Great Golf Drill Playing the 9s

Every once and awhile you come across a great golf drill that helps break up your range time. Playing the 9s is one of those great golf drills that sharpens your shot making and helps to build some confidence when you face similar challenges on course. The other component that is really enjoyable is the addition of perceived stress on each and every shot. Closely simulating, I don’t know, playing golf? Bingo! If you want to play well you must practice well. People that are aimless in practice will pretty much mimic those results when it counts. Got a question for you. Have you ever played a course with a 300 yard wide fairway? Me neither, that’s why practicing on the range without very specific targets can be detrimental.

Playing the 9s

The 9s, how do you do it and why does it work? It’s really simple, and it’s something I learned from a Golf Digest bit that Johnny Miller did a few years ago. Seen it crop up other places on YouTube, but his method seems to work best for me. Follow these steps, rinse and repeat as often as you like.

  1. You will need 9 golf balls- preferably of the range variety.
  2. A target…finite, small. You can do this drill with really any club, but personally the 6 or 7 iron seems to work best.
  3. The drill is simple now. You will hit each of the shot shapes in order, high or low, your preference.

Fade- Hit a low, medium, and a high trajectory fade to the target.
Straight Shot- Hit a low, medium, and a high trajectory shot to the the target
Draw- Hit a low, medium, and a high trajectory shot to the target.


Simple right? Well, in theory it is, but it’s demanding if you have exacting standards. For example, give yourself a small target, say a 15 foot circle. When you hit the fade, make it fade into the target. Try to control the depth of the fade (how much the ball fades). If it’s an issue for you, you know where you need to improve. The straight shot is a straight shot. I’m not talking about the ball that starts out straight and leaks a little bit to the right….that isn’t what you want….you want it straight to the target. Same goes for the draw. Starting out you may only get 2 out of 9, but that’s okay. If you are really strict on your grading those misses are probably pretty serviceable come your Saturday foursome.

I can honestly say, the best I’ve ever done is 8 out of 9. The high draw eludes me, especially under pressure. Good to know for the future when htting that shot means something. You can mix the drill up if you like, start with the draws, finish with the straight shots if that jiggles the change in your pockets. Maybe you want to start with the high shots across the board, it’s all you my friend. The only rule is you have to hit all 9 shots and you only get one attempt at each. Keep score to track your ball striking progress. I’ve found I can get a lot of meaningful work in and not have to hit 500 balls in the process. Don’t be that guy hitting balls without purpose, it’s counter productive. You can up the ante further when you play with a friend. Can we say $1 a game? Now, now, not advocating gambling, just putting a little skin in the game. Make it for a coke, whatever. Practice with purpose and intention and you will see your results skyrocket.

Hope you like this drill. Drop a comment below…appreciate the feedback.

Hit’em straight and good luck on your next round.


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply:

Skip to toolbar