I play an instrument, more precisely: everything that has keys, except accordion. And since playing alone is not much fun, I also had a band for a while. Performances were scarce, but it was also more about the togetherness under the musical roof. Since we had a little ambition, there was the weekly appointment for rehearsals.
So we met in a relatively dark, relatively untidy and relatively soundproof room in a former factory building and tried to clothe the compositions of our guitarist in an audible arrangement. These rehearsals were necessary, because on the one hand the composer had composed his songs only on the guitar, the transposition for different instruments wanted to be found and rehearsed, on the other hand none of us was a professional musician before the gentleman (well, one already: the drummer has "deigned" for fun to give himself up with us) and so there was no way around the rehearsal. Everyone practiced on his own, in the rehearsal the pieces were put together.
For golfers, even if they are individuals, it should be similarly on the schedule: Practice is done on the range, but rehearsal, or more accurately, practice swings, should take place on the course. And this is a subject that, unfortunately, many amateur golfers tend to neglect very much: Trial swings are allowed if they are clearly recognizable as such. So why not play through the movement of the swing once or twice before the real shot?
The practice swing has several advantages. The most important: you focus on the swing itself, not on hitting the ball. This makes it easier to spot any mistakes that might have crept in. Also, in general, the swing on the tee or during play on the course feels different than a tee shot on the range. That's psychology. And third, if you've been a golfer for a long time, you can better gauge your feeling as to whether the swing would have fit or rather not.
As already emphasized, you have to make it clear to your teammates that you are actually taking a practice swing. Either by swinging before you have placed the ball (of course, this is only possible at the tee), or by taking one or two steps back from the ball so that you do not give the impression that you intended to hit the ball. This also helps to avoid unintentional contact with the ball, which - important note - would mean a penalty stroke in the game. If the ball is not yet in play - and here we are again and only with the tee shot - it may be put back without penalty.
This difference is important to keep in mind and it also explains an old golfer's joke with which I once completely threw a fellow golfer off his game and concentration a long time ago (mea culpa): He wanted to make a practice swing on the tee and pushed the ball off the tee. I said loudly and audibly: "One", as if the shot counted. As I just pointed out, the ball was not yet in play, so there was no penalty stroke. Nevertheless, my teammate was annoyed, and as a result the course was ruined on the scorecard, because he only regained his composure and concentration on the next tee shot. So better in the sense of the beautiful game to do without this stupid joke ...
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