The driving range is an excellent way for any Golfer to practice regardless of their skill level you can practice various yardages and put time into your entire golf bag, but how much time should you spend at the driving range? 30 minutes, or 2 hours?
Spend an hour at the driving range and split your time into three different sections. The first section focus on basic Golf mechanics and alignment, the second section focus on understanding the ball flight and lastly make your practice time competitive.
Even if you spent 2 hours everyday at the range but didn’t work on anything specific you will not improve.
I will explain how to maximize your driving range time, how often you should go to the range, and how many balls you should hit. Read on to find out!
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What You Should Focus On At The Driving Range
Focus on the quality of your driving range practice, not how long you’re there. Practice with purpose on something specific your working on, like a swing technique and club and body allignment, and simulate a game of Golf as much as possible.
1.Focus On Basic Golf Mechanics
No matter how long you’re at the range split your time into three different sections, if your there for an hour divide your time into 3 20 minutes chunks.
The first third of your driving range session should be going through the basics, you see pros like Rory Mcilroy so don’t think your too good for it!
Place a club straight down the middle towards the range or use an alignment stick, if you don’t have one get a pack of 3 from Amazon right here.
The stick or club is a reminder to tell your body where to aim, also be mindful of monitoring the ball position depending on what Club your using, if it’s a Driver have the ball more towards the left heel, if it’s a pitching wedge more in the middle with each longer club getting closer to the left foot.
Check your body alignment and ensure your knees, hips, and shoulder are all in the right place. To know your setup correctly you might record yourself.
You don’t need a fancy SLR camera either! Your mobile phone and a cheap selfie stick is enough, get one from Amazon here it just needs to stand by itself.
When recording make sure the camera is behind you and at waist height, this is the perfect angle for recording the Golf swing.
A big mistake a lot of people make if not changing their club! I’ve seen my Dad do this time and time again. In a game of Golf do you only use your Driver? I thought not, so why would you only use your Driver at the range?
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Change your Club often, around every 5 minutes, and you don’t have to hit full shots you can hit 3/4 shots but ensure you stick to proper alignment and recording your strikes.
One GAMECHANGER for me is using foot spray at the range. You might think I’m crazy but hear me out.
Foot spray is cheap and allows you to leave an indentation on the Club head that shows where you hit, this is phenomenal for monitoring your ball striking and knowing for sure if you hit more towards the toe or heel of the club head.
Any old foot spray will work, get Bond foot spray from Amazon here.
Not hitting in the center of the clubhead is the main reason why the average Golfer can’t hit 200+ yards, to know the other reasons and how to improve your yardage please check my post here.
This practice time is a great way to experiment with techniques you found on YouTube channels like meandmygolf or magazines like Golf week, take your time and experiment your in no rush.
Lastly, make every shot 1 minute, you might think this is too long but this section of practice is not about how far the ball goes but rather mastering the basic mechanics by taking a lot of practice swings in the proper alignment.
Should all your Golf grips be the same? Find out why it’s important in my post here.
2.Understand The Ball Flight
The 2/3 of your practice session is all about understanding the ball flight, Rick Shiels in the above video says to imagine a grit of 9 square, 3 rows of 3 and to smash all these invisible windows! Sounds fun right?
For the high windows, finish with a high follow through with your hands high above your head, this increases the angle of attack on the way up and gets the ball very high, imagine Luke Donalds club finish and you will see what I mean.
For a lower shot, move the ball back and allow the Club to lean forward this delofts the club(more info here), and hit the ball softly and slow the faster you hit the ball the higher velocity the ball will travel and the higher it will go
The middle window is your normal ball flight, so just swing like you normally would.
Ever get stuck behind trees in Golf? It happens ALL the time so its important to be comfortable hitting draw and fade shots, which are the right and left windows.
To hit a draw shot, face your club towards the right and swing further right in the direction the Golf club is aiming, to hit a fade shot to the opposite and face the club towards the left of your target and swing further left towards the club face.
Throughout your practice always change clubs and have an idea of what window your trying to smash, some windows will be harder to break than others so start on the easy ones first.
The window visualization is a great way to visualize in Golf and improve your idea of where your ball is going, it is super important and will improve every aspect of your game.
3.Put Yourself Under Pressure At The Driving Range
Ever find yourself smashing the ball without a care in the world at the range, but struggle to replicate this feeling on this course? This is because you were not under pressure at the range!
To put yourself under pressure, you can either pit yourself against someone, either with a buddy or don’t be shy to ask someone at your range or it can be done solo.
The tests will depend on your driving range, and what facilities it has such as 50-yard markers or nets, whatever they have available.
Pick a shot your weak at, if you’re terrible at 50 yards pick that shot, do not practice shots your good at as what’s the point of that! You know yourself how random Golf can be, so you have to be well rounded to succeed.
You and/or your buddy have 10 Golf shots, and your aim is hitting as many shots to the target as possible, write down how you did on your phone or a notepad and make sure you beat this target next time your at the range!
If your active in social media, you could go live on sites like Facebook/Instagram or even YouTube and broadcast this challenge for all the world to see!
I can guarantee broadcasting live on social media or playing with someone else will put pressure on you and translate your practice sessions into a competitive environment that is far more likely to translate to when your playing for real on the course.