tired” of being arched (flexed) and moves in the opposite direction (extension, cupping) and the clubhead is so far “behind” them and under the plane that they throw it back out in front of them and get on top of the plane.
  • Few golfers are Dustin Johnson or Graham McDowell, so they can’t rotate quite as hard in order to maintain these wrist conditions for very long.

As you can imagine, neither tend to be a great way to play golf.

Today’s drills are my attempt at helping you learn a reasonably “good” pattern with the lead wrist:

  1. Slight cupping at setup. I grip the club somewhat “strong” throughout the video to make this cupping more apparent, but even a neutral grip will have a little cupping at setup.
  2. Slight cupping at the top. Note that the leading edge and the lead forearm are roughly parallel to each other, and this is traditionally seen as “square” at the top, A4.
  3. Adding a little twist, a little palmar flexion, throughout the downswing so that the leading edge is slightly “toe down” at A6 (shaft horizontal on the downswing).

The drills for today include:

    Twice today:

  • 0:30 – Observe grip “strength” at setup.
  • 1:00 – At A4 (top), check leading edge “squareness.”
  • 2:30 – Swing down to slight “toe down” while palmar flexing.

The additional notes for each of the bullet points above are:

  • 0:30 – Observe grip “strength” at setup. Use a mirror and look down at your wrists. Note how much “cupping” exists at setup.
  • 1:00 – At A4 (top), check leading edge “squareness.” Use a mirror. There will likely be a little cupping at A4. Make sure the shaft is relatively close to on plane (not laid off, not across the line).
  • 2:30 – Swing down to slight “toe down” while palmar flexing. Do these at various speeds, as the faster you swing down the more it will feel like you have to palmar flex.

Day 5 – Delivering the Clubhead

As golfers, we’re aware of the fact that we hit the ball with the clubhead. This can cause problems, however, if the hands become overly active and we end up throwing the clubhead, our hands, or our arms at the ball, instead of using our body — our core — to help deliver the clubhead to the ball. Today’s drill is a simple one, but it’s one that can help you feel a better impact position and fix:

  • flipping the clubhead at the ball.
  • hands rolling over quickly in the early follow-through.
  • your chest and hips remaining too square to the ball through impact.
  • loss of speed and power by the core/hips stalling out.

The drills for today include:

  • 1:00 – Review yesterday’s lesson to ensure you’re in a good place at A6.
  • 5:00 – Swing to A6, make a small “pump” move, hit the ball with a good pivot forward, and slam on the brakes. Check your positioning.

The “check your positioning” means you should see:

  • Arms extended (not bent).
  • Armpits somewhat off your ribs (no dragging the hands WAY left).
  • The leading edge of the club at about 30-35° or so, roughly matching your inclination.
  • No flipping or rolling of the hands, wrists, or forearms.
  • Chest and hips facing toward or even left of the target.
  • Lead leg extended, back foot just barely on the toes.

Day 6 – Chipping (Leading Edge)

I prefer not to define “chips” and “pitches” by how far the ball flies or rolls out, nor by the height or launch angle of the ball, for a variety of reasons. I prefer to define a “chipping” and “pitching” motion by the motions themselves. A chip, to me, is a shot that uses shaft lean to deliver the leading edge of the club first to the ground. It’s a shot that favors either a margin of error in the lie (i.e. a ball sitting up a little in the rough) or fairly precise contact on a margin-less lie (a tight lie in the fringe or fairway). Amateurs, of course, do several things poorly when chipping:

  • Open stance.
  • Weight stays centered or back.
  • “Throwing” the trail wrist to deliver the clubhead.
  • Bending their arms to help lift the ball.

There’s just one drill for today, so do it for 5:00 or 3:00 twice:

  • Put down two dimes about a clubhead width apart.
  • Set up properly (weight forward, gripped down, ball in the middle of your stance, shaft forward slightly).
  • Make short swings chipping the front dime while missing the back one.
  • As you succeed, make longer chipping motions.

Note: I tend to teach both ends of the “spectrum” – chipping at one end, pitching at the other – with the understanding that virtually every short game shot you hit on the course exists somewhere in between. You almost never hit a “pure chip” or a “pure pitch,” but if you know where the endpoints are, the rest is up to your imagination.

