Driving ranges can be cheaper alternatives to golf courses. Especially when it comes to practicing golf. Almost anyone who wants to get better at the sport or just get decent at it, visits the golfing range.
Everyone who goes to the driving range to practice golf has the proper intentions. However, it can end up being a waste of time for many. It is seen a lot of golfers do not know how to utilize their time at the range. As a result, they gain nothing or worse, they develop flawed techniques.
This is a guide for those who are willing to spend a decent amount of time on improving their skills. We will talk about how someone can properly utilize their practice time on the driving range. The goal is to practice efficiently and perhaps save some money on driving ranges in the process .
Practice Done Right
We will talk about the different parts of the game. Also, we will discuss how you can practice for them at the driving range.
Practice Your Stance
The stance or posture is a fundamental part of golf. It is necessary to get it down before you even attempt to take your swings. A proper position will gift you with a good swing and shot.
On the other hand, a bad one will ruin your shot.; possibly your game as well. Therefore, your stance is very important for the game. The driving range provides a great platform for players to practice their stance.
Let’s talk about the steps of how to practice a proper stance on the driving range.
Stand up straight in front of the golf ball. Hold the golf club with both of your hands.
Now spread your legs wide to the width of your shoulders. Your feet will be vertically aligned with your shoulders. Then keep your knees fixed to the position.
After that, slightly curve your upper body towards the ball and address the ball.
While keeping them firm, bend your knees a little bit.
If you followed the steps correctly, you should have a perfect stance. However, you have to keep the following things in mind in a position. These are small corrections you need to do to make the stance as flawless as possible.
In your stance, make sure your shoulder is parallel to the target line from the first step. Similarly, your arms should be parallel to each other when holding the golf club. This should be done in such a way that one hand will be blocking the view of the other hand from the sides.
Keep your back as flat as you can throughout the steps. Your shoulders will be perpendicular to the target line at the end of the backswings.
You should practice going into the stance position again and again. The more you practice it, the more fluid your movements will become.
Furthermore, a good practice is to take multiple clubs with you to follow. That way you will be able to figure out what your ideal stance is.
Try to find driving ranges with automatic tee systems. These will place golf balls again once you have hit a shot. That way you do not have to move yourself to set up the tee and golf ball. As a result, you get to keep practicing your stance without breaking it.
Practice for the Long Game
At the beginner levels, you will mostly see golfers practicing their drivers at the driving range. The idea is right to some extent. However, if practiced incorrectly, you could end up with a faulty driver.
When it comes to hitting the ball in your long game, it is to be mostly focused on the face’s center. That’s because if you fail to hit the middle of the ball, you might not get it that far or straight towards the target. The goal of a long game or driver should be to find that middle point of the face.
Let’s talk about a drill you can do as practice on the driving range.
Set up a golf ball on a tee. Now take your club back half of the way. Do not go farther as your hands get to the height of your waist. Then go straight towards the ball and hit it as fast as you possibly can.
Do the swings at your normal pace and intervals. If you are still unable to find the middle point of the face, slow it down. Make bigger backswings than you were making.
To elaborate “Slow it Down”: The long game idea is a little different in the driving range from the golf course. Let’s say you are capable of swinging your club at a hundred and ten miles per hour in a golf range. Regardless of that, try your best to resist the temptation of hitting the ball as hard and fast as you can.
Consequently, cut down your swing speed to a bare minimum in the driving range. Consider only ten to twenty percent of your normal swing speed.
After the second step, start to increase your backswing with every swing. However, do that after you can make contact between the middle of the club’s face and the golf ball.
Throughout the drill, try to be as honest with yourself as you can. You might be tempted to take your backswing to the back. Slowly improve yourself by being able to make good centered contact on the swings that are shorter. Once you have got the shorter swings down, feel free to go ahead and try a full swings.
Practice for the Short Game
The short game is as important as the long game in a golf course, if not more. A good golfer will practice both his short and long game in the driving range. The best thing about the short game is that you can compensate for the errors you make in the long game.
For practice, you do not necessarily have to hit hundreds of golf balls in a driving range. You can try out pitch that is one stock. Use your wedge iron and try to repeat the same movement over and over again.
You will be getting consistent spin, trajectory, and height as you maintain consistency throughout your motions. Keeping everything else constant, tweak your pitch area. More specifically, change your targeted areas where the golf ball will be landing.
For example, you are practicing on a pitch of twenty yards long. Now pick a point that is six yards from the hole. The end you selected would be the point you want the ball to be landing at. Let the rest be done by the roll.
In other words, let’s say you are on a pitch that is thirty yards long. You take a target point from the hole just like before. The goal of this is to get your swing as well as body to get accustomed to various distances on the pitch. You can do that while you keep or attempt to keep everything else as a constant.
Here is a drill you can practice at the driving range to improve your short game in the actual golf course. The steps below are to be followed for the drill:
Get to the practice green and start setting up the tees. These tees should be ten, twenty and thirty yards away from you. Now you aim to hit golf balls and try to land them as close to the tees as possible.
