Practice time at the driving range is important - use it wisely.

Published: 23rd September 2006
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As the saying goes practice makes perfect and in golf you certainly need to practice. The best place to practice is on the golf course, however this is not always faesibly possible due to commitments, time constraints etc. This is where the driving range or practice area at your golf course come in. You can get some very valuable practice time in at these areas and work on the aspects of your game which are problematic to you.

When you go to the driving range or practice area though you need to ensure that you get value for your time, there are so many times that I go to the practice range and see golfers hitting away at each ball like a robot with the exact same club - normally the driver. Whilst this can be good for you as it can help build muscle memory it is not really that good for your game, how many times on the course do you actually hit your driver, it certainly wont be 50, 75, 100 times or more like it is at the driving range. The making of a good golfer is not how long or straight you can hit the ball it is the variety of shots that you are able to perform.

If you are at the driving range you are probably reducing your array of shots you have at your disposal. On the course there is only really one club which you are definately going to be using on each and every hole - that is your putter, therefore this is one aspect which you need to practice a lot on. As the saying goes - drive for show and putt for dough.

Whilst at the driving range you need to practice as many different types of shot as possible, full swings, half swings, quarter swings, chipping, pitching etc.

Try to vary your clubs as often as possible and do not be tempted to hit the saem club more than 5 times in a row. A good practice drill is to line up all your clubs starting from your wedge all the way to the driver and start at the wedge, hit a ball with the wedge, now hit a ball with the next club and ensure that this ball goes further than the wedge, if successful move to the next club, the aim of this practice is to hit each club further than the last club - if you fail move back to the wedge and start again. This is fantastic practice for the full swing.

For chipping and pitching practice vary the shots so that one shot is a chip, the next a pitch etc. Always pick different targets for each one. Practicing pitching and putting will ensure that given time you will be able to land a ball on the green closer to the pin as well as being able to escape from all sorts of lies.

Putting is a part of the game which is so seldom practiced, however it is probably one of the most important to practice, gaining a smooth putting swing along with allignment, tempo etc is a sure fire way of reducing your score on the course.

No matter which aspect of practice you choose always pick a target to aim for, perform your pre shot routing before each shot and swing to the complete finish just like you would on the course.

Introducing variety into your practice time will increase the type and quality of shots that you have at your disposal when you are on the course and should assist you in building a more consistent swing.

Peter Cunningham manages the Golf Review Center website. This site is dedicated to the provision of quality reviews for golf related products and servers worldwide.


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