Day 7 – Pitching (Sole or “Glide”)

As I wrote on Day 6, I prefer not to define “chips” and “pitches” by how far the ball flies or rolls out, nor by the height or launch angle of the ball, but rather by the motions themselves. A pitch, to me, is a shot that uses little shaft lean and exposes the sole, bounce, or “glide” of the clubhead to the ground, providing a good amount of forgiveness to the shot as the clubhead will “glide” along the ground for an extended period of time. Depending on how they’ve been taught, amateurs make a lot of mistakes when pitching, including:

  • Tipping back to try to get height on the shot.
  • Trying to manually “throw” the clubhead under the ball, or “forcing” it under.
  • Taking a very open stance, which often effectively moves the ball back in your stance.
  • Taking the clubhead up and out away from them so they can “cut under” the ball.

Today’s drills are:

  • 2:00 – Swing back, let the clubhead fall down with gravity.
  • 4:00 – Backswing, fall, and pivot without a ball. Then repeat this motion with a ball, hitting the ball.
  • 1:00 – Pitch two balls at the same time.

Note: I tend to teach both ends of the “spectrum” – chipping at one end, pitching at the other – with the understanding that virtually every short game shot you hit on the course exists somewhere in between. You almost never hit a “pure chip” or a “pure pitch,” but if you know where the endpoints are, the rest is up to your imagination.

Day 8 – Putting (Rhythm, Tempo, Alignment Sticks)

In our first putting session of the month, we combine two things: an understanding of the rhythm and tempo (and their definitions) with one of my favorite “build-it-yourself” training aids for putting: two alignment sticks and a hair tie.

To be honest I didn’t communicate very clearly in the video itself, so I’m going to write a bit more here for this one.

First, some definitions:

  • Rhythm – This is the ratio of the backswing to the downswing. Most good putters achieve close to a 2:1 ratio, backswing to downswing, regardless of the length of the putt.
  • Tempo – People often think this is the “time” of the putt, but it’s not: it’s the speed of the putt(er head). This is not consistent across putts of different lengths, of course.
  • Time – This is the total duration of the putting stroke, and is also consistent across putts of different lengths in good putters.

In today’s drill, you’ll do two things:

  • Find the ideal time for your putting stroke using an application like this (for iOS).
  • Build a quick training aid with two alignment sticks and a hair tie to help control your wrists.

First, download an application like the one linked above that lets you play a tone in a beat. I like to set the application to 2/4 time and you’ll want to start at between 66 and 86 beats per minute or so. Make some strokes to the beat or tones and adjust the timing in the app until you feel you’ve got a beat that exactly matches your personal feel. Don’t try to let the beats influence you – adjust the beats to match your natural feel.

Then, once you’ve found your timing, build the training aid as shown in the video, and make backswings and downswings while playing the beat. Pause the beat for awhile and focus on swinging the putter head with the sticks, then turn the beat back on again to focus on the timing of your stroke. The beat should play at either:

  • The endpoints of your backswing and follow-through.
  • When the putter head passes the low point of the arc backward or forward.

In the customary format, today’s drills are:

  • 2:00 – Find the beat that works for you.
  • 4:00 – With the sticks under your arms, practice making strokes of different sizes to your chosen beat.

Day 9 – Arm Speed (Snapping Sticks)

We’re getting back to some full swing work here on Day 9, and we’re talking about the arms. Golfers do a lot of bad things with their arms, and today’s drill is good for those who:

  • Rotate the body but leave the arms back on the downswing.
  • Carry the arms out toward the ball at the top of the backswing.
  • Drag their hands deeper behind them at the top of the backswing.
  • Pitch the clubhead (shaft) out steeper on the downswing.

Today’s drills (which you’ll do twice) are simply:

  • 2:00 – Snap an alignment stick down FAST.
  • 1:00 – Repeat the same drill with a 6-iron.
  • Repeat both.

Day 10 – Full Swing Flow

Rory McIlroy has good flow, and unlike hockey, we’re not talking about his hair. Find out how you can get a little bit more flow — all while staying “steady” and “centered” — in your golf swing. This is Day 10 of my 30-Day April Practice Plan.

Amateurs do a number of things poorly in the golf swing, including:

  • Sway their hips back leaving their upper body forward.
  • Keep their hips well forward in the backswing.
  • (Not shown in the video) Sway both centers back dramatically on the backswing (often leaving them there).

