Hitting Golf Balls At The Range

How often do you go to the range to practice your game? When you do, have you given much thought as to how or what you are going to practice when you get there? Many players, including myself in the past, would buy a large bucket, whack them without much thought, then spend a couple of minutes chipping and putting. I realized many years ago that going to the range must be more than just hitting golf balls. I have talked about using your range time effectively in the past, but I think I need to up my game a bit more to really achieve something that will help my game.

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Preparing to Play Golf Without a Driving Range

The course I play on a regular basis does not have a driving range. There is a reasonable chipping and putting green and a driving net. Of course this is not the best scenario for preparing to play golf, but I have developed my own routine make the best of the situation. I use my system when preparing for tournaments and most rounds. Continue reading

Divots on the Driving Range

Yesterday, I had a great conversation on Twitter with a couple of Grateful Golfers. Barry was asking about how divots should be made on the golf course to best protect our driving ranges. Kelly Crumpler, a USGTF Teaching Professional, indicated that the line method is the best when practicing our irons and protecting our practice areas.

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Ball Position in Your Golf Stance

ball position within golf stance.While on the driving range with a friend a couple of weeks back, we started a discussion about where the ball should be position in your golf stance. Immediately, I mentioned that the position changes depending on whether he was playing a short iron, mid iron, long iron, or wood. I have always used this method and until now, I never realize that there was a second method.

Ted Norby, Director of Instruction for the National University Golf Academy, explains the relationship of ball position to your body position is the real reason for ball placement in your stance. His explanation was excellent and easy to understand. Because of the relationship is between the ball and body, there are actually two methods to determine the correct position of the ball within your stance. Norby explains below:

As stated by Norby, the other method is to pick a position within your stance and widen or narrow your feet as required. This is not something I have tried, however players like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods position their ball in this way.

If you are trying to decide the best method for you, I recommend you hit the range and try each one. One particular method of position your golf ball might feel natural for your swing. Regardless, make sure it is best for you!

Personally, I have no challenges with my current method of moving the ball within my stance, but will try the other method at the range because I want to remain open to all ideas that might help me attain my goal of being a scratch golfer.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

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.