Driving Range Tips to Drive Far, Hit Straight and Feel Confident
Learn to Take Your Driving Range Skills and Apply Them to Your Golf Game
There is nothing we humans love more than being the best of the best. We want to stand out from our friends, have the skills to impress and be able to crush our competition. Especially in golf.
Golf is a unique sport that requires a lot of precision, form, and practice in order to succeed. Rather than running back and forth between goals, this sport encourages the least amount of movement possible for each hole.
So how do you learn to become a professional at a sport where you only get a single shot to get it right?
Enter the driving range.
Speaking simply, a driving range is a place where golfers of any skill level can practice their drives.
With a basket of balls in hand, individuals can take their time swinging their clubs and examining how their shots land. This, in turn, will ideally help improve their swings come actual game day.
The key word being “ideally.”
Not everyone is able to use their swing time at the driving range to their full advantage. Some people goof off, ignore their technique, or simply forget that this practice is designed to help them at all.
For those of you looking to up your golf game, the driving range is the perfect place to start. With a few helpful tricks, some basic understanding, and a real passion for the sport, you could find yourself winning that gold trophy in no time.
So, let’s tee off, shall we?
Feeling Set with Your Set
Step one to ultimate success: have the right tools.
If you want to improve your golf game, you are going to need to start by having a solid set of clubs by your side. These clubs are your allies in the game, meaning you need to choose carefully who you want with you out on the course.
Every great golfer should be equipped with at least 12 clubs, up to 14, that should include a combination of these:
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Starting strong is vital to your overall performance in the game. In order to put your best foot forward, you are going to need a reliable driver, both in your golf bag and in your car.
Also known as the one wood, the driver is designed to send the golf ball long distances. This should be the club you use to start off the hole in order to get it as close to the putting green as possible.
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After your initial drive, you may find that you still have quite a ways to go before you reach that flag in the hole. You are going to need another club to help send that ball closer to the goal. What you need, are some woods.Woods generally range from number three through five, depending on their design and angle. Their material allows you to send the ball a long distance without it flying too high in the air.
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Who doesn’t love a combo? Combining the best of two things to create a superior thing is the highlight of human existence. So why wouldn’t the same be true in golf?A hybrid club is crafted from a mix of wood and iron materials, ultimately combine the benefits of both clubs.
The biggest section of clubs in your arsenal should be your irons. These bad boys are often designed and labeled with numbers between three and nine, each with a varying angle.Crafted with only the finest of iron materials, these clubs provide great aim and precision while you hit the ball closer to the hole.
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Get out of the sand, ball! There is absolutely nothing worse than finding your ball in a tough spot.Your wedges are designed to send the ball higher in the air with a lower amount of trajectory. This will help you get the ball out of unusual or undesired places and get you back into the game.
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The putting green can be the kiss of death for some golfers. No matter how quickly you were able to get the ball through the course, none of it will matter if you cannot place the ball in the hole.Your putter has a flat edge, specifically designed to send the ball safely across the green and directly into the hole. This will be the last club you use on the course, and it is essential to have good control over it.
Got My Clubs, Got My Balls…Now What?
Now comes the fun part: actually playing some golf! Stepping onto a golf course can be exciting for many people, but do not let the shimmering grass distract you from what you need to focus on.Golf courses are a great way to put your skills into action, but if you lack the skills required to play, you may lose interest in the sport altogether, which is why journeying to the driving range is often the way to go.
Who Do I Choose?
Before a baby learns to walk, they crawl. In the same way, you should take the time to work up your skills at the driving range before setting foot on the course.Without the pressure to score well or impress your friends, the driving range offers golfers the chance to truly get into the swing of things. Here, you can give all your clubs a try, swing without the fear of messing up, and learn where your strengths and weaknesses lie.However, just because a baby now knows how to walk, they still need to turn back to their crawling methods from time to time.A good golfer knows that there is always room for improvement. Whether you have been playing for a year or 25 years, getting in some solid practice at the driving range can take your golf game to a level you never before imagined.
Driving Range image via sportsandoutdoorstips
golf course image via sedonagolfresort
But Mom, Do I Have to?
We know, practice sucks. The game is the fun part and so you probably just want to get out there and play right from the get-go. You understand the sport, so why should you spend hours at the driving range practicing your skills?
Sure, you can get by with just a few lucky swings and some solid weather by your side, but you will never be able to consistently perform without some type of practice.
Those of you looking to enhance your game need to head out to the driving range for some personal golf time. And don’t worry, we’ll show you just how to succeed without wasting too much of your time away from the course.