Today’s drills:

  • 3:00 – Single-step (back foot) flow drill
  • 2:00 – Double-step flow drill
  • 2:00 – Find your personal trigger

Day 11 – Putting Pendulum

Many, many, many golfers swing the putter head back about the same distance regardless of whether they have a ten-foot putt or a forty-foot putt. Today’s very quick lesson and drill will help you develop a putting stroke that is like that of a pendulum in one important way: the backswing length closely matches the follow-through length.

Amateurs do one thing more than almost everything else, so today’s list is very short:

  • Make a short backswing, accelerating through the ball

It’s tough to blame them, however, given the many, many times they’ve likely heard that they “decelerated” through the putt, or didn’t accelerate through the putt. Turns out they’ve heard some BAD information.

Watch this:

What was he talking about?

This post and this post. Because today’s drill is so simple, read those posts! It’s part of your assignment today. Understand why you’re trying to do this drill:

That drill is:

  • 8:00 – Different length putts matching backswing and follow-through length

Again, read the links above. Otherwise, what are you even doing here?

Day 12 – Trail Arm Throwing

Today’s drill builds upon two previous drills: the trail elbow work from Day 3 and the Flow work from Day 10. This drill builds upon some natural athleticism (so, let’s hope you have some! Ha ha) to further ingrain the feelings of how the trail elbow work during the backswing and downswing and how the body moves to build momentum and flow.

We’ve covered the flaws of golfers in those previous lessons, so I won’t repeat the list here, but suffice to say flaws with the trail elbow and body flow tend to be among the toughest for golfers to fix, and the most prevalent.

The drill for today is simple:

  • 8:00 – Practice good flow while using your trail arm to simulate tossing a club.

Day 13 – High Pitches and Flops

Building on Day 7‘s pitching technique, “setting up to the handle” allows you to use the same technique and most of the same setup to hit high, soft shots for those times when you need to elevate the ball quickly and stop without much roll.

In today’s drill it’s important to:

  • Put the club down with the loft you desire.
  • Set up to the handle, keeping as much of the setup from the original (day 7) the same.
  • Not to move the handle during setup, but to keep the club in the same position and make your body fit the club, not the other way around.

The drills for today are simple:

  • 5:00 – On-course level high pitches and flop shots.
  • 2:00 – Extreme flop shots – try to hit one high enough you can catch it.

Day 14 – Eye-Hand-Club Coordination

Golf is an athletic endeavor, and in addition to speed, endurance, and strategy, one of the essential skills is hand-eye coordination. Today’s drill is just a little game to test your hand-eye (or “hand-club”) coordination.

The drills for today are simple:

  • 8:00 – Set up to the middle tee (ball, crumpled up paper, etc.) and hit either the inside or outside ball.
  • Note: if someone can “call” the shot after you start your backswing, even better.

Day 15 – Putting “Bead” Work

Great putters are good at putting’s three keys: Read, Bead, and Speed. Today’s drills focus on the “Bead” Key by ensuring that you can hit your start line and hit the center of the putter face. You’ll need a metal yardstick, some cups or glasses, and a few extra golf balls. With these simple supplies, you can become a better putter!

For today’s drills, again, you’ll need:

  • A metal yardstick.
  • Two cups or glasses.
  • Two extra golf balls.
  • A desire to improve your putting stroke. 😉

The drills for today:

  • 2:00 – Putt off the end of the metal yardstick.
  • 2:00 – Putt a ball between cups positioned three feet in front of you.
  • 3:00 – Putt a ball swinging the putter head between two more golf balls.
  • 3:00 – Combine two of the above (ideally one of the first two and the last one).

Day 16 – Double Stork Drill

Today’s drill builds upon some of the previous drills and teaches you how to engage your glutes, hips, and torso/ribs to build up torque in the backswing and downswing. It’s an ankle and core workout, too, as your balance and stability will be tested.

The drills for today:

  • 3:00 – Stand on only your trail leg with your lead leg on its tip-toe, swing back to A3.
  • 1:00 – Take a break.
  • 3:00 – Stand on only your lead leg with your trail leg on its tip-toe, swing from A3 to just past impact.

Day 17 – Double Noodle Drill

Are you ready to go skiing? Today’s drills talk about balance, stability, and keeping the pressure “between your feet.” Nearing the end of our discussion on weight, pressure, shifts, sways, torques… etc. we follow up the double-stork drill with the double-noodle drill. This drill, like Day 16, engages your ankles, core, and glutes, and teaches you to shift pressure while staying “within your stance” or “between your feet.”

