How to Maximise Your Time at the Driving Range
When you find the time to work on your game and get down to the driving range, it's important to ensure that you're using your time effectively. It's not all about getting out the driver and swinging at the ball like a madman, hoping to make holes in the back fence; it's about improving all aspects of your game.
If you think you have a serious problem with your swing, then it might be wise to consult with a professional or experienced player; and ask them to observe your action. If there are any red flags they should be able to help you iron out your imperfections. After all, there is no use in spending your time practicing the incorrect swing.
When you consider how many times you use your driver during your average round (probably between 14-16 shots depending on the course) it doesn't make sense to spend a whole session devoted to working on the drive. The majority of your shots will come from using wedges and irons, so it's important to work on these aspects of your game.
First and foremost, it's is imperative that you warm up properly. A lot of people perceive Golf as a sport that doesn't require as much athleticism as other sports. However the explosive nature of a golf swing means that you will be moving a lot of muscles at very high speeds in a twisting motion. Warming up thoroughly will not only help prevent injury, but it will also make your first few swings more effective than without warming up.
To ease your body into your practice session, we would suggest starting with a wedge of a short iron. Depending on how many balls you're hitting that day - set some aside for time with each club. Select 10 balls to hit and start with your wedge, after you've completed this set select another 10 balls and move up along to your shortest iron. You can use this technique and progress through your clubs until you are thoroughly warmed up and ready to finish with your long irons, woods and drivers. This is very easy and effective way to ensure that you're working on all the facets of your game, it will help bring attention to the weak aspects of your game. In turn this will help hone your practice sessions, as you will know what parts of your game you need to devote more time to.
If you're looking to lower your score in the most effective way, it will be economical to devote most of your time to your short game. A differing session plan to the one outlined above could include devoting a certain number of balls to each facet of your game. You could dedicate 60% of the balls to work on your short game and approach to the green, leaving the remaining balls to help develop your long fairway shots and drives.
Some people like to visualise their favourite course when they're at the range, this adds realism and a bit of fun to your practice session. When you're thoroughly warmed up you could 'play' the first hole of your course, using the yardage markers as your pin, you can advance your way along the hole. Assessing where you think your drive landed, and choosing the appropriate iron to continue, you can do this until you finish by chipping onto the green -before moving onto the next hole of your course. Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you think more productively about using your time for real practice, and not just think about trying to hit the back fence.
Tom Logan is a Golf enthusiast who works for TopGolf, an interactive driving range with 3 locations in the UK.