Driving range practice: Create pressure while you practice

Pressure is a very important part of any practice session. The more you can simulate high pressure situations, the better you’ll get at handling them on the golf course (this is how you’ll feel when you’re on for your best score or about to win your match or tournament).

Imagine holes in your mind and play the course

When you’re practicing on the driving range, it’s always a good idea to simulate course conditions as much as possible.

After you’ve warmed up pick 2 targets on the range that represent the edges of the fairway. Now use your imagination to see holes in your mind and attempt to hit at least 5 of them down this fairway in a row. Go through your routine each time and imagine a different hole. If you miss one, start over. Once you’ve hit all 5 onto the fairway, it’ll give you confidence so you’ll feel like you can handle tee shots better under pressure.


Use the range to play your local course. Imagine tee shots and approach shots and estimate the number of putts by how close you hit your approach. Keep your scores.

Change clubs regularly

Ben Hogan used to practice by changing club and target with almost every shot. By picturing holes in his mind and the shots required to play them, he was able to build a scoring game. This avoids getting into “range rhythm” and creates a more simulated “course” experience – which is the best way to practice.

If you like these drills then you’ll like my top 40 practice drills.

Running on the spot

Graeme McDowell will sometimes run for a couple of minutes on the spot to get his heart rate up to simulate course conditions while he practices. So you can always add this when you need.


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David MacKenzie

is a mental golf coach and lives in Washington DC. He is the founder of Golf State of Mind, a teaching program designed to help golfers condition their minds to overcome fear and play with confidence.

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