You’ve got to practice like you play!
We have all seen it, and most of us do it. We get to the range and hit ball after ball with the same club, usually a driver trying to groove a swing. After a while we begin to hit the ball solid and leave feeling pretty good about our session. We then go to the course and hit a poor shot and wonder why.
Once on the course, it may take three or four holes to get our swing in the groove. We start to play well, make a few pars, and after the turn our game starts to fall apart. We end with the same average score as our last ten rounds , hit the range again and work on our swing trying to become a better player. The circle then continues and we never seem to get better.
Here is why: how many times have you hit more than one shot from the same spot to the same target with the same club on the course? ?Never, I hope, unless you hit your shot O.B. We need to break the old driving range chain and build a practice session that is more like we play. Here’s how you can get the most out of your next range session and translate it to and from the course.
1. Never hit more than two shots with the same club in a row. You don’t on the course, so don’t do it in your range session.
2. Stick to your Pre Shot routine on each and every shot. You need to do this because with each shot on the course, you need to stick to your routine. This will help you feel the same on and off the course.
3. Try to hit off of different lies. Uphill, level, rough ect.. This is tough because most ranges only have level lies for grass hitting areas and mats. Even on a level lie or mat try to choose a different target as if you were on the course for each shot.
4. Take small breaks every few shots. Just like on the course we need to take breaks in between shots to help us stay in focus on the task at hand and stay in the moment. If we hit ball after ball as fast as we can we will never take it to the course.
5. Grab an old score card and picture the holes in your mind. Try to hit the same shots on the range as if you were playing the hole. If you make a bad shot hit the next shot from the spot you would have ended up on the hole. This might mean you have to hit a low punch because you might have ended up under a tree. This will make your sessions more fun and help your game.
Give this a try on the next few practice sessions and see how your game improves.