If you’re looking to shave a few strokes off your game or lower your golf handicap, you know how important the driving range is. And it’s a simple idea. The more you hit the driving range, the more your golf swing, driving distance, and accuracy can improve. However, there’s more to the story than just hitting a bucket of balls—you need to know how to practice at the driving range to use your time efficiently and maximize your potential.
Whether you hit the range once a week or while you tell your spouse you’re going to get some gas, use these driving range tips and drills to turn your drive into a thing of beauty.
Driving range practice is fun to test how far you can mash some range balls, but if improvement is a goal in the near future, you need to focus on specific skill sets and your swing. Use these driving range golf tips to create a personalized plan that leads to results.
Before you pull a club out of your golf bag, get in a good stretch and warm up. Regardless of age, the last thing you want to do is pull a muscle—it can put a damper on your golf game or even an upcoming date—if you catch the drift.
Make sure that you stretch almost your entire body, as golf utilizes many muscle groups that you don’t use every day. This includes:
By limbering up for just a few minutes, you ensure that you’re not out of commission on the golf course for the next few weeks.
To learn how to practice at the driving range correctly, start small. Don’t go into your routine trying to hit 300-yard drives. Instead, use a light iron, a pitching wedge, or a sand wedge and do some chipping and lobs. Try to focus on your pre-shot routine, practice swings, and keep your head down on the golf ball. Hit the ball with 50% to 80% of your power or use a half-swing or three-quarter swing to start your practice session. At this point, don’t worry about the yardage. Precision, consistency, and a proper stroke are far more critical.
This will give your body time to get ready for heavier swings and bigger golf clubs, all while concentrating on your short game. It might also be easier to stay on task by starting with a wedge and moving up one club at a time. For example, you would use a wedge, then a 9-iron, then an 8-iron, and so on.
You can’t become the Tiger Woods of your local golf course or the badass that everyone fears to gamble against if you fail to use all of the tools at your disposal. Yet with tons of options, narrowing down what to use isn’t always easy. Above all, you should add a golf shot tracer app and alignment sticks to your golf practice routine at the driving range.
If you’re already glued to your phone, then you might as well use it on your next driving range session. Golf shot tracer apps are the latest in golf technology used by beginners and professionals alike. The app uses your camera to track the flight of your ball. Once you watch the footage, you can tell if you’re slicing or hooking the ball—telltale signs of an issue with your swing or the direction of the club face.
Alternatively, you can just use the video camera on your phone. If you bring a small tripod and shoot a short video, your phone allows you to analyze your full swing, downswing, or any bad habits you weren’t aware of.
Plus, if you hit a great shot, you have plenty of proof to show your friends. It’s win-win all the way and can help you play your best golf.
Alignment sticks are small tubes that you lay on the ground that allow you to aim toward your target. If you’re consistently drifting from your intended target, these sticks can save your aim—and your dignity in a real-world golfing situation.
Place a stick on each side of the ball to create a makeshift tunnel. Then, stand perpendicular to the ball just as you would when you’re hitting a tee shot or a shot from the fairway. By creating this “tunnel,” you can visualize your swing coming through at the proper angle. Even if you’re not hooking or slicing the ball, alignment sticks can help you fix your aim—one of the most difficult things to do on the course.
Few things feel better than hitting a 300-yard drive with precision. Hearing the ping of the club hitting the ball and watching the ball flight until it hits the ground are indescribable feelings. However, a golf driving range is more than just a forum for your driving skills.
How to practice at the driving range is all about purpose. It’s a mission to improve a particular aspect of your game and make you the best all-around golfer—not just a leviathan, golf-ball hammering monster a la Bryson DeChambeau.
To put the purpose and mission into your driving range session, ask yourself a few questions:
Answering these questions creates a mission and a roadmap that can improve your game and translate into success in your next round of golf.
It’s easy to get frustrated any time that you’re playing golf, especially when you’re in the initial stages of figuring out how to practice at the driving range. After a few bad shots, most golfers tend to move on to something else. This translates to a lack of focus, and you’re eventually just going through the motions.
Regardless of whether your shot leaves a lot to be desired or you’re worried about hitting a car in the parking lot from an errant shot, stay on task.
Whatever part of your game that you’re working on, stay on top of it. Everyone has a shitty day at the driving range every now and again. Don’t let it get to you and derail your practice at the driving range.
Working on specific things is ideal when you‘re in the midst of learning how to practice at the driving range. But don’t start to practice complicated techniques and swings before you have the basics down. Grip, aim, alignment, and posture are all far more critical to your success than advanced techniques.
A technical approach to your golf game is a surefire way to make you a better golfer. However, this can feel stagnant, redundant, and chore-like if that’s all you do every time you’re at the driving range. In an effort to stimulate your competitive spirit beyond the idea of beating everyone in golf betting games with your newfound talents, try a few of these driving range games. They’re fun, easy, and can put a bit of ice in your veins come game time.
Once you’re done at the range, don’t get ready to leave quite yet. Where there’s a driving range, there’s usually a putting green. If you want a holistic approach that touches on every aspect of your game, stop over at the green to practice a few putting drills. Don’t turn into Happy Gilmore. You still have to finish on the green to play your best golf.
After putting, you can finally head home. Use the time to analyze what you did right, what you did wrong, and what improvements you can make moving forward. Put it all together into a routine, and learning how to practice at the driving range will improve your game. There’s little doubt about that.