Play the Golf Course on the Driving Range

Struggling to take your driving range swing to the golf course? It’s a common complaint I get from my students. “But I hit it so great on the range. Why can’t I do that on the course?” Sound familiar?

Swings on the range and play on the course are two very different things. On the course, you’re not repeating the same club, in the same spot, with a perfect lie. You typically play with people and there’s time between shots. These fundamental differences can mean your time on the range isn’t always well spent.

Next time, refrain from repeatedly hitting the ball from the same spot and try emulating how you play on the course, on the range. With each shot, imagine you are playing the course by using the same clubs you’d use for a hole.

For example, tee off with your driver, then choose a different club for your next swing, based on that lie. If you kept it on the straight and narrow, choose an appropriate iron or wood for your second shot. Did you hook it and land in the rough on your third swing? Then, grab your pitching wedge and pretend you’re trying to lay it up on the green. You can even visualize yourself in the sand trap and take a shot that gets you out.

Try hitting from different spots as well. Break away from what might be your favorite spot on the range and move around. Hit some from one end, a few more on the other, perhaps some middle of the way, then repeat. This also helps with my final suggestion…waiting between shots!

Moving around the range will imitate the time between shots that play on the course brings. It probably won’t be as long, but it will at least break up the rhythm that hitting on the range affords.

Make the most of your range time and stop the monotony of mindlessly hitting golf balls. Challenge yourself, mix it up, and get better today by applying what I like to tell my students…Always remember to “Practice with a Purpose” – Chip Inks, PGA

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