The optimal way to practice golf for lower scores, is to get as close to course conditions as possible when you are on the driving range. In other words, standing there for half an hour or so hitting to the same target, is not going to help you score better. Anyone of any level of technical ability can learn to hit the ball straight at the same target after they’ve repeatedly hit that same shot over and again. Your body learns that same repetitive movement very quickly. You have not, as you might start to think, mastered the game of golf and be ready to hand in your resignation and play on the PGA Tour. Most of the golfers who say, “If only I could take my range game to the course”, have experienced exactly this on the range, and in actual fact, have not really been improving their chances of scoring on the course.[subscribelocker]
When Ben Hogan practiced on the the driving range, he would play holes in his mind. You would see him frequently switching clubs as he played tee shots, approaches and chips. Every shot would involve him having a clear picture of the hole he was playing and the shape of the shot he was going to hit.
Once on the range, pick a fundamental to work on and make that your only technical thought. Now “play” a few holes! Play which ever course you like, but be sure to not hit the same shot twice, like you wouldn’t on a real golf course. On the course you do not have the luxury of playing a shot over, so train your mind with this practice and it will increase your focus on the shot. If you hit the ball left of your target , imagine that you have hit the ball left on your virtual hole and picture that next shot you need to hit to get the ball to the green. This exercise teaches you to synchronize your body and mind to produce the shots that you are visualizing and make the most of every opportunity you have to hit the ball to the target.
The driving range is a place where it is easy to get on auto-pilot, thinking that you are improving by hitting the same target again and again, but in reality, you have not learned a better scoring game. Use this valuable time to practice playing and I’ve no doubt you will see the results on the course.
Use this time wisely and you will definitely score better on the golf course.[/subscribelocker]
Photo by Small Realm