Practice Through The Trees

Bradley Hughes demonstrates a great way to practice by hitting through trees.


I'm back at my course, Rossdale Golf Club in Melbourne, where I grew up. And I used to do this on the driving range here. We had a double driving range. And I used to drop balls on one side of the range and teach myself shots through the trees, around the trees, over the trees, under the trees over to the other side so I could go pick them up again.

That was a great thing too. We got to hit our own balls so it really made practice better, more intense because I was using my own golf balls. And of course, I wanted to go find them all at the end. So it taught me to be more careful and better prepared in my practice session.

So this is a beautiful shot through the trees here. We've got gaps to the right, gaps to the left. We've got a gap up high.

So this is the beauty of teaching yourself golf. We can learn and read about and listen to as many people as we want how to play these shots, but until you know yourself in your body where you need to aim, where you need the ball, what you need to feel, it's going to be very difficult. So there is no substitute for practice. We need to play these shots so we know how to do it.

4 iron. I'm going to go out to the right here. And we're going to hit a low draw. And I'm not being careful. I'm using my eyes.

I'm sensing where I need to be. I'm visualizing my ball through that slot and drawing. There we go. Right through. It went low, drew through the slot, didn't touch a thing.

Let's try the other way with a 4 iron. We'll go around this side. Little bit hard shot because when we're cutting the ball it tends to want to go higher. So it will definitely go higher, but we've got to know where we need to be in relation to that to make it happen.

So again, cut that around the trees. Didn't really care what I was doing with my swing. I know my visualization. I know where I need to be in relation to these shots to be able to pull them off.

Now, we'll go high. We'll try a high one. It's not really a clear get there. I may hit the tree, but I'm going to use an 8 iron. We're going to go up here so I know where I need to be in relation to this ball and my visualization to just make this shot happen. Didn't quite get it through the gap I envisioned, but got through and I'm out on the fairway again.

So practice these shots. We can learn all we want how to do them, but the end is it's up to you. If we don't practice something we won't know how to do it and we'll get too technically tied to trying to do the perfect thing. What I feel for each of those shots is going to be probably different to what you feel.

We're all different people. We all see things differently. And we all have different triggers to make the ball react how we want. So learn it and then you'll have it forever.