Tricks on the Range

To most golfers, the practice range is a sacred place. It is a place where players like Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Michelle Wie, Vijay Singh or Grateful Golfers regularly hone their skills. A major difference between a professional golfer and an amateur is their intention as the approach the practice range. It is this intention that helps focus their practice to accomplish their goals.

After hours on the practice range, there is no question they have developed some tricks to help make the most out of their practice time. Here are some sites to check out:

Each of these offer good advice on developing a routine and a great starting place for anyone trying to improve their game through focused practice.

Through the years, I have used many of the above suggestions and the following tricks that helped fix my woes.

When fixing a slice or a hook, I stand on the far side of the range. As a right-handed player with a slice problem, I stand on the far left side. This may seem strange, but it forces me use a different swing plane and aiming point.  I am so focused on not hitting the ball out of bounds, that it helped me straighten my slice.

It is important to use aiming sticks. At the very least, use two clubs. These training aides help align your swing and your aiming point. I use them to determine my ball position in relation to my stance, determine my swing plan by the relation of my divot to the aiming sticks, and my alignment of my feet in comparison to how I am aimed. Check out toursticks.com for a complete guide on how to use alignment sticks.

Flag AlignementMy last tip deals with using the flag sticks out in the range.  On my course, it is possible to line up all the sticks until they are one behind each other. I use this visual aid to help identify a poor swing, whether I am fading or drawing the ball that day and to help with my aiming points. If I am on a different range, I will try to line up at least two flags and use them as my aiming point!

There are plenty of tips and tricks to use on the practice range. Today I have mentioned just a few that worked for me.

Golf is all about sharing, so do you have any tips or tricks to use on the practice range?

I am grateful golfer!  See you on the links.

13 thoughts on “Tricks on the Range

  1. Good stuff Jim. Unfortunately I don’t have a range at my club, a real shame. I do most of my practice on course by playing multiple balls or dropping balls in different locations throughout the hole. I have some alignment sticks that I use when I do make it out the range, they are pretty valuable for feedback. I also film a lot of my practice sessions for video feedback, it is crazy how different your swing looks vs feels.

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  2. Jim-

    Like one of the article suggested, I regularly “play a round” on the range as a way to prepare for a round. It’s a good way to get away from the mindless ball-beating that we often see at the range- and forces you to switch clubs every time and go through the shot routine to make all shots count.

    Another ‘game’ I play is to try to hit 3 good shots in a row and “graduate” to the next club A couple bad shots in a row demotes me back to the previous club. Then see if I can get through my bag before I get through the rest of my balls..

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    • Crunchy

      That is a great game. Do you have a cool name for it? I was thinking “The Graduate”, but I believe it is used already…. Switching clubs does work and I have use that approach as well. It does force a player to go through their entire preshot routine – which most don’t do when hitting balls.

      Cheers
      Jim

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  3. Jim, I am fortunate to have a ridiculous practice facility to play with. Typically, it’s empty. My spot is far right, which gives me different angles to 6 target greens and other bunkers, and gives me yardages from 60 to 225 for carry purposes.

    I’m a very antsy person and the range focuses me. I can very easily get lost in my process for a good 60-90 minutes, playing games with myself. I rarely hit the same shot more than 3-4 times because golf just isn’t like that. I’ll figure a distance out, then hit draws, cuts, low/high, back of stance, forward…..just discovering. That’s what I see the “practice range” as being: My Discover Zone.

    Totally agree on the aiming sticks. I ususally use two clubs, but Home Depot sells the red or yellow driveway markers for about $1/per stick!

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    • Rick

      I like the term “My Discover Zone” for being on the practice range. Might have to use that. Any sticks will do, but they are a must for improving your game. 60-90 minutes, you are more dedicated than I. Usually I am good for about 30 minutes not including putting and chipping.

      Cheers
      Jim

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      • As long as your focused and the practice is good, right? There’s a difference between going to range to “hit balls” or going to “practice”. Both are quite fun, but different animals!

        I probably average 45 minutes of focus when I think about it. There’s always the social component of the practice tee that eats up time, right?

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      • Absolutely, chatting with the people on the range is half the fun. Also, intent is very important. Just hitting balls does not serve much purpose other than to loosen up.

        Cheers
        Jim

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  4. Jim, love the approach with moving to one side of the range to fix a slice or hook; never thought of that and will give it a try. I have found that if I have limited time to dedicate to range work, I play better if I spend most or all of my balls on Driver, 3WD, and wedges exclusively. Also, ditto on the alignment sticks. Thanks! Brian

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  5. Pingback: Tricks on the Range | The Grateful Golfer | Top Rated Golf Courses

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