Keating’s killer drills

Ivan Morris

David Keating

When discussing the modus operandi for improving skills, the pro at Cork Golf Centre in Ballincollig, David Keating knows his stuff. He gave me a number of interesting ideas to help me to become a better player. These ideas are not new. I have heard them before, but they have stood the test of time and are worth remembering.

1 – Play a 9 holes 2-ball scramble on your own; using the worst ball after each shot. After 6 attempts, you should be able to match your handicap.

2 – Reverse this drill and use the ‘best ball’ to see what score you are capable of achieving at your best – if you work diligently at improving your game.


3 – Play 9 holes without woods. Take note of how many greens and fairways you manage to hit. As you play, drop a separate ball at the 100-yard marker on each hole and record your score from there.

4 – Every time you play, keep a stat sheet and note strokes you play from within 20-100 yards of the green – how many shots you take to hole out and how far from the hole your first putt was.

5 – Playing a separate ball from the 150 metres markers, you should be able to shoot 54 or less.

6- No matter how much or how little amount of time you have available for practice, 66% of the time should be spent on the short game. Even the best players in the world rely on a razor-sharp short game to achieve low scores.

7- Golf should be taught from the hole back to the tee, but hardly anybody ever learns it that way. Whaling away with the driver on the practice tee is not the right way to go!

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