How to Practice on the Driving Range (Best Routines)
Driving Range Practice Routine #1: Alternating Shot
On the golf course, we would normally hit a tee shot first and then drive to our golf ball and hit an iron or fairway wood next.
This should be the same approach you take on the driving range during your practice routine. I call this the Alternating Shot method of practice for the driving range.
Simulate like you’re playing 18 holes. Decide how far this 1st hole is going to be, for example, a 420 yard Par 4.
Starting with Driver, tee up the ball and pick an imaginary fairway out in the driving range. Take aim, make the swing, and see if you can keep the drive inside the boundary you set which serves as an imaginary fairway.
Guess how far you roughly hit that drive. If you feel like you hit it 240 yards, subtract that from the 420 yard Par 4 you decided you were playing for hole #1 on this simulated driving range practice routine.
This leaves you 180 yards.
Select the club in your bag that you would use to hit a 180 yard golf shot out on the golf course.
Take aim at the flagstick or green on the driving range closest to the 180 yard distance that you will be simulating on your second shot.
Then make the swing and see how you do.
Repeat this driving range practice drill by starting shot #3 with Driver and then alternating again pulling out the ideal iron or fairway wood to complete hole #2.
Do this until you played 18 holes on the driving range, alternating shots like you would out on the golf course!
Keep score by tracking how many fairways and greens you hit.
Set boundaries to stay between when hitting drives so you can track how many fairways you would have hit and which golf shots would have gone too far left or right, ending up in the rough.
Driving Range Practice Method #2: Swing Fundamentals
This driving range practice focuses on the golf swing fundamentals. Rather than hitting a bunch of random golf shots and worrying about the end result of where the golf ball flies, instead work on hitting specific golf shots. Or you can spend time working on a specific aspect of the golf swing, like the takeaway.
This golf driving range practice session is meant to make adjustments to your swing. Set up cameras to film your swings so you can see the motions you’re making throughout the swing.
Analyze your set up, takeaway, shoulder turn back, top of backswing position, start of the downswing, the release, and the follow through.
Spend a practice session on the range working on just one aspect of the swing sequence until you feel like you’re building muscle memory and making the swing change feel natural and constant.
Then come back and begin working on the next swing adjustment for a few practice sessions until you build the muscle memory and don’t revert back to the old swing habit.
Driving Range Practice Routine #3: Sets of 5
I call this drill “sets of 5” because as the name implies you’ll be hitting golf balls in sets of 5 balls at a time.
I like to break my medium bucket of balls (about 50-60 balls) into sets of 5 and then start with my shortest golf club and work my way through my golf clubs until I get to driver (longest club in my bag).
When I get started with my chipping wedge, I like to hit all 5 shots at different distance targets to practice distance control and simulate yardages I may face out on the golf course. Sometimes I’m hitting a wedge from 20 yards and other times from 50 or 80 yards away from the green.
Next, I’ll pull out my gap wedge or pitching wedge and take aim at the 120-130 yard flagstick on the driving range. I’ll record how many out of 5 I was able to successfully hit onto the green.
Next, I’ll pull out my 9 iron and hit 5 shots at the target on the driving range closest to the distance that I normally hit my 9 iron.
Keep repeating this until you hit 5 shots with each club in your bag and any left over balls you can hit extra with your driver for extra driver practice.
Make practice on the range more focused by bringing a notebook and tracking your results with each club. How far were you hitting the ball? How accurate? How many greens did you hit out of the 5 attempts?
Sometimes I will hit 4 golf balls normal, full swing, and then I’ll save one ball to hit with 80-90% power. This gets me practice for when I have awkward distances that don’t require a full swing with a particular golf club.
For example, if I normally hit my 7 iron 160 yards but I’m facing a 155 yard shot, I’ll need to take a 90% swing with my 7 iron to fly it a little shorter than it’s full distance.
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