The Correct Driving Range Practice Routine to Get the Most Out of Your Golf Practice Time
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One of the major differences between a professional golfer and a recreational golfer is the amount of practice the pros put in. Even though you may not have that much time for practice, you should make the effort to get in some driving range practice at least.
Apart from practicing at the driving range there are other ways to practice for golf. You can practice at home with a golf mat and golf net, with a golf training aid, and also you can practice while playing a round of golf if the course is not too busy.
Types of Driving Range
Hopefully, you have a driving range close to where you live or there may be one at your local golf course. Most driving ranges are just open grass areas with a row of hitting mats at one end. However, there are some that have the mats under a protective roof that lets you practice golf even when it is raining. Others are floodlit, which lets you get in some practice time at night. All driving ranges should have yardage flags or markers set out every 25 or 50 yards which is useful for judging the distance of each club in your bag.
You will also be able to buy golf balls by the bucket; just remember though that these will be range balls or practice balls that have been well-used. They will probably not play like your regular golf ball but should be adequate to practice golf. There are different sized buckets, for example: medium bucket – 96 balls, large – 125 balls, jumbo – 205.
Driving Range Practice Routine
You can use a driving range for a number of types of golf practice drills; for trying to fix a swing problem, for gauging golf distances for each club, for improving your golf swing, for working on a specific type of shot like the draw shot, or for warming up before a round of golf.
Whatever type of golf practice drills you are doing, please bear in mind one thing. Do not do what the majority of recreational golfers do on a driving range: they buy a big bucket of balls, pull out their driver, and proceed to smash drives down the range with all their force. Even if you came to the range to fix a driver golf swing problem, this is not the way to start a practice session. This is why a driving range should be referred to as a practice range.
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Image courtesy of Andrew Deacon[/caption]Instead, you should begin with a few stretching exercises without hitting a ball. After your golf warm up routine, you can then take a few practice swings but not a full driver swing. Use a medium iron and swing to only about 50 to 75% of your normal swing. You can swing the club back and forth in a steady rhythm to continue warming-up and stretching those golf muscles.
Now it is time to start a proper golf practice routine. Begin with your wedges, then your short irons, mid irons, long irons or hybrids, woods, and finally finish with your driver. Even though you might start with a driver on the first tee, for driving range practice, you should gradually work your way up to using a driver.
There are a couple of reasons for this; first, with a driver you are using more force and putting your muscles and spine through more exertion than you are with a short iron. Second, in a round of golf you will be hitting more shots from within 100 yards than you will take with your driver. So, you should be putting more practice into your short game than you put into your driving. (See this article for more golf tips for driving.)
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Image courtesy of JohnSeb[/caption]Ideally, you will want to get a golf hitting mat that is in front of the yardage markers. This way, you can check how far you are hitting each club. This is necessary for good course management; you need to know how far each club can hit the ball. For example, with your wedges, you should use a full swing, three quarter swing a half swing. Aim towards the yardage markers and see where your ball is landing for each swing length.
Another important tip is to treat each shot with the same respect as if you were on the course playing in a competition. Don’t just hit away, one shot after another until your bucket of balls is finished. You should go through your normal pre-shot routine, golf setup, and address position. Focus on each shot so that you make each shot count.
The final golf driving range tip is to not over exert yourself. With a medium sized bucket of balls holding about 96 golf balls, it is easy to go through them in an hour and a half. That would imply that you are hitting one ball every minute non-stop. This is not a good idea, even if you warmed up and stretched prior to your practice session. You should take a break every so often and before starting again, do a few more stretches.
PurePoint Golf Full Swing Drills DVD
Hopefully, the next time you get some driving range practice time in that it will be quality practice time – don’t forget to practice your putting as well!
Finally, check out the Purepoint Golf Full Swing Drills DVD on the left. In this DVD, Bobby Eldridge will teach you how to practice golf with a purpose so that you will play better golf in less time.