In case you missed my article in the Goderich Signal Star last week here it is for you golf nuts!!!
Driving Range. Do you find yourself leaving the driving range feeling frustrated and defeated more times than not? It might be because you’ve been swinging away with the wrong club- your driver. That 45 minutes at the practice range should be used to maximize your time and improve your skill. That is exactly what this month’s column is focusing on. It takes about 1.5 seconds to hit a shot- that’s only two and a half minutes of swinging for 100 balls. So let’s get real and start setting real goals on the driving range, to get real results.
YOUR 45-MINUTE RANGE SESSION
Here are some tips to get the most out of your time at the range:
1. Full swing (15:00)
During your full swing time you should include a warm up. Ideally, start with 10 practice swings with your 9 iron to loosen up your body and get it golf ready. Your goal during this time is to become aware of your swing and make sure you are brushing the grass each time. This is a very deliberate and mindful practice. Take a well thought-out practice swing before each shot, mimicking the feel or technique you're working on that day. For example, if you are working on your follow through be sure that you hold your finish for two seconds after each shot to work on your muscle memory.
Take 10 Golf Balls – Hit with 9 Iron - Make sure to take a practice swing between each shot, two if you don’t brush the grass. Hold your finish for two seconds after each shot. At the driving range there are multiple targets. Pick one that you can hit your 9 iron close to so you have something to aim at.
Continue the same thought process with the following:
Take 5 Golf Balls – Hit with 7 Iron
Take 5 Golf Balls- Hit one of your Hybrids
Take 10 Golf Balls – Hit with Driver- When using your driver, simulate a fairway by trying to land your shot between two sets of flags or markers.
For the Advanced Golfer: Now that you’re nice and loose, it’s time to visualize a course you know well and "play" an entire nine (minus putts). (If you have more time to practice do the full 18 holes) If the first "hole" calls for driver, then 4 hybrid, then wedge, hit those clubs in succession; choose a specific target for each shot, and follow your normal pre-shot routine. This drill makes you hit your clubs in random order, just as you would on the course, and it also helps you work on visualization. Turn it into a game. Give yourself a score -- one point for a quality swing, zero for each so-so shot, and minus-one for poor shots (tops, chunks, slices etc). The next time you do this your goal is to beat your score by at least one point.
2. Around The Green (15:00)
Avoid practicing from ideal conditions, and alternate among chips, bump and run, pitches and bunker shots. Set up unusual lies to keep your brain in problem-solving mode. If you don't have to think about how to play the shot, change it up. I love getting my students to practice hitting over the bunker out at our range as it adds an element of fear and they have to stay focused on each shot. Chip 5 golf balls to one target on the putting green. Sink those 5 putts with your goal of a maximum of two putts. Repeat the chipping and putting drill to two other holes.
3. Putting (15:00)
Have three golf balls, place a golf ball one foot, two feet and three feet away from the hole. Knock in the one foot putt. Continue until you miss a putt at which time you will go back to #1. Once comfortable move the balls back to four feet, six feet and eight feet. This drill works on speed, slope and accuracy while putting.