It is important that you do these drills:

  • Slowly – don’t swing fast. Move slowly so that you’re truly checking and testing your stability and so that you can feel what you’re doing.
  • On firm, flat ground – don’t throw a pool noodle down in a lumpy lawn. Put the noodle down on a firm, flat surface so your feet are above the ground an inch or two.

The drills for today:

  • 2:00 – Take setup on noodles, swing 1′-2′ back and forth.
  • 3:00 – Backswings to A3 staying over the trail ankle.
  • 3:00 – Downswings just past impact, pressure to front ankle.

Day 18 – Swing Path Gate Drill

Key #4 is “Sweetspot Path” or “Diagonal Sweetspot Path,” and it governs the path the clubhead or sweetspot takes on the downswing and, most importantly, at impact. A good path is not too inward or outward, but is almost never truly “square,” either. Today’s drills will teach you what you have to feel to deliver the clubhead along different paths.

While the vast majority of amateurs swing to the left, making that drill feel “easy” to them, there are golfers who swing too far to the right by various incorrect means. In today’s drills, pay attention to which drills feel easiest and which ones are tough to do, and why.

As with all drills, start doing them slowly and ramp up the speed as you go.

The drills for today:

  • 3:00 – Square (straight) path
  • 2:00 – Leftward path
  • 2:00 – Rightward path
  • 2:00 – Whichever you found most difficult

Day 19 – Trail Side Band Pull

This is a great and very simple drill that helps you understand how the trail hip moves both BACK (both away from the target and the ball) and UP during the backswing. You’ll need some form of elastic band for this, but the feelings created today will lead to an improved backswing that engages more of your core and keeps your weight and pressure in usable positions.

As with all drills, start doing them slowly and ramp up the speed as you go.

The drills for today:

  • 3:00 – Band pulls (in front of a mirror)
  • 1:00 – Break time!
  • 1:00 – Rehearsal with a club
  • 3:00 – Band pulls (in front of a mirror)

Day 20 – Lead Arm Throwing

Today’s drill will teach you two things: first, it’ll help you determine how much lead arm “depth” you need. Second, it’ll teach you one of the better ways to actually ACHIEVE that depth, without just “moving your arms to that point.”

As with all drills, start doing them slowly and ramp up the speed as you go.

The drills for today:

  • 3:00 – Swing lead arm forward, back to 3, stop and check
  • 2:00 – Do the same as above near a wall so clubhead ascends
  • 3:00 – Make regular backswings near a wall with your trigger

Day 21 – Low Point Control

Low point control is essential in golf – we’ve all heard the phrase “hit the little ball before the big ball.” Today’s drill gives you a way to check this essential skill for yourself: to see if you can truly control your low point and make ball-first contact. Are you up for it?

The drills for today:

  • 1:00 – Chipping setup, no ball, miss the towel
  • 2:00 – Add a ball, hit chip shots
  • 2:00 – Medium length mid-iron swings, no ball
  • 3:00 – Medium length mid-iron swings, add a ball

Day 22 – Proper Setup

Getting into a proper setup is important, and while we touched on it briefly in Day 1, today I’ll show you three drills that will help to ensure a good, balanced setup with the proper hip inclination, back rounding/straightness, balance in your feet, chin height, arm hang, and knee flex.

The drills for today:

  • 2:00 – Club hang (check in a mirror)
  • 2:00 – Weighted hang (check in a mirror!)
  • 2:00 – Setup on a pool noodle, maintain for 5 seconds
  • 2:00 – Check setup (in a mirror) with a mid-iron

Day 23 – Pre-Shot and Post-Shot Routine

The pre-shot routine is essential in creating comfort and familiarity, particularly when faced with a difficult shot. It is a way of telling yourself “I’ve done this a thousand times before.” Bad golfers tend to have a poor pre-shot routine: it’s inconsistent in both the timing and the motions or actions. It lacks a purpose. Today we’ll build you a good pre-shot routine.

Additionally, we talk about what I include in a post-shot routine, or a post-shot analysis. I like to have my students assess four things: contact, distance, flight, and start line. Why? So they can recognize patterns and make subtle adjustments on the golf course.