“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – But you have to play the ball where it lies.”
Home on the Range
Take off your coat, unbutton your collar, and make yourself at home at your local driving range. This is a great place to get your bearings and enhance your muscle reflexes for actual gameplay.But what do you even do there? Sure it seems simple enough: walk up, grab your clubs, and swing over and over again. But how will this help you improve your golf skills?By adjusting a few of your habits, taking into consideration more than just the distance your ball traveled, and mixing up your schedule, you will find yourself gearing up for the U.S. Open in no time. To make it simpler for you, we have laid out a series of tips and tricks to get you ready to tackle any course that comes your way.
Let’s Get those Arms Pumping!
Nobody wants to be cold out on the course. You have got to get those arms and legs feeling nice and warm if you want them to cooperate with you.
Warming up is essential to your golf game. Even though it may feel a bit odd, take a few minutes to give your body a nice stretch before you start. Tight muscles will do nothing but hurt you, later on, so be sure to give your arms, legs, back, and neck a relaxing stretch before you even touch a club.
Grab Your Golfing Checklist
|Short range shots? Check!|
Just like having a leg day at the gym, develop a gameplan before heading to the driving range. Know how you are going to practice for the day can get your mind and body in the right place to achieve ultimate success.
It has been proven that consistency and routine help to make a stronger athlete. Finding a rhythm that works for you can not only improve your golf game but give your muscles the sort of repetition they need to develop healthy skills.
Swing, Swing, Swing!
But wait! Don’t get too carried away!
Of course, we want you to be able to get a large number of shots in at the driving range, but you need to make sure you do not grab a single club and go wild. Afterall, variety is the spice of life.
While taking your driver out is a great way to improve your initial shot in the game, if that is the only club you ever work with, you won’t find much improvement in your golfing abilities.
Part of your checklist should include working through nearly all the clubs in your bag to familiarize yourself with each one there. Before long, you will find that certain clubs are easy for you to navigate and perform well with, while others could use some work, to say the least.
Break up your shots and club choices regularly, allowing your muscles to find comfort in all styles of swings. The more versatile you can be, the more likely you will be successful when the unexpected arises.
Maybe Just a Little More to the Left…
Oops! Too far. Try to the right a bit. Left! A little short, hit it just a bit farther..wow. Way too far.In the game, you have a specific destination that you are attempting to reach: the hole. To reach that hole, you are going to have to position yourself and aim accordingly.Find a spot out at the driving range that is continuously recognizable to you. Actually, pick out a few of those spots. Then practice getting your ball to consistently hit that mark again and again.If you are able to hit any spot on demand, you can feel confident in reaching the hole in far fewer swings than your competitors.
Are You Up for a Challenge?
Why not raise the stakes a bit? While practice can often feel repetitive and potentially boring in comparison to actual gameplay, that doesn’t mean you can’t still make it fun.
A great way to do that on the driving range is to give yourself some type of challenge. These challenges could be simple, easily completable tasks or something that is outlandish and nearly impossible to achieve.
We love to feel challenged because we thrive on the feeling of accomplishment. For those looking to really raise the stakes for themselves, here are a few example challenges to test yourself with:
- Hit the same target with every single club in your bag
- Fan out your shots from left to right, then back right to left
- Play a round of HORSE with a friend, fellow golfer, or yourself
- With a single club, attempt to hit the ball with a multitude of trajectories (up to nine if you are playing Tiger Woods style!)
- Find three positions that are short, middle, and long and continuously fan between them both forwards and backward
Perfectly Put Your Putter in Place
While the main action at the driving range is getting to swing long shots out into open grassland, there is always a little area available to bust out that putter of yours.
Perfecting your putting skills can be difficult as it requires a lot of patience, hand-eye coordination, and practice. But, your putting skills will often be the determining factor between a win and a loss.
A great way to obtain control while out putting is to putt with only your dominant hand. Without the additional support your other hand provides, you learn to achieve control over the ball, your muscle’s reflexes, and the course.
Putting is also a great time to play some fun golf games, which is why so many people love miniature golf. A great one is to line up ten or twelve different balls around the hole at different lengths around the entirety of the hole, much like a clock. Choose a starting ball and work your way around the setup to see how many you can sink in sequentially.
Bring a Buddy!
Just like heading to the gym, bringing a buddy along can help improve your overall performance at the driving range. Provided you bring a supportive buddy with you and not a negative Nancy.Having someone else there helps to hold you accountable for your time. You cannot cop out, or ignore your practice schedule. They can see what you are doing and will probably not be afraid to point out your divergence from your plan.
