Embrace the Practice Range

Practice Range

I don’t know about you, but I love the range. Weekend mornings when you know there is no way the wife is giving you the green light to go play a 5 hour round of golf is a great time to sneak out to “hit a few balls”Unfortunately, most of us do this:  Get a 100 balls, head to the range, whack them as fast a possible then go home. While I am all for whacking 100 balls, it is just not a good way to improve.  Over the past year or so, I have really learned to enjoy actually practicing. My typical long format routine is to get a small bucket of balls and take them over to the chipping green. I will hit about 10 balls from a few different spots using a couple of different clubs so that I can become more comfortable with a variety of shots.

I then head to the driving range. Prior the going to the range (like at home), I think about what I want to work that day on so that I have a plan. Tinkering around with swings is not only a horrible thing to do during a round, but it is also not a great idea for the range.  That is not to say you should not try something new on the range but you should not be hopping around from idea to idea looking for a silver bullet.  Maybe you just read a swing tip in a golf magazine-great time to try it out. But not a great time to vary stance, grip, take away and swing plane in random order.

Besides being cheaper, the other advantage of only getting a small bucket is that it makes you more patient. This way I am more likely to line up my shots and vary the clubs I hit. Sometimes I will play the 1st five holes on my home course in my head. And the best part about Saturday mornings at the range is that there are always guys who have to leave their extra range ball to go tee off. Thank you very much!

My last stop is the putting green. Rolling 40 foot putts is what I mostly work on. Specifically, I am now trying to better utilize the power of the brain. I really believe that the brain can do a great job of judging pace and direction if you let it. As a test, try looking at the hole the entire time you putt a 40 footer. You will be amazed how well you do. I am now spending more time just looking at the line trying to let my brain take in the information. One other drill I like is to take a single ball and simulate a 20-40 foot situation, trying to get down in two. I will do this 10 times and see how many times I convert.

So that is it. Takes about 90 minutes but you really feel like you have played a lot of golf. Best part-it only costs 1 token!

Written by Adam Staelin
Founder and Editor of Three Guys Golf. I am always on the lookout for new and innovative products for the discerning golfer. I play about a 100 rounds a year (but don't tell my boss).