Yesterday my wife and I hit the range to improve our ball striking abilities. We both understand the value of taking time to practice the finer points of our swing and to refine areas that will help lower our score.
My session at the range was prompted by my friend, Mac Adams, who dropped me a note about his recent practice session. Mac and I talk about ways to improve our game and we try to play at least one home and home at our local courses. Here is what Mac had to say:
I decided to go to the driving range today instead of playing. I played 18 Mon, Thur, and Friday (Timber Ridge) and I/S Tues. I thought that the range would be a better benefit. Shot 88 twice last week and had too many doubles.
I found most of my strokes were lost by my tee shots wandering and not having a chance to hit the green on the 2nd shot. So I went to Trillium to figure out my drive. I used a dry erase marker and covered the face of my driver to show where I was hitting the ball. I had a lot of shots off the heel. Half way through the bucket, with some adjustments, I found that if I kept my hands and wrists soft and let loose coming into the ball I was hitting straight and fairly long.
I just wanted to figure out what I needed to do for the good drives. I know they won’t all be golden, but I didn’t want to be thinking and changing things on the course. Hopefully I can get a few rounds under 85 in the near future.
Mac’s assessment of his challenges were spot on and he made some positive adjustments on the range to lower his score. I am looking forward to hearing how his efforts translate into lower scores.
The range closest to my house is a newly opened course and things are a bit rough around the edges. However, the range is reasonable and the range balls have red paint on them. This may seem a bit strange, but I use the red line to help determine where I am making contact on the ball.
After about 75 balls and several adjustments, I started making the contact I was looking for. At first I was hitting the ball to thin, low on the club face and a bit on the inside. But, at the end I was making solid consistent contact in the proper position on the club face.
To achieve the contact I was looking for, I had to make a couple small adjustments.
- First, I was playing the ball to far forward in my stance. My adjustment was only an inch, but it made a tremendous difference.
- Second, my back foot was slightly set up behind my front foot. This caused me to push the ball or have an uncontrollable draw.
- Last, my attack angle was too steep. This was caused by my over aggressive forward weight shift.
These three adjustments seem like quite a bit, but one thing led to another and I was able to make quick changes that will hopefully translate into lower scores on the links.
Inspiration to improve your golf game can come in all forms. In this case, my success on the range was a result of a conversation with a friend about our favorite sport: golf.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!