Plus, they can encourage you! When you hit that ball in just the right way that perfectly locks on to your target, you have someone there to see it in action. You can brag about your achievements and have someone to back you up when you tell your family later on.
Two heads can really be better than one since you can see each other’s mistakes. A good partner can help you correct improper form while also giving tips on how to better hit your marks in the future. And you can help them out in return. It’s a win, win scenario!
Gosh, I Really Can’t Do This Alone
Never fear! The internet is here!
Learning to navigate your own regimen can be daunting, especially for beginners. Thankfully there are a ton of experts online who are speaking out about their technique, practice routine, and preferences.
What is especially great is that not only can you read what they have to say, but you can also watch them do their thing. YouTube has allowed golfers from across the globe to upload videos of themselves performing impressive swings again and again.
A great place to get started is with the YouTube channel, FreeOnlineGolf. This channel offers a wide selection of videos to showcase proper form, explain how to do specific shots, and even provide you with drills to improve your own swing.
We’ve selected two of our favorite clips below for you to check out, where he explains how to get the most out of your time while out at the driving range.
Revolutionary Range Realization Remix
“I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone’s game. It’s called an eraser.” ~Arnold Palmer
This One. Or Maybe That One? Definitely This One. But Maybe…
Finding a driving range that is perfect for you may be a bit more difficult than you think. Things like cost, customer traffic levels, and aesthetics can ultimately change your experience and levels of success.Do not be afraid to look around before you go! Check out what each driving range has to offer and what you could potentially gain from going there. To help you out, we’ve listed a few pointers to get you swinging at the perfect tee.
Money, Money, Money!
Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but it sure can get you some time on the driving range. Here, you pay for the number of balls you want and then get to use their facility for free.Each driving range will have its own price tag, some of which are affordable, others may be a tad expensive. These prices will also come with their own level of quality, comfortability, and appearance.
But what you really want to know, is how much it’s going to cost you. The average price for a bucket of balls is somewhere between $5 and $25 depending on where you go and how many balls you want. The higher the number of balls you purchase, the better deal you often get.
For those looking to get some consistent practice time in, search around until you find a driving range with a membership. These memberships (which charge roughly $40-$70 a month) will give you unlimited access to balls and the range for as long as you pay their fees. This way, you’ll not only get a second and a third shot but the 600th shot too.
Excuse Me! Golfer Coming Through
Don’t you hate having to wait in long lines or being surrounded by a crowd of people while you try and focus on your swing? If so, you definitely want to make sure you determine the customer traffic levels at your local driving range.
This can often be resolved in a simple question to the worker at the front desk:
“Welcome to the driving range! Is there anything I can do for you?”
“I was actually wondering when your busiest times were.”
“We often see a lot of people come in Wednesday through Friday between 4 PM and 7 PM. Saturdays are generally pretty busy too.”
“When would you suggest I come by if I’m looking for something a bit less hectic?”
“Monday and Tuesday evenings are generally a good time. If you’re available, Thursday mornings are also quite quiet.”
Real or Fake. Which do you prefer?
Driving ranges come in all sorts of styles and looks. Some places prefer to use artificial turf to cover their ground, while others maintain real grass for golfers to hit on.
To be honest, there is not a lot of difference between the two beyond their origin. Artificial turf is often a bit more reliable and resistant to water, while real grass will provide the same level of friction and bounce like a real golf course.
Give them both a try yourself and see what feels right to you!
A Bit of Motivation Before You Go
Seeing the end game of all your hard work may feel impossible. After countless rounds at the driving range, you may only be able to see a single ball flying up without a single hole in site.
This is why taking a bit of time away from the range can be so valuable. And by taking some time away, we mean examining the form of professionals in the sport.
Ernie Els is a great person to take after. His form and momentum make it look as though he is just gliding the ball through butter. He is relaxed, comfortable, and totally at ease.
Compare videos with your friends and fellow golfers on a regular basis. You never know what you might learn from a quick clip.
The Driving Range Isn’t Going to Tee Itself
So what are you waiting for? You have all the information you need to truly make the most out of your driving range sessions.
Take the time to get yourself some quality equipment and set up a good schedule. Ultimately, how you practice is up to you. Learn your strengths and where you need work, polish those few faults, and before you know it, you will be swinging like the pros.
So go on and get out there! That tee isn’t going to set itself.