3 Drills You Can Do On The Driving Range That Actually Work
From Guest author: Francesco Diomaiuta
We’ve all done it, 30 minutes range session, a basket of balls, and a Driver in hand. Hitting one shot after the other, wondering why we’re not improving at the game.
I have taught countless amateur golfers how to use a range session that actually helps them get better at the game. Here are some of my favorite drills you can do that translates well to a round of golf on the course.
Hit the same club at different distances
The first one is simple, choose three targets and use the same club to approach them. For example, your 7-Iron might go 150 yards on a regular shot. Now, try to hit it 130, 120, and 110 instead. Take notice of how far you have to take back the club and how consistently you can repeat that swing.
How does this help?
On the golf course, your club selection will depend on the lie, weather conditions, and slope. But you’ll often be within clubs. Being able to hit the same club at different distances will improve the accuracy of your approach shorts.
Besides that, you might notice that you were trying to hit your clubs too far and are way more consistent using only 80% of your power. Golfers tend to want to hit it far and put all their power in every single swing. You are often better served to swing smooth and relaxed, which increases the quality of strike and accuracy.
Play a mental round of golf
If you have a course you play often; chances are you know the layout of the first couple of holes by heart. Maybe you have an old scorecard laying around, or simply look up a course on google and use that one for this drill. The ideas are that you switch club on every shot, take your time, and practice on the golf range what you’ll do on the course.
For most people, that might mean you switch from Driver to 8-Iron to sand wedge. Try mixing things up; try a three wood off the tee. If you mishit it, try the 7-Iron punch shot to get you back
in play, etc.
How does it help?
Many golfers go to the range and do repetitive practice. 20 7-Irons, 20 Drivers, some wedges. That’s not what you’ll actually on the course, though.
Knowing that there are 100 more balls in the basket also decreases the pressure to produce a good shot immediately.
We don’t have that luxury on the course, unfortunately. Every shot matters! Make it a point to practice your set-up routing, pick a target, line up and adjust your next shot for how well you executed your previous one.
Differential practice to achieve center-clubface contact
This is probably one of the best things you can do at the range, even though it seems counterintuitive. Take some Dr. Sholls Footspray and spray a thin layer on one of your clubs. That will show you exactly where you made contact with the ball. Hit a ball, and look at the clubface.
Did you hit the center, toe, or heel? Depending on where you hit it on the clubface, try the exact opposite on your next shot. No, not the center, the opposite. If you hit it off the toe, try to hit it off the heel the next time. If you make center contact, maybe try hitting it off the toe instead, etc.
Be creative; try 3 in a row or even 10 in a row if you feel like it.
How does it help?
We all aim to hit the center of the clubface all of the time. Reality paints a different picture for most amateurs. How good are you in controlling where you hit it on the face?
If you hit it off the toe, your default might be just to try to hit it off the center next time.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the training to find the center of the clubface intuitively. We need to practice how to adjust! Differential practice such as switching up where you intend to make contact with the ball expedites your learning process immediately.
Next time you are on the course and hit a toe shot, just recall the feeling of hitting it off the heel. You’ll be rewarded with crisp, efficient center contact most of the time.
What to do next
Try these drills, and give them some time. A structured practice routine is way more efficient than spraying 40 balls with your driver on the range. I have also written more about swing tips that focus on helping you score lower instead of changing your swing mechanics. Have a read!
Guest author: Francesco Diomaiuta, is the owner of mygolfheaven.com and loves helping players to get better at the game. He is convinced that most players can score better without changing their technique but by working on their mental game! His teaching style focuses on letting the body self-adjust and intuition, instead of swing mechanics.