Short Story Preview: Practice makes Perfect – Malcolm Allen
Go to a professional tournament and stand for a couple of hours on the practice range. An hour or so before the players’ tee time you will see our
heroes making their way down with their caddies, coaches and, depending how famous they are, a number of indeterminate hangers-on. There follow some cheery greetings with other Pros, a few warming up exercises and then the practising begins. Short irons first, working up to the woods and sometimes vice versa. There is nothing hurried about this, there is pause for thought between shots, more chatting, some minor adjustments suggested by the coach and then, after ninety minutes of long, accurate and easy shot making, it’s off to the practice green for a final 20 minutes putting before the tee time and the chance to make a million. Of course there’s a pile of new balls available for each player, the caddy is on hand to place the balls on a tee and clean clubs and there is a pleasant five hour round ahead of you before another hour’s fine tuning afterwards.
For we club hackers it is not quite the same. Get your tokens for the ball dispenser, fill a bucket of range balls which, shall we say, are not great
quality and it’s out to the driving range to practise all and each of the faults in your swing which you should be trying to cut out, not repeat. For most of us higher handicappers practising should be avoided at all costs. Besides which, it is a totally tedious pursuit like watching paint dry when standing in a draught. Just take a look around the practice area to see what I mean.