You have to use one club and keep all the motions of your body. Your swings should remain constant as well. You can use whichever stroke that makes you feel comfortable. Golf towels anything to mark with can be used as alternatives to the tees.
Now the goal is taking your shot after setting up the whole thing. Do not think about making the shot. Get an idea with your eyes about what the speed of your swing should be and the backswing of your club.
Make the step a natural process. Let your mind make up the shot inside your head and when ready, take your shot.
You should be aiming for each of the tees in succession. Hence, once you have hit your golf ball at near the ten-yard tee, move on towards the twenty-yard tee and so on. When you have got all three, your aim is to do it backward.
As you keep practicing, you will eventually be able to get the yardages naturally. Thus the short game will become a kid’s game to you. You will be piling up the par saves.
Practice for Putting
Putting is the last bit where you hit the golf ball into the hole. It is a somewhat tricky skill to master. In addition, it seems as if it was a relatively easy technique. It can get embarrassing in the course; you keep missing your easy puts.
The line is quite important when it comes to putting. However the speed is the actual top priority when it comes to putting. Therefore, you should focus on that in a driving range.
Here is a drill that will help you master your putting skills at the driving range. If you keep doing the drill, holes will appear two times larger to you. The following are the steps for the drill:
Get to the practice green and find any ten-footer putt. Make sure that it has a couple of inches in terms of break. Then drop some balls down on the green and try hitting them into the holes.
You can fix the line when you are done with a couple of rolls. The goal here is to make every single putt of yours die just at the edge the hole. When a putt is dying at the hole, it means that the golf ball will do its last revolution right on the edge of the hole. Then the ball rolls into the hole.
You might find yourself putting the golf ball a bit far and the golf ball goes past the hole. In that case, hold down the grip of the golf club tighter so that you can easily shorten the length of the stroke you take. You can tweak the control to a smaller level.
You will be doing the same process without thinking as you did in the short game drill. Likewise, focus on the edges of the hole. Imagine the ball rolling and falling in the hole at its very last roll.
Just like before, let your mind adjust your body as well as movements. Continue with the drill; soon you will feel like a natural at putting.
Practice for Iron Shots
Typically, about twenty minutes of practice can be enough to get to your iron swing as well as other areas. Of course, the practice will need to be efficient for it to work out. Active practice is far more effective than going to the driving range and hitting balls pointlessly every day.
Bear in mind that every single ball as well as swing will need to have a goal in the driving range. Going through the buckets like crazy will not cut it. The most efficient way of practice is probably by focusing on the errors you make, and commonly players miss the pulls and the cuts.
You could go through buckets after buckets until your swing got right. That would take much longer and also cost money as you have to pay for the buckets.
You can rely on just a couple of swings with a drill instead of taking buckets of balls to fix the issue. Following are the steps for the drill:
Put a tee down in the ground. Make sure that the golf ball on the tee is around three inches above the ground. If you want, you can use a tee that is long-drive.
Now you have to swing at the golf ball with your 7-iron. The goal of the swing is to hit the ball right off of the tee.
Be careful that you are not swinging your iron very steep. Otherwise, the ball will be popped upwards. Let your mind and body respond to the ball here as well.
Once you are well into the drill, you will feel more comfortable. Your coordination between hands and eyes will start kicking in. Throughout the impact, your swings will start flattening out and will be catching the ball squarely.
These will be an automatic or natural process. Do not worry at all about positions during practice. This is a kind of drill that will naturally come to you and soon become a habit.
So far we have only talked about the major things you can do for practice on the driving range. Now we will talk about some other things and methods that will help out with your major practices.
Wedges are the easiest to hit clubs in your bag. A couple of usual wedge shots will be helping to gather that momentum for your swing. At the same time, wedge shots will help you gather confidence once you hit a few decent wedge shots.
It does not matter what you will be practicing at the range for the day. Your go-to warm-up should always be a few wedge shots. Whenever you are going to begin your practice session, take at least about five wedge shots as a warm-up.
Build a Routine
With various kinds of skills, practicing at the driving range can get overwhelming at times. You will get confused by which swing or stroke to practice at the range. In the end, you will only end up doing the favorites and fun ones. This causes inefficiency in terms of practice.
Therefore, you want to build a routine where you divide different game styles (i.e., short, long game). Make sure you share your time with equal importance among all of your practices. Moreover, dedicate some time for getting your posture and physical exercises too.
Record & Monitor Your Practice
Without an instructor, a great way to monitor yourself and identify your errors would be by using recording equipment. Record yourself taking the swings and the strong.
You will see that you are noticing flaws in your movement what you naturally do not see while you play. A way of monitoring your strokes can be by using foot powder. Use the powder on you clubhead before you take the stroke. That way you can figure out whether your centers are connecting or not.
The guide emphasized the most important practices and ways to do them on the driving range. If you follow the guide, you can easily improve yourself and turn into a better player. Anyone looking to get better at golf by going to driving ranges can benefit from this guide.