One of the reasons why professional golfers are so much better than us average golfers is that they hit hundreds (or even thousands) of balls on the driving/practice range every day. Not only do they hit an insane amount of golf balls, but they do so with a very guided purpose and strategy to help them continuously improve their game. While us average golfers don’t have to hit hundreds of balls at a time, we could emulate the professionals by using our time on the practice range with a guided purpose, as opposed to just trying to drill tee shots as far as we can. This article provides a very basic, yet proven guide to help make your next practice session more efficient and effective.
1. Perform a Quick Stretch
I know stretching for golf doesn’t seem necessary, but it actually can have an amazingly positive effect on your golf swing by adding extra flexibility and rotation. It can be as simple as doing some waist twist side to side and/or making circles with your arms to loosen your shoulders and forearms; really just any movement that helps get your blood flowing a little bit.
2. Start with Your Wedges
Some people prefer starting with a 7-iron or even jumping straight into driver, but I would recommend starting with a wedge and hitting a few pitch shots. Not only will the gentle swings used in a pitch shot help further warm-up your muscles, it is also the easiest way to get your hand/eye coordination started for the day. Hit about 8-10 pitch shots starting with half-swing and then work your way up to near full swing with the wedge.
3. Move to Your Short-Irons
This is usually the biggest bulk of your practice session and will incorporate your 9-6 irons. Again, start off with your 9-iron and then begin working your way down (numerically). These are the irons you will use the most often in every round, so take the time to really focus on making pure contact here. Remember, tempo is everything.
4. Time to Hit Long-Irons/Hybrids
Now getting into the part of the bag that many average golfers fear: the long irons (i.e. 5-3 irons). There’s no doubt that long-irons are harder to hit than shorter irons, but if you can master this skill it can go a long way in improving your scores. Be sure to tee up a few balls when practicing your long-irons because it can be helpful to have confidence hitting irons off the tee on par-4’s if you’re struggling with the driver. Don’t fear these clubs… master them instead!
5. Let the Big Dawg Eat
When you’re towards the end of your practice session, it’s time to bust out the driver and/or woods. Be sure to pick a target area that can simulate a fairway on the driving range to help you determine if your accuracy is on or not. Hitting drivers can be tiring, however, so be sure to not over exert yourself.
6. Practice Greens
Once you dial in your driver, take the leftover range balls you have and head to the chipping green and hit some shots from a variety of different areas around the green. Focus on feel and distance control here. Lastly, head to the putting green and practice a few distances to get the speed down. Always finish your putting with five successful 3-foot putts in a row. It’s always helpful (and satisfying) to see the ball go in the hole.
That’s it… enjoy practice!
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