Contrary to popular belief, golf is not exclusively an outdoor sport. It can be played outside on a golf course, indoors on a simulator, or even a mixture of both at places like Top Golf or Great Shots. But, if you only have access to golf for a few months out of the year, or don't have the financial means to join a local country club, indoor golf is the perfect alternative. It doesn't have to break the bank and you can see just as much progress in your game practicing indoors as you can outdoors. You can get better practicing indoors and to prove it, we're here to provide you with some of the best indoor practice golf tips and go-to indoor training aids on the market.
Many golfers spend too much time trying to emulate top-ranked PGA Tour players. But, that isn't the best way to shoot lower scores. Tailoring your practice sessions to your own game is imperative to becoming a better golfer. As much as we all want to be the next Tiger Woods or Justin Thomas, the only way to get there is to have practice sessions tailored to your individual needs. These practice sessions can be spent outdoors on a driving range or indoors on a simulator working on your golf swing.
Can Indoor Practice Help You Get Better?
Regularly scheduled practice, regardless of the location, is your best possible chance at shaving off those last few unwanted strokes from your handicap. But, if you don't have access to a driving range or outdoor practice facility, and indoor golf is your only option, you can undoubtedly become a better golfer by practicing indoors.
Practicing indoors gives you the unique ability to become less results-oriented in your practice sessions and more process-oriented. Whether it's more distance you're looking for or you're on a quest to construct the perfect golf swing with a balanced finish, being able to focus on each individual step is going to have you on your way to better golf. Sometimes, not being able to see the actual flight of your golf ball can allow your brain to let go of trying to force a specific result. Instead, it'll allow you to focus on the process that has to happen to achieve those results.
Watch the Golf Channel or surf the web and you'll find swing tips around every corner. But the best golf tips to pay attention to are the ones that are not gimmicky but instead focus on the process. So, what is the process? Everything you do to prepare to hit a golf shot. Collecting all the necessary information that can affect the execution of a shot like what club to hit, what the wind is doing, any elevation changes, the temperature outside, etc. are all part of the process. Drilling down on your process, however it might look, can be done while practicing indoors. In fact, it's actually one of the best places to work on it aside from playing a competitive round of golf.
Top 5 Golf Tips When Practicing Indoors
1. Develop a Solid Practice Plan
The best golf tip anyone could give you when it comes to practicing indoors is to develop a bulletproof practice plan. Most beginners don't know how to effectively practice. They are taught on a driving range how to swing the club, but now how to practice in a way that will teach them to play the game of golf rather than swing a club.
Find ways to add variety to your practice. You don't have to work on all aspects of your game every single time you practice. Try to put together a pre-thought out practice plan before you start. Write down the things you want to work on and what exactly you are going to do to accomplish each thing. For example, if you want to work on distance control with your wedges. Select a wedge combination on a simulator and learn how to hit your pitching wedge from a multitude of distances. This will teach you to use the club in many different instances from many different distances offering you better options for course management.
2. Work on Stroke and Swing Maintenance
Whether it's your full swing or putting stroke we all have tendencies with both. As a right-handed golfer you might have an issue with an open clubface when presented with a left to right breaking putts. Using a putting mirror on your indoor putting mat is a great way to work on your stroke maintenance while indoors because it provides accurate feedback.
Most of us miss a few (or more, let's be honest) fairways per round. A great tip to work on your consistency off the tee when practicing indoors is to use your phone or a mirror on the wall to rehearse and review your golf swing. What you feel and what is actually happening while you are swinging the club rarely matches. It's important to be able to see your swing and compare it to what you are feeling.
3. Become Infatuated With Your Pre-Shot Routine
Turn on any professional golf tournament and you'll see LPGA and PGA Tour Pros alike going through their pre-shot routine before hitting a shot. Take Tiger Woods or Justin Thomas for example. Watch either of them and pay attention to what they do when preparing to hit a shot. You'll notice whether it is on the first tee, the putting green, or in the trees, their pre-shot routine doesn't waver. It is a part of their process and something they can count on regularly because they practice it regularly. It's innate.
