One of my favorite drills that reveals a player's current skill level is Johnny Miller's Nine Point Test. This is where a player hits nine shots and is awarded 1 point for each shot hit correctly. The nine shots are as follows:
- Low straight, low fade, low draw
- Medium straight, medium fade, medium draw
- High straight, high fade, high draw
All of the shots should be executed with the same club. The player can pick any club, but of course, the longer the club, the harder this game becomes. (Note that low, medium and high' refer to the trajectory of the shot.
Almost every time a junior tries this drill they will get to either the fade or the draw and immediately say something like, "I do not like to hit fades, I only hit draws." The student will then finish the drill and resume hitting the rest of the balls in his bucket. And 99% of the time the student will finish the bucket hitting his favorite comfort shot shape, the draw.
It is natural to want to practice hit those shots one is good at. It is fun and instantly gratifying to strike successful shots. But it is hard to become a champion unless one identifies their weaknesses and spends the majority of their efforts working to strengthen those weaknesses.
But, that does not mean to ignore or stop working on one's strengths. Once a shot is mastered, a minimal amount of time needs to be spent to maintain the level of skill achieved. And over time the player will continue to get better at even their best shots.
Creating a well thought out practice plan is a great way to maximize ones ROPI (Returen on Practive Investment).
The fastest way to improve one's game is to spend the most time hitting the shots you hate the most.