Play the Golf Course on the Driving Range - Troy Denton, PGA Professional - Golf Instruction

  • September 16, 2015

Northern Trust Open - Preview Day 3

Struggling to take your driving range swing to the golf course? It’s a common complaint among golfers. “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 2 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 and try emulating your course play 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. Or, 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!

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