For the sake of this article, let’s pretend that going to the driving range is like going to the gym. In both instances, the goal is to improve and maintain performance. It doesn’t do you any good to just show up and aimlessly train, right? There need to be goals where you monitor and track your progression if you are ever going to make progress. Going to the driving range is your time to train! This article is all about how to make the most of your practice so you can start seeing results on the course.
Below are my best ways to practice at the driving range!
I’m sure you probably know by now the importance of stretching.
Doing some of the warmups listed below help get the blood flowing to your muscles which increases their flexibility and improves the speed that messages sent from the brain to your muscles. (Check out my full post on golf fitness tips here!)
Most importantly, stretching before any workout or training has proven to reduce the risk of injury.
2. Start with Short Irons and Work Down the Set
I see a lot of golfers immediately grab the driver and start swinging away at the driving range. The problem with this is that with the driver being the lightest club in the bag, golfers over swing and fail to find the tempo of their rhythm.
Always start with your short irons (Pitching wedge, 9iron or 8 iron) to find your rhythm and work down your bag. If you are curious to which clubs you need in your bag, click here!
3. Take Practice Swings
Taking practice swings helps your brain prepare for the upcoming swing and puts you in the right mental state to achieve better ball contact. It is best to have a pre-shot routine that you follow for every shot so that you can
I highly recommend that you read my short article on how to improve your golf game with a practice swing
4. Use Alignment Aids
Use alignment sticks or use golf clubs to practice proper golf posture and swing path.
Feet: Lay a club or alignment stick down at your feet so that it is aimed, parallel to your target line.
Swing Path: You can also lay down a club next to your golf ball to help change or maintain your swing path direction
One of the most powerful routines you should add to your practice is to implement visualizations of various types of scenarios that take place on the golf course.
What do I mean by this?
Using landmarks or flag sticks out on the driving range, “pretend” that you are playing a golf round and aim at your target (s). This helps hone in your muscle memory and distance control with all of your clubs.
My favorite technique: I like to map out a boundary line, mimicking the width of a fairway. (Usually two flagsticks). Next, I go through my pre-shot routine just like I usually would on the course and try and land the golf ball in between the markers that I created. This helps me “feel” like I’m trying to hit the fairway and is a great conditioning drill.
6. Don’t Overdo It
It is possible to practice too much to where you didn’t make any progress. For example, hitting 80 shots with the driver will cause fatigue and most likely leave you feeling like you didn’t figure out the swing fault that brought you to the range in the first place! (get rid of your slice forever, here!)
It’s best to “at most” hit ten shots with each club (going down the clubs in your bag) so that you can modify and improve ALL of the clubs in your bag. This makes you more well-rounded when you head out on to the course for your round.
After you go through all of the clubs in your bag, now it’s time to work on the club or clubs that you have been struggling with.
Remember to practice with a purpose by visualizing targets, and you’re not just hitting balls to hit balls. This is the only way to see improvements
7. Don’t Forget the Putting Green
Many golfers forget to head over to the putting green after they practice at the range.
I might sound like a broken record, but when over 50% of your golf round is around the putting surface, it pays off to practice!
Practice 3-foot putts: Place four golf balls around the cup all about 3 feet from the hole. Take your time practicing until you make all four putts in a row.
Practice 10-foot putts: Place two golf tees on the sides of your putter when at address. Take the putter back and through the tees practicing your putting swing path.
Up and Down Game: Place your golf ball around the putting green and chip as close as you can to the hole. Next, take out your putter and try and get “up and down”. (Make it harder on yourself by hitting from different lies like deep rough, fridge and sand!) This drill improves your skills around the putting green.Learn to putt like a pro here!
Yes, stretch again!
While your muscles are warm, repeat these stretches to improve your blood flow lengthen your muscles, and improve your flexibility.
- Toe touches
- Tricep stretches
- Shoulder pulls
- Quad Stretches
- Rotation movements
9.Bonus: Using the Driving Range Before a Round
It’s a good idea to hit the driving range before your golf round to warm up and prepare your body.
Note: Only hit 30-45 golf balls! You don’t want to cause fatigue before your round (especially if you are playing 18 holes!) It’s best to hit 3-5 shots with each club and then focus on your drives for the last ten golf balls, so you know which type of ball flight to expect on the course.
Practicing at the range should be fun! It’s the best time to dial in your game and to work on anything that you may be struggling with on the course. Just remember to follow these tips when you are out there so that you can fully maximize your practice session.
- Take practice swings
- Start with your short irons and work down your set
- Use alignment aids
- Visualize your shots
- Hit the practice green
- Don’t overdo it
- Stretch Again
Practice the right way, and you will see your golf skills increase and your golf scores decrease!