If you find yourself wondering where is the best golf range near me to practice and how should I approach practicing golf, this blog outlines some of the basic keys to remember.
Golf Practice Should Have a Purpose and Focus
If you are lucky enough to have played several sports growing up before you started playing and practicing golf at a range, you may remember that your coaches always had a purpose for practice – work on one skill at a time, then put all your skills together for game time.
Go Easy on Yourself
Golf practice is about developing good habits – mental, muscle memory, and your pre-shot shot routine. Going to the golf range can be intimidating when you first start, but if you relax and realize everyone at golf isn’t very good, you can develop good habits faster.
Interestingly enough, golf is a game that can teach you life lessons. Here are a few you may learn at the range.
- Have a positive attitude
- Forgive yourself for making a mistake and move on
- Persist even when things get tough
Warming Up & Stretching
Golf is a sport with a lot of twisting, turning and flexing. When you find a golf range near you that you enjoy. Before you ever hit the ball, stretch out the following
This is your time to relax the mind, This can also help prevent any nagging injuries.
Start With Shorter Shots
Shorter golf clubs (7-iron and below) are lighter and easier to swing. You can start with some short pitch shots; half swings with a sand wedge or pitching wedge. This will help build up feel and strike, and allow you to find a nice tempo for your range sessions.
Aim at Targets
Golf is a target game. You need to hit the ball in the right direction, at the right distance and at targets.
On the golf range, the targets you are aiming for are marked with flags, but on the golf course, you need to hit spots on the ground (a small hill, a dark spot of grass, a dip in the ground, and other places).
Get Good at the Basics First
When experienced golfers hit the range they are working on some very technical parts of their game. People who go to the golf range, at any level, are working to improve their game – woohoo!
Outside of your golf swing, there are some basics you need to refine.
- Grip – here are some tips to develop your golf grip
- Ball Position
Vary the Shots You Hit
Rember, you will hit several types of shots during a round of golf. You will need to practice those shots.
The difficulty of practicing at a range is that you are hitting off a flat surface but on the golf course you will hit the ball above your feet, below your feet, uphill, downhill and every other lie you can think of.
Try not to hit hundreds of shots to the same target with the same club.
- Change your target and or club
- Hit your clubs as you might on the course – driver, long iron, short iron, chip
- When you get more experienced – hit high shots, low shots, draws, fades
Get good at switching up the length and type of shot you need to hit. Personally, I like hitting a club until I hit it well three times. If that takes three shots, then I’m done.
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Repeat Your Pre-Shot Routine
Once you develop a pre-shot routine (the repeatable actions you take prior to your golf shots) that delivers good results for you.
- Finding Your Shot Line and Target
- Walking Up to the Ball
- Your Stance
- Everything Before You Swing
Find Friends to Go to the Golf Range With
Everything is more fun with good friends. Golf is no different. Golf is a great game to meet new people. I think you’ll find that you meet everyone at the golf range.
Golf practice is much more fun with friends
Pretend You Are On the Course
When amateurs are golfing, they are typically talking with their playing partners about the best shot to hit off the tee, from the fairway (or the rough), or when hitting a pitch shot. You’ll find that golfers talk about the game constantly.
Create games with each other and award points to the best (closest to the target) shots – that’s how the real game is.
Not all golf ranges have practice areas with sand bunkers you can practice from, but every golfer should get comfortable with hitting shots out of the sand – we all end up there.
Chipping the golf ball is a very important shot to practice at golf range because as a newer golfer we often hit the ball close to the green, requiring a chip shot.
Don’t use range balls when practicing your chip shots. Use the golf balls you play on the course.
If you want to improve your chipping, spending time on chipping drills is essential. While most amateur and intermediate golfers spend time trying to lengthen their drives, it’s on or close to the green where the real stuff happens.
Try this quick drill designed to get you in the habit of holding the correct posture throughout your shot. Stand as though you’re about to hit your chip shot. Your shoulders and arms should form a triangular shape, from shoulder to shoulder and down to your hands.
As you swing, focus on making a lowercase y-shape with this triangle and your club. Make sure you’re placing about 70% of your weight on your front foot and swing through the shot, letting your upper body play the shot. Keep the triangle shape and don’t swing with your arms or wrists.
Make sure that you don’t bend your arms or wrists during your shot! This will cause the triangle to lose its shape and is a sure sign of incorrect form. Keep your club below hip level to avoid hitting the ball over the green.
Also remember the golden rule of chipping: If you want the ball to go up, hit down. Don’t focus on lifting your club as you hit the ball. Rather, just focus on making your triangle-shape and keep your upper body slightly tilted towards your target. These should help you to hit the ball the right way without overthinking it.
This slight change in posture and form can significantly improve your chipping. Focus on this every time you play a chip shot and you’ll soon get a feel for it.
You don’t need to sacrifice your practice if you can’t get to the course or if the weather is bad. Because chipping is a short-distance shot, you can actually do chipping drills like this one at home.
Most golf ranges have putting greens too. Some golfers spend hours on the putting green practicing. Putting well in golf can erase many mistakes. Spend your time making short shots, long shots, putts that break right, putts that break left, uphill putts, downhill putts.
Final Thoughts: At a Golf Range Near Me
Remember, what and how you practice will become permanent in your golf game. Develop your practice routine and don’t be afraid to evolve it over time as you need to get better. Read up on more golf tips.