Most amateur golfers are in the habit of heading straight to the golf course whenever they get free time, rather than practicing the basics at the range. But, if you wish to improve your golf game, you need to spend quality time practicing at the range. Practice these 7 things on the range to inevitably benefit your game.
Before initiating your practice session, spend some time warming up. Although golf is not classed as a fast-moving athletic sport, your muscles are used at high speed in a twisting motion during the golf swing. Care should be taken when warming up. Try these exercises:
Place a club behind your shoulder blades, try a long iron, hybrid or wood. Then rotate 90 degrees to the left, then to the right. The action should be similar to the shoulder turn you create during your golf swing.
Next, take two clubs (try to pick two irons of similar size, say 8 and 9 irons) and then gently swing them together. Don’t worry about the grip; you will not be able to hold the clubs with your proper golf grip. Just hold on to the clubs and swing them carefully to warm up all of your golf muscles. Once you switch back to one club, it should feel light and easy.
Split up your efforts on the range
When you first get to the range, remember to warm up. Then, start swinging with a few easy wedge shots to get your swing in sync. Once you feel warmed up and comfortable, think of how you should split up your bucket of balls — don’t just hit driver for every shot.
We suggest you use 50 percent of your balls while practicing your short game. Use 25 percent of your balls while practicing your mid to long irons. Then use 25 percent on your driver and fairway woods.
Concentrate on perfecting your 50-yard shot
More than 65 percent of all shots in a professional golf game are within the 50-yard range. This is one of the main reasons why you need to perfect your short game. When you are on the range, try to spend substantial time perfecting your pitch and chip shots. Pick targets and make a game of it by seeing how many you can land in a certain area.
Practice on the range with a serious attitude
Never take your range practice sessions lightly. When you practice your shots on the range, you develop your technique. For example, when you practice your approach shots, try and select the perfect iron and play the shot like you would on the course. Pick a target, do your pre-shot routine and take your shot. If you made a mistake, take some time out and think about why your swing wasn’t up to scratch. Don’t get frustrated — bad shots help you learn what not to do. Take it on board and improve on your next swing.
Visualize your shots
In order to use your time on the range to the maximum, you need to practice in a smart way. Try visual targets, take a step back, think what shot and club you need to play, do your pre-shot routine, then take your swing. Make a game of this by seeing how many you can hit inside of your target. You can improve this by mapping out your home course on the range and seeing how well you can “play” the course.
Perfect your grip and other fundamentals
Unless you have solid fundamentals, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle to improve your game. Experimenting with your grip, setup or ball position should be done on the range. Experimenting on the range won’t cost you any shots, but doing so on the course can prove disastrous.
Work on your posture
Perfecting your posture is vital if you wish to improve your golfing skills. And you don’t actually need to use any golfing equipment. Simply stand a foot away from the ball. Lean your body towards the ball, using your hips to bend your back. Your arms should be in line with the ball and aligned with each other. Your back should be flat.
Next time you hit the range, try some of these tips and let us know how it goes. Remember: The range is your best opportunity to practice your game — so use your time wisely!
— Joseph Mills