The driving range is invaluable for golf training. Of course, it’s vital that you get as much practice and game time on the course as possible, but if you’re returning to golf after some time out or can’t get to a course because of the weather, a driving range is a good place to be to practice form and technique.
To get the most out of your visit to the driving range you should practice drills. You’ve probably visited a driving range before and hit a bucket of balls as far as possible, but this isn’t the best way to improve your game, as I’m sure you have noticed. The best way is to take a structured approach to training at the driving range and work on building your skills individually.
Here’s some good drills to use at the driving range.
The baseball drill is a fantastic way to get a feel for weight transfer. The drill works like this: Pick out a club that you’re struggling with and assume your normal stance over the ball. As you start your backswing, lift up your left leg (or your right if left-handed) and as you complete your back swing place your foot back down onto the ground for the forward swing. This drill gives you a real feel for weight transfer and after practicing it several times, you should be able to replicate this transfer of weight without lifting up your leg when the process begins to feel comfortable.
This is a decent drill to let off some steam before you get into proper training. It basically involves little set-up prior to the swing – you place the ball on the tee, stand over the ball (relying on your gut instinct to put you in the right position) and swing without correcting yourself. This whole process should take no more than a few seconds. This drill doesn’t teach you any skills, but it does help to create more consistency with fast play. Give it a go and see how it feels. After a while, you will get better at fast play and be able to set yourself up for a straight shot with solid flight.
Providing the buckets you have at your local driving range are of a standard size, you have the perfect tool to refine your golf swing. This drill is perfect for golfers who struggle to come down sharply on the ball. It works like this – place the opening of the bucket against your chest and grip it in-between your arms with golf club in hand. The point of this exercise is to teach proper arm distance, and as you come down on the ball the bucket will help to keep your arms in the correct position. After a few shots, remove the bucket, and attempt to keep your arms the correct distance apart.
Play like you would on the course
If you plan to have a proper game of golf soon, you’ll benefit from using a different club for each shot you take. You might like to order it like this – driver, 6 iron, 3 wood, 4 iron, wedge. Pick a target – for example a target that’s 190-yards away – and work on striking the ball as accurately as you can toward the target one club after another. Your distances will naturally reduce as you move away from the driver and the aim isn’t to hit the target; it’s to stay in line and set yourself up for the perfect next shot. It helps to have imagination with this drill and dream up a virtual fairway and green.