When you are putting or working on your full swing during your next indoor practice session, pay attention to how you prepare to hit your shot. Does your routine differ each time or is it consistent and something you can count on? Many golfers don't know the importance of the pre-shot routine. But the more parts of your game that offer consistency and dependability the better golf you are going to play.
4. Competition is Necessary
Find ways to create competition in your practice. Have your favorite playing partners over for an indoor putting competition. Bring up the range option on the simulator and have a straight or long drive competition.
When you play a tournament, nerves inevitably creep in. Being able to mimic those nerves during practice is your best possible chance to become more comfortable with them. After all, confidence comes from preparation and repetition. So start playing competitive games with yourself when you are practicing indoors.
5. Reflect After You Finish
After you've gone through your planned practice, reflect on it. Whether it's in a notebook you keep in your golf bag or the notes section on your phone, keep track of what worked and what didn't. If you had a hard time getting your body weight through impact and finishing on your front foot, write it down.
You never know when you might experience the same issue later on; being able to sort back through prior practice sessions to see how you tackled it is way more enjoyable than suffering through frustration. Too many players think when they fix something, it's permanently fixed. We call them bad habits for a reason, habits happen repeatedly. So do yourself a favor and reflect on your practice sessions.
Best Indoor Training Aids
Practicing indoors requires some creativity. Working on putting is easy with indoor putting mats or indoor putting greens. Playing virtual rounds of golf, working on distance control by completing a wedge combine, or even a virtual range session can be accomplished indoors on a simulator. However, there are some great training aids to incorporate into your indoor training sessions.
Every indoor practice putting session should be done on tour-grade turf made of high-quality materials. The PrimePutt indoor putting mat is one of the only indoor putting mat products on the market that offers the "real feel" of a putting green.
2. Impact Bag
The impact bag is a great tool for beginners and scratch golfers alike. Without the need to hit a ball, using this training aid is the perfect pairing for indoor practice. Making practice swings into it will help you fortify a more solid impact position as well as help teach you how to transition your body weight through impact.
Want to increase your swing speed? Learn how to control your balance throughout your golf swing. There really isn't a better place to work on that than indoors. You can focus solely on what it takes to have good balance, the right footwork, and control of your weight transfer through impact. The IZZO Balance Discs are a great training aid to help you do just that. One of the best golf tips out there is to use the ground underneath your feet to create more power. The only way you can achieve this is if you've got great balance. After a few training sessions with these balance discs, you are going to feel like your feet are cemented in the ground and be able to create more power as a result.
4. Putting Alignment Mirror
The average golfer doesn't spend nearly enough time working on their putting stroke. A Putting Alignment Mirror is a great tool to use indoors, especially when working on stroke technique. With the ability to see where your eyes are over the ball, you can ensure your setup is consistent. The lines on the mirror running down your target line will help you ensure you are hitting the center of your putter head.
5. Wall Mirror
Having a mirror to rehearse your swing in is one of the most underrated training aids on the market. That's because it isn't necessarily advertised or marketed as a training aid. What we feel happening in our swing versus what is actually happening are often vastly different things.
You might feel like your golf club is parallel at the top of your swing upon review in the mirror and realize it is actually quite "John Daly-esque." Having not seen your swing in the mirror you might never have realized it.
Playing better golf doesn't have to be as far off as you might think. Not having access to an outdoor practice facility or driving range doesn't mean you still have to get better. There are plenty of things you can work on and training aids to use while practicing indoors to help you shave those last few strokes off of your handicap. Hopefully a few of our golf tips will have you getting to the next level of your game sooner, rather than later.
At the very least if you don't have access to an indoor golf simulator, purchasing an indoor putting mat is a great way to still have access to practice indoors. PrimePutt putting mats offer tour-grade turf with customization that will have you feel like you are putting on a real green.
Can I get better practice indoors?
Yes! Regular, consistent practice is what you need in order to play better golf. That can be done indoors or outdoors.
Are all golf tips worth listening to?
Not necessarily. Do your best to stay away from advice that is gimmicky in nature or states that it's the only way to get better. There are plenty of golf tips out there that may work for you but won't necessarily work for others.
Is it worth it to have an indoor putting mat?
Yes! Having access to work on your putting that isn't restricted by weather or accessibility will do wonders for your short game.