Canadian Fade - Play, Practice, Enjoy



Dedicate Your May Practice Sessions To Seve

Derek Highley - Tuesday, May 01, 2012

May 7th will mark the one year anniversary of the passing of Spanish golf legend Severiano “Seve” Ballesteros so I find it a fitting time to pass along this great practice routine.

Seve is generally regarded as one of the best European players of all time, famous for his amazing short game and his extraordinary imagination around the green.  Seve was a magician when it came to saving strokes with his wedge play.  Most golfers understand that the best way for them to quickly lower their scores is to improve upon their chipping and putting but I rarely see players practicing this aspect of their game.  The main reason being that most feel that spending time chipping, pitching and putting is not as fun and exciting as blasting away at a bucket of balls with the driver.  Hopefully this routine will help to even things out a bit by making you short game practice a little more interesting. 

The “Seve Game”, as it is known livens up short game practice sessions.  It is the perfect way for you to measure your current short game ability, sharpen your skills around the green and incorporate fun into your practice, all while paying tribute to the “Maestro” himself, Seve Ballesteros.

Here is how it works:

You need to pretend that you are Seve and you have missed all eighteen greens during your round.  The goal is to still achieve the lowest score possible.  To really make the game fun you need to find a practice green that has a bit a room around it so you can get some variety in your shots and you will also want to have a bunker available.

Start by choosing eighteen different spots around the green.  You are going to play one ball from each spot, onto the green, then putt out into the hole.  Keep track of all shots played so that you get a total for your round.  For example if the master himself, Seve was to get each of the eighteen balls up and down (one chip and one putt) he would shoot even par.  For the sakes of our game we will make it a par of 72.  Quite a feat!

To give yourself variety here is how you need to break down your eighteen shots:

  • 3 shots from about 5 feet off the green (simple chip shots)
  • 3 shots from about 15 feet off the green (simple pitch shots)
  • 3 shots from rough around the green
  • 3 shots from a bunker
  • 3 shots that have to carry over a bunker or other obstacle (flop/lob shots)
  • 3 trouble shots; be creative (in bushes, under branches, off cart path etc)

Play all eighteen shots, tally up your score and see how you did.

I love this drill because it keeps short game practice diverse and fun and it allows you to measure progress and challenge yourself to keep setting personal bests.  But most importantly with the “Seve Game” you are simulating real play which makes it easier to transfer your practice over to the course where it really counts.

So for the month of May release your inner Seve, it will do wonders for your game.

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