Golf tip: Practice swings on course can be useful

ROCHESTER, NY - AUGUST 09: Davis Love III of the United States watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the second round of the 95th PGA Championship on August 9, 2013 in Rochester, New York. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Davis Love III is known for liberal use of on-course practice swings.

Practice swings on the golf course are used by some players (Davis Love comes to mind), and not used by others. It’s a personal decision, but for those who want to take a practice cut before starting the real swing, here are some suggestions, courtesy of Bob Beach, head professional at Braintree Municipal Golf Course:

“I recommend that a practice swing should be taken a few paces behind your golf ball. This way you can get familiar with your target line early. I like to see a golfer raise their clubhead slightly and make their practice swing above the ground, as well. This will allow the golfer to swing the golf club on a tilted circle.

“The practice swing should always be taken at less than full speed. I recommend between 50 percent and 75 percent, depending on the person. This will keep you calm and enable you to focus on the pace of the swing.


“When it’s time for the real thing, all you have to do is lower your practice swing into the golf ball.”

Are you having specific problems with your game and want a local PGA professional to provide some helpful tips? E-mail your question to