Whether you’re a high handicapper or a professional player, there’s always more to learn to help improve your game. In this blog post, we will discuss a few of the best drills you can perform at the golf driving range that you can use to improve your skills on the course.
We will also provide specific tips on how to perform these drills correctly. So, if you’re ready to take the next step in improving your golf game, keep reading!
Drills to Do at the Driving Range
The following are some golf driving range drills you can perform to take your game to the next level. Utilize each of them, so you have a practice plan in place every time you can make it out to the course.
Experiment with Grips
The range is a great place to see what grip works best for you since you can hit a lot of balls and truly notice the difference. Try gripping the club “split-handed” as it promotes a sense of control with your hands while keeping them relaxed. Determine what your optimum grip pressure feels like. Experiment with varied grip pressures on the range while keeping your arms relaxed until you can combine maximum clubhead speed with consistent clubface control.
Practice Aiming with Irons
Finding effective methods to aim at distant targets is an excellent drill to practice in the golf driving range. You can try to stick with clear targets—aim by drawing an imaginary line from your target to the ball. Then, choose an intermediate target on that line about six feet in front of you. Take your stance after squaring the club to the shorter target. Practice this drill at the range and make it a part of your routine.
If you’re having trouble getting your pitches into the air, this simple trick might help. Put your left hand in your pocket, and swing the wedge solely with your right arm. Feel the clubhead pass through your hand as it bottoms out. Assume you’re on a putting green now and hit the pitch. Taking a divot would be improper, and the only way to keep yourself from doing so is to use the bounce properly. Practice this drill on a patch of well-mowed turf on a driving range, not on a green.
Locate the Fairway
One of the reasons golfers get worse even though they spend so much time on the range is that they lack a clear aiming point. If you go to any golf driving range, you’ll discover that very few golfers are there for a specific purpose.
Don’t be like most golfers. Utilize this drill to locate more fairways during your driving range sessions to improve actively. Perform the following steps to get started:
- After a thorough warm-up, grab the three clubs you use to tee off the most (for instance, your driver, 3-wood, and hybrid)
- On the range, draw an imaginary fairway 20-yards-wide. You can opt for two trees, a flagstick and a tree, two posts, and so on.
- Take it to the next level by creating a smaller and narrower fairway. You can even get more specific by imagining a hazard or water is present on one side to increase the difficulty further.
- Then, hit a total of 10 balls using this scoring method. If you find the fairway with a hybrid or long iron, you get one point; a fairway wood gets two points, and a driver gets three points. If you find water while picturing a hazard, you lose a point.
This driving range drill will help you improve your tee-to-green accuracy to locate more fairways and straightforward approaches to the green. It’s also a fun way to make practice sessions with your friends much more competitive.
Working on your wedges is one of the best things you can do should you want to shoot for lower scores. Whether you shoot 100+ on the course or aim to break 80 for the first time, spending time to become a wedge expert will help. You can save more pars and give yourself more birdie opportunities if you can play several types of wedges.
To begin, follow these steps:
- Take three or four of your wedges.
- Begin with your lob wedge and try different swings (half swing, 3/4 swing, and full swing).
- Log in to your phone, record the time it takes for each one to travel, and then repeat with the same club.
- Choke up on the club, take a shorter swing (picture the position on a clock), and have a shorter follow-through to play shorter shots.
- Repeat the same steps with your sand, gap, and pitching wedges.
***Practice from 50-120 yards if you have access to a longer short game area. Play 5-10 balls at each target, earning two points inside 10 feet and one point between 10 and 30 feet. Try to beat every record you set.
You won’t likely have a distance you aren’t comfortable with if you can subtract yardages from each wedge. Remember, distance control is everything in golf. It will make playing in the wind much easier because you can hit a 1/2 or 3/4 that will stay low and out of the wind.
You need to continue practicing using your wedges until you can comfortably take off 5-20 yards with each club. Then, you will notice a significant improvement in your scores.
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Simulate the Course
Simulating a course where you have played or would love to play can be a go-to drill at the driving range, whether on your own or with a friend.
To have an idea of how this drill works, follow these steps:
- Begin at the designated opening hole. In this instance, it’s a 405-yard par 4. It comes with a 220-yard hazard to the left and a modest bailout area to the right.
- Set the parameters of the driving range using different markers. Go through your pre-shot sequence to see whether you can strike the target area you’re aiming for.
- Let’s say you have 165 yards to the green based on that drive. Pull out the appropriate club, establish the target with specific parameters, and then go ahead and attempt to make that shot too.
- Record the number of times you can hit your targeted area. Track your progress over time to see if you’re improving during your practice rounds.
This game is a terrific method to prepare for a round of golf the week before a tournament or even on the day itself to help bring the power of visualization and help yourself feel more confident that you have hit the shots many times before the actual tournament.
Note: Standing and hitting at a 150-yard-wide driving range is unlikely to bring the pressure required to prepare for the round, but marking something out of bounds that may appear on the course will make it seem more realistic.
Bonus: Utilize Music Properly
It’s not uncommon for players to wear headphones or earbuds while hitting shots on the driving range, but few consider how the tunes affect their practice session.
We usually just listen to music that we enjoy — some are slow, while others have a rapid tempo. Some tunes are loud, while others are a bit more subtle. These characteristics influence the players’ actions as they listen.
For this reason, we must all consider tempo while performing a golf swing. Swing too quickly, and you risk hooking or slicing it too far off line.
Ideally, swing speeds should equate to approximately 100 beats per minute (BPM). Consider creating a playlist of songs you like that are about 100bpm. Listen to them while hitting your shots. While at it, allow the music to dictate how quickly you go through your drills, pre-shot routine, and swing. This will not only improve consistency and allow you to relax and focus on something else but also help you establish a healthy swing tempo.
Creating a Distance Chart
The distance chart contains perhaps the most vital information you can use to help you play quality golf. Unlike most golfers, you should refrain from overestimating how far you hit each iron.
To create your own chart, refer to the following options:
Utilize a Launch Monitor
Launch monitors are portable devices you can use at the driving range, golf course, or in your home net or golf simulator. These devices are game changers not just for mapping your bag and knowing your distances but also for providing quality feedback after each shot and providing the following information:
- Carry Distance
- Total Distance
- Ball Speed
- Spin Rate
- Launch Angle
- Spin Axis
The data collected will assist you in mapping your bag, determining which clubs are best for your game, developing a stock shot, and many more.
Mapping your bag can involve this process:
- Hit five shots with each club in your bag.
- Keep track of the carry distance and total distance for each shot.
- Remove any outlier figures, such as poor hits or low spin rates
- Take the average to come up with a map of your bag.
Practice at a Driving Range or Open Field
A launch monitor can be pricey. If you can’t have one at the moment, you can go for this alternative:
- Look for an open driving range or field.
- Take ten golf balls of the same type you use on the course
- Choose a target and either walk it off or use a rangefinder.
- Take ten shots with each club in your bag and get the average.
- A rangefinder can assist you in determining the specific distance for each. Afterward, create a chart of each club’s carry distance.
A golf distance chart looks like this:
|Club||Carry Distance (100%)||90%||80%|
|2 Utility Iron||210|
As you can tell from this list, there’s no shortage of great drills you can perform at the golf driving range to enhance your performance in different areas. Doing a few of them every so often will help boost your game and take it to the next level.
One of the most important things you need to do while doing each drill is to track your progress. Doing so over time will only encourage you to keep honing your skills. Make sure to celebrate your accomplishments as you go!
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