Golf Driving Range Drills (Practice Routine)
If you’re looking for a driving range practice plan to follow to ensure you are using your bucket of range balls to the fullest, then you’ve come to the right page. Our website, Golf Practice Guides, is dedicated to sharing drills and practice plans for you to use to improve your skills.
Today we focus on the practice drills you should use in your driving range routine. Most golfers like to buy a large bucket of balls and mindlessly hit them out into the range. According to many golf instructors, not having a purpose behind your practices is one of the main reasons behind incompetence.
But instead, you should treat each shot as a quality rep for improving the number of fairways and greens you’re going to hit when you get out onto the golf course. Before we go any further, a little introduction to the golf driving ranges.
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What is a Golf Driving Range?
All my veteran readers out there, I know that you’ve been at your local driving ranges many times. But this section is dedicated to the novice golfers who are yet to visit their first golf driving range.
As the name suggests, a driving range is a place for golfers to practice their drivers. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot practice other shots. The area is designated to help you get down to the bottom of your weaknesses and improve from there.
When you first get to a driving range, you need to buy a bucket of balls to start your practice. And you must bring your own clubs. It’s always a good idea to bring everything you have to the practice for a dynamic session.
Generally, you have three options to choose from. A small bucket, a medium, and a large bucket. If you’re just starting out, getting the large bucket is a good idea. As you become better with time, you can bring it down to medium or small buckets.
There are individual areas for players separated by walls or rails. You get your own little area to align ad practice your shots. There will be targets marked on different distances to accurately measure your ball flight as well. Don’t forget to take notes while you practice!
Driving Range Practice Routine
Now that you have a precise idea about what a driving range is, we can move forward to crafting you the perfect golf driving range practice plan. This guide is designed to maximize the efficiency of your practice session, no matter how little time you get.
Map Your Timing
Before you start hitting the balls you just bough, chalk out the duration of your practice. You must divide your time into three equal sections. For example, if you have an hour to yourself, make it 3 sessions of 20-minute practices.
And most importantly, don’t forget to warm up and stretch before you start. You don’t want to pull a muscle while you’re at the driving range, do you?
In each of the three sections, you will focus on different skills. They are as follows:
- Alignment check
- Shot shaping
Those 3 bullets are the three keys to your success at driving the ball onto more fairways. It starts with good alignment to your target followed by your ability to shape shots for different situations and being able to do so consistently.
Alignment Golf Drill
This first driving range drill is going to be the opposite of what most golfers do at the range. Your instinct will be to lay down some alignment sticks to help you get aimed at your target on the range. But the catch here is that you can’t do that out on the golf course.
Instead, you want to set up to the ball and align yourself to the target with no alignment aids just as you would with a real golf shot on the course.
Once you’re set up, lay down your driver on the range as your alignment stick and step away to check how well you had aligned yourself to your target.
Repeat this drill hundreds of times and you’ll begin to pick up subtle things that help you know if you’re aligned properly to your target.
In the beginning, you’re going to learn your tendencies and you’ll notice if you usually align right or left of your target by natural default.
Then you can learn to visually adjust during the setup to straighten yourself out by seeing where your feet, hips, and shoulders are aimed relative to your target.
Variations of this golf drill include videotaping your setup position by setting a camera directly behind you so that it’s facing the driving range. Or, you can have a friend stand back and seeing if you’re aligned properly.
Always shoot yourself from the waist height. If you don’t have enough room behind yourself, set the camera directly in front of you. These two are the best angles to accurately measure your mechanics. Investing in a cheap selfie stick will do the trick. Shaky video footage won’t do you any good!
Once you’ve eyeballed your alignment, it’s time to bring out the big guns! I mean the alignment sticks. This step is just to verify that you’ve measured correctly.
Check out these practice plans with 12 different weekly routines to try.
Shot Shaping Driving Range Drills
After perfecting your alignment, you’ll be set up for straight golf shots to your intended target (fairway or green). But not every shot wants to go straight forward.
Sometimes you’ll be forced to draw the golf ball or hit a fade depending on bunkers, water, and trees that may stand between you and your target landing zone.
To help you build your shot shaping skills, I recommend dividing up your range balls into sets of 10 for 5 different shot types:
- Low runner
- High, soft landing
- Punch Shot using 3/4 swing
This driving range drill is simply hitting 10 shots for each shot type, attempting to successfully shape all 10/10. Test yourself and see where your shot shaping skills are strong and weak based on your scores.
