Your favorite golfers on TV all use the driving range before and after tournaments to practice. Why?
What do you do at a driving range? People go to the driving range to practice different golf shots and prepare for the next time they play at a course. Golfers are given a large bucket of balls and head out to a station where they can aim at either targets or flagsticks to improve their accuracy with different golf clubs.
Just like anything in life, practice makes perfect. By learning the correct way to practice your swing at the range, you can make significant improvements, lower your golf scores and impress your friends!
What is a driving range?
A driving range is an area of land designated for golfers to practice different golf shots by aiming at target or flagsticks located on the range. For a range to be recognized as a PGA practice facility, it must have these qualifications:
- Minimum of 15 tees to practice from
- At least 150 feet of teeing area
- The depth of at least 600 feet (Approx: 200 yards)
- Proper parking for customers
- A building for administrative purposes
- A golf professional available for lessons and group instruction
How to practice at the range
Once you get to a driving range, you may be confused on how to proceed or what to do. Follow these steps:
- Head to the pro shop or main building with your golf set and select an option for how many range balls you want to hit. Most range balls come in different bucket sizes depending on how many golf balls you want to hit. (If you don’t have a golf set, take a look here for my favorite golf sets for beginning golfers)
- You will then either be given a token or a bucket where you can head over toward the range to collect the range balls you will be hitting
- Next, try to find an area where there is good grass to hit from. If you are at a range with turf mats, try and find a mat that has a rubber golf tee and isn’t surrounded by a ton of people (no one likes this!)
- Depending on what part of your game you want to work on, when selecting a station, make sure that you have a clear shot towards multiple targets so that you can practice your distance control with various clubs
What clubs do you use at the range?
Almost everyone who goes to the driving range wants to hit the driver. The driver is the club with the lowest degree which means it is supposed to make the golf ball travel the furthest when struck. It also has a tendency to be the most inaccurate club in most golfer’s bags hence why everyone wants to practice. Don’t forget your other clubs!
The drive is only one shot so don’t forget to practice with the other clubs in your bag.
- Start with your high lofted clubs like wedges and work down your bag. (Pitching wedge, 9 iron, 8 iron… etc.) The driver should be the last club you use.
- Hit about 5-7 shots per club
- Always pick a target before swinging and practice like you’re on the golf course
- Make sure your feet and shoulders are aimed down your target line (more info on this here if you are confused)
- Practice the most on the area of your game that you are struggling with
- Most of the targets have different distances labeled. Use these targets to determine, approximately, how far you hit each club in your bag. This will prove very effective when out on the golf course
- If the driving range has a short game or putting area, don’t forget to practice chipping and putting when you are finished with your other clubs
- If you feel any pain or discomfort while swinging, stop. There’s no need to injure yourself while practicing
How often should you go to the range?
For most golfers, going to the range once a week is enough to make necessary swing adjustments and prepare for the next round of golf. If you are newer to the game, you may want to practice twice a week to start just so you can get into a swing rhythm that will translate over to the golf course. Golf can be an intimidating game so it can be very beneficial to spend a lot of time (especially in the beginning) getting used to the golf swing and learning through trial and error at a driving range. Don’t worry if you get stuck or frustrated. You can always talk to a pro or golf instructor at the facility for lessons and golf advice.
Can you rent golf clubs at the driving range? – Most driving ranges do allow golfers to purchase rental sets that can be used to practice with.
Where are driving ranges located?- Driving ranges are located at many golf courses or as independent business locations.
How many balls come in a regular bucket?- Standard driving range buckets vary in size but have an average around 72 golf balls.