Your tasks for today:

  • 4:00 – Film your pre-shot routine. Write down everything you do and the time it takes.
  • 1:00 – “Edit” it. Decide if it’s too short or too long.
  • 3:00 – Film yourself several times in doing your pre-shot routine. Make sure it’s consistently the same motions and time.

Day 24 – Trail Arm Pitching

This is one of my favorite drills to really nail in hitting proper, good pitch shots. By removing the lead arm and hand, you remove a bunch of leverage, and must rely on the weight of the clubhead “falling” while you pivot to hit solid, good pitches. Try to do any of three things — 1) let your elbow separate from your body, 2) thrust your trail arm at the ball, or 3) flip your wrist to try to slide the clubhead under the ball — and you’ll meet with disaster.

Drills today:

  • 6:00 – Hit pitch shots with just your trail hand.
  • 2:00 – Hit pitch shots with both hands, keeping the lead hand on the club very lightly.
  • 2:00 – Hit pitch shots with both hands on the club normally.

Day 25 – Sequencing Drills

Today I have two drills for you. One will help you sequence the backswing properly, keeping the arms relatively “in front of” the chest and carried along by the pivot. The second will help you sequence the backswing and the downswing, especially if you’ve heard that the lower body starts before the upper body, and you “spin out” of shots by letting the lower body get well ahead of the upper body.

Drills today:

  • 3:00 – Backswings with club in sternum
  • 1:00 – Rehearsal backswings with same feel
  • 3:00 – Swings with finger pointing out of chest
  • 1:00 – Rehearsal swings with same feel

Day 26 – Turn, Tilt, and Extend

Your body does three things during the backswing (and the downswing): it turns (or twists), it tilts, and it extends. Today, a simple, easy drill to help you feel this motion independent of the arms on the backswing and downswing into the follow-through.

Drills today:

  • 3:00 – Backswing
  • 3:00 – Downswing/Follow-Through
  • 2:00 – Repeat the feels with a normal grip/setup

Day 27 – Early Extension

A little bit goes a long way. A little Early Extension — or “goat humping” as it’s sometimes called — can help your ball go a long way. It’s a little power move that can add clubhead speed. But a lot of golfers abuse this, and even more use it as a compensation for a crowded setup, to slow down a clubhead that wants to tip out over the top, or more, resulting in LOST distance with poor contact and a poor path into the golf ball. Today, two drills to help you leave those poor goats alone.

Drills today:

  • 4:00 – EE wall drill, butt version
  • 4:00 – EE wall drill, head version
  • 2:00 – Normal swings focusing on feeling the same things

Day 28 – Advanced Shoulder Tilts

Today you’re going to look kind of stupid, but this drill is a GREAT way to figure out a few things. Today’s drill will help you tilt properly on the backswing, “back into” the target by shifting slightly forward in transition, and then clearing the right shoulder under and around in the downswing and follow-through. It’ll also help you make sure you’re turning 90° and getting all the power out of your backswing that you can get.

Drills today:

  • 10:00 – Determine when your family will be gone so that you can tie a stick around your chest without being made fun of for weeks.
  • 6:00 – Slow rehearsal swings missing the stick three times (backswing, transition, trail stick).
  • 3:00 – Softly, slowly hit shots with the stick in place.

Day 29 – Advanced Stick Work

You’ve no doubt seen a stick put on the front side of your body, but the back side? Whose crazy idea is that? Stick around, though, because this drill will help you go “steep to shallow” like many people are working to do these days, all while making sure your backswing is well synchronized, with your arms and torso working in the proper dimensions. “Stick” around for this one!

Drills today:

  • 3:00 – Backswing only
  • 3:00 – Backswing + transition
  • 3:00 – Backswing, transition, downswing

Day 30 – Swing Mapping

This may be the most difficult drill of the 30+ drills I’ve given you. Today, we’re going to make very, very slow swings, as evidence supports the idea that a swing which activates the muscles and neuropathways in the proper sequence gets myelinated just the same, regardless of speed, leading to future increases in performance, even if the swing is at slow speeds. How long of a swing can you make? And by “long” I’m not talking about distance, but TIME.

Drills today:

  • 1:00 – Two 30-second-long swings.
  • 0:30 – Fast swings with good form.
  • Repeat 4x more
  • 1:00 – Two 30-second-long driver swings.
  • 2:00 – Fast driver swings with good form.