One of the things that have helped me shape my shots is imaging a glass grid in front of me. It can be a basic 9×9 grill. Think of them as brittle windows that you want to break ‘intentionally’. Imagine the middle row of the grid to be your ‘normal zone’ of hitting.
To hit the top grid, you need to give the ball more flight. How do you do that? By moving the ball closer to your inside left foot. Also, opening the club face a little more will help you get the sweet flight to beak the top-middle glass windows.
From there, you can tweak your fades or draws to hit both the right side and the left side.
Do you know what Tiger Woods does when he goes to the driving range? He starts with a lob wedge to loosely shoot the ball. It doesn’t even matter to him where the first ball lands. But after the first landing, he tries to mimic the same shot over and over again. It’s a very mild yet very effective practice drill to improve accuracy.
Do you remember I talked about taking notes of what you’re doing at the driving range? This is where it comes to play. You must note down your progress after each session. The notes will work as amazing insights about your strengths and weaknesses.
When you know what your strengths and weakness are, it becomes easier for you to focus on polishing your skills rather than just playing what you’re good at. Combining your notes and the video clips of yourself will result in very helpful practice sessions.
To learn how to hit a draw, fade, high shot, low shot, punch shot, please read additional articles we’ve written on swing instruction for each type of swing.
Consistency Golf Drill
This final golf drill you should add to your golf range practice plan is intended to help you build consistency in hitting straight tee shots on command and especially under pressure. Reserve this drill for the final section of your practice duration.
This swing drill is also the opposite of what most golfers do.
Usually, you would line up and hit 10 drivers in a row, trying to successfully knock all 10 straight down the middle on the range. But we did that above in the shot shaping drill, hitting ball after ball hoping to draw all 10 successfully in a row.
Instead, this drill simulates real situations faced on the golf course like hitting the driver, followed by 7 iron.
Set aside 28 range balls to simulate hitting 14 tee shots with your driver, followed by 14 approach shots at the green with your irons and wedges.
Here is a sample version of how you could structure your range routine for this drill:
- Driver, 7 iron
- Driver, 5 iron
- Driver, 8 iron
- Driver, Pitching Wedge
- Driver, 9 iron
- Driver, 6 iron
- Driver, Hybrid or Wood
Repeat this again to complete all 28 shots, since each set is 14 shots. Compare your results.
The benefit of this practice drill is to take range practice and make it seem real.
You only get one tee shot so you feel the pressure to hit it straight before moving on to your approach shot with the iron, which simulates hitting it straight at a green by hitting at a green on the practice range.
If you have the luxury of practice on a fancy, high end golf course driving range, they’ll likely have legit-looking greens out on the range to hit to, helping you practice your approach shots proximity to the flag stick. Nice!
Check out these practice plans with 12 different weekly routines to try.
Tips to Make Your Golf Driving Range Practice Even More Interesting
At the end of the day, most of us play golf to release some steam. Long weekdays leave us wanting to connect to our souls. And playing golf works like a charm for people like us. The mindset should be the same when you’re at the course as well as at the driving range.
The key is to keep things interesting. Don’t make the practice hard for yourself. If you do, you’ll soon lose interest in the sport altogether. And golf is a very beautiful sport to forget.
Here are some of my tips to keep the practice plans more engaging.
Bring a Friend/Interact with Fellow Players
Bringing a golf buddy to the practice session is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. The idea of having someone to talk to and having fun together already makes the golf driving range practice more interesting.
Even if you don’t bring a friend, make small talk to the players around you. Ask them about why they’re here. If they seem professional, don’t be shy to ask for pointers.
Even better, you can get into friendly competitions! A competitive mindset can do wonders for our physical abilities. You just need to figure out what makes you tick. A 10-ball face-off sounds like a wonderful idea to me!
Go Live On Your Social Media
If you’re particularly active on social media, you can take your followers or friends on a ride with you! Using the selfie stick we already talked about, you can start a live session directly from the driving range.
It may not help you with your skills, but the mindset will definitely bring out the best in yourself. Our body works differently when it’s under pressure and when it’s not. You can cleverly use the social media live features to test out your ability to handle the pressure!
Overall, this concludes today’s article on a simple but effective golf driving range practice plan. We shared 3 important golf range drills to add to your practice routine so you maximize your time on the range and hit quality golf shots.
Track your stats and see if you can improve each time. Treat it like a game and see how you score on your 28 shot test we outline in drill #3.
For more driving range practice templates, download our practice plan here. Or see the other options linked below:
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