Too many golfers waste valuable time practicing in the wrong way. One of the goals of Golf State of Mind is to get you practicing more effectively so you can get better faster. Try these 5 Effective Practice Drills For The Driving Range.
1. Same club, different distances
Try hitting the same club to targets of different distances. For example, take your 5-iron and try to hit it first to the 200, then 175, 150, 125 and finishing on the 100. We would never do this on the course, but it’s a good drill for improving feel. To get as good as you can be involves a lot of feel for shots (being able to shave off or add yards to the same club to get the ball as close as possible).
2. Guess the shot shape
If you have a friend practicing also, have them watch a few shots while you close your eyes just before you start your back-swing. Before opening your eyes, make a call on the shape of the shot. Having your eyes closed and guessing on the outcome will reinforce the feeling of shot shapes. Instead of associating shapes with actions in the swing, we connect it with that feeling. Get them to give you precise feedback – 10 yard fade which started at the x marker and finished at the x.
3. 3 clubs to 3 different targets
To spice up driving range practice, pick various targets (e.g. the 50, 100, 150 markers) and hit 3 different clubs to each target, say your 8-iron, 5-iron and 3-iron. This is a great way to learn how to increase your distance control.
4. Tempo variation
Becoming aware of changes in tempo in the golf swing when you’re on the course is key to playing well under pressure. Experimenting by hitting shots with 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% tempo, is a good way to a)find your optimal tempo and b) become aware of changes in tempo on the course.
5. Tension variation
Another thing that changes under pressure is tension. When we’re feeling overly nervous or under pressure, it’s important to notice changes in tension, especially grip pressure. Vary grip pressure from a 10/10 down (very tight) to a 1/10 (very light) and notice how it affects your shots. Annika Sorrenstam used to say to her caddie “3” before every shot, reminding herself to set her grip pressure at a 3/10.
Photo by Ryan Schrelber