Golfers often use the driving range without a clear purpose or strategy, so they can get more out of their practice sessions. I have been there too, just hitting balls without any real purpose. But if you want to improve your game, you need to have a plan when you go to the driving range.
Now, I am not saying that you need to spend hours at the range working on your swing. But if you have the time, and you are serious about getting better, then you should use the driving range to its full potential. Remember, the driving range is a great place to work on your game, but it is not going to fix everything. You still need to get out on the course and play as often as you can.
Let’s dive in and take a look at how you can use the driving range to improve your game. These little tips and tricks helped me take my game to the next level, and I am sure they will help you too.
Warm-Up Before Hitting Balls
This one seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many golfers just show up to the driving range and start hitting balls without warming up first. Just like any other athlete, you need to warm up your muscles before you start playing or practicing. Not only will this help prevent injuries, but it will also help you hit the ball further.
There are some stretches and exercises that you can do to warm up your muscles, especially your rotator cuff and your latissimus dorsi. Spend 5-10 minutes stretching and doing exercises before you start hitting balls, and you will notice a difference in your game.
Start Short and Work Your Way Out
Use your wedges first and start hitting balls from close range. Hitting a few balls with your sand wedge and pitching wedge will help you get a feel for your swing. Then you can move on to your 9-iron, mid-irons, and eventually your long-irons.
After you have warmed up and stretched, your muscles will be loose and ready to go. Start with some half swings and a few chip shots with tempo in mind. Once you are feeling good, you can start hitting balls with your driver.
This is a great way to start your practice session because it allows you to focus on your short game first. Your short game is arguably the most important part of golf, so you should spend the majority of your time practicing it.
Hit Some Targets
One of the best ways to improve your game is to focus on hitting specific targets. The majority of the ranges have Trackman or Flightscope, which is a great way to see exactly where your ball is going. If you don’t have access to that technology, you can always set up targets with cones or flags.
Start by hitting 10 balls and focus on hitting the center of the target. Once you are consistently hitting the target, you can start moving the target further back. The key is to focus on hitting your target, not on how far you can hit the ball.
Don’t Neglect the Basics
While it is important to work on your swing, you should also focus on the basics. Spend some time working on your grip, stance, and posture. These are the three foundations of a good golf swing, and if they are not correct, then your swing will never be right.
I like to pick a bay with a mirror and spend some time working on my posture. I will also video myself from time to time to make sure my stance is correct. It might seem like a pain, but it is worth it if it helps you play better golf.
Whilst at a golfing lesson, the pro recommended using alignment sticks on the driving range to improve accuracy. This is a great way to check your posture and make sure you are aligning your body correctly. They are easy to get, you can find them on amazon and they are now part of my usual range bag.
Hit a Few Shots with Each Club
Yes, it is important to work on your tee shots, but you also need to be able to hit good shots from the fairway as well as from within 100 yards. Make sure you hit a few shots with each club in your bag.
This will help you become more comfortable with all of your clubs and improve your overall game. I like to hit 10 shots with each club and then move on to the next one.
Take Your Time
Don’t rush your session at the driving range. Yes, it is important to warm up and hit a few balls with each club, but you also need to take your time. If you are rushing through your session, you are not going to improve as much as you could. So take your time, focus on your game, and enjoy yourself.
Track Your Progress
Most of the driving ranges are now equipped with Trackman technology, which is a great way to track your progress. You can see exactly how far you are hitting the ball and where it is going. This is a great way to see if you are making any progress with your game.
If you don’t have access to Trackman, then make sure you keep track of your progress in another way. Good old notepad and pen will do the trick. Write down how many balls you hit, what club you used, and how far you hit them. This will help you see if you are making any progress.
Alternatively, you could get your own tracking devices such as Garmin G80 or Mevo+ which you can use at the range or on the golf course and record your stats for each session.
One of the best ways to improve your game is to set goals. This will help you focus on what you need to do to get better. Make sure you set realistic goals that you can achieve. For example, if you are hitting your driver 200 yards, then your goal might be to hit it 220 yards.
Don’t try to improve your game too much at once. Set small goals and then build on them. This will help you see steady progress with your game and keep you motivated to continue working on it.
Get a Lesson
If you are at the beginning of the golf journey, I would recommend finding a local coach or taking some group lessons. These are usually very cheap and you will learn a lot from them. If you are more serious about your game, then you might want to look into getting some private lessons.
A good golf pro will be able to help you with your swing and give you some tips on how to play better golf. They will also be able to help you with your mental game, which is just as important as the physical side of things.
End on a High Note
Once you have worked on your game and hit a few balls with each club, it is time to end on a high note. Pick one club that you are comfortable with and hit a few balls with it. Make sure you are focusing on your form and swinging through the ball. This will help you end your session on a positive note and leave you feeling good about your game.
Use the Driving Range to Have Fun and Relax
The trackman technology has so much to offer with various golf courses and fun games you can virtually play without ever leaving the driving range.
The last time we went with my friends, we have chosen the most famous St. Andrews 18-hole course. It was so much fun, and we were able to see our progress as we played through the course. We had our handicaps set so it was a close match, and we were really excited to see how well we did by the end.
There are many other games you can play too such as longest drive, target practice, and even a game where you have to hit the ball through various obstacles. Some of the driving ranges offer snacks and drinks which is always a bonus.
If you want to improve your golf game, then the driving range is a great place to start. You can use it to warm up before your round, work on your swing, and even have some fun. Most ranges now have Trackman technology which allows you to track your progress and play various games as well as virtual golf courses.
You can also set goals and see how far you are hitting the ball. If you are serious about your game, then you should also consider getting a lesson from a golf pro. They will be able to help you with your swing and give you some tips on how to play better golf.
Use the driving range to have fun and relax. It is a great place to work on your game and see some progress.