Lessons - Follow our
time on the range should not consist of thrashing 150 balls with your driver,
because time spent at a practice facility should be spent wisely. Therefore, in
order to take your game to the next level try our golf lesson and follow an organised
routine, one that covers every element of the game. To help you on your way we
have put together a "range routine" to smooth the progress of improvement. The
best players in the world devote much of their practice to playing certain types
of shot, and you should follow their lead. How many times have you been unsure
on how to execute a specific shot, or do you know exactly how far you hit your
six iron? Following the routine below will enable you to envisage shots on the
range as if they were on the fairway. You should always warm up before you start
hitting balls as it will help you steer clear of injury, and bear in mind - every
good golfer takes the time to practice.
you start hitting balls on your next visit to the range, I would strongly recommend
you ensure the following three things are as they should be -
Grip - Check that the Vs formed by the thumb and forefinger of each hand point
between your chin and right shoulder to be sure of a neutral grip.
Ball Position - Here I have four balls depicting the correct ball position
for short, medium and long irons and the driver. The short irons should be played
from the centre of your stance with the ball position gradually heading towards
the inside of your left heel as the length of the clubshaft increases.
Alignment - Place a shaft along your toe-line to see that you are aiming in
the right direction and to ensure that your feet, hips and shoulders are parallel
to your ball-to-target line.
On your first visit to the driving range do not rush in and start
thrashing balls with your driver. Not only can this destroy your rhythm and swing,
it can also lead to a bad back. This entire practice session should be devoted
to your short irons, the idea being to help you gain or regain the "feel" in your
on making 1/2 swings and working on your tempo. Use the targets set out on the
range to help you gauge distances. This part of your practice programme is not
about hitting balls over the boundary fence at the end of the range.
Your second visit of the season to the range will involve, first,
repeating 10-15 minutes of what you did on visit one, concentrating on your short
irons. Only when you have completed this exercise, should you go on to the next
stage of your winter practice programme, the mid-long irons.
time, work on your iron play with full swings, again concentrating on your rhythm.
Start hitting balls with your seven iron, then gradually work up to the longer
ones. The main point of this practice session is, to help get your swing to become
repetitive and reliable.
Visit number three is a combination of visits one and two, with
the added extra of progressing on to your woods. Again, start off with a few shots
using 1/2 swings with your short irons to get a feeling for your swing. This should
then be followed making full swings with your mid to long irons.
and only then, should you be thinking of hitting balls with your woods. If you
carry a three and/or a five wood, hit a few with them before moving up to your
driver. The rhythm and tempo of your swing should remain constant, regardless
of which club you have in your hand, be it a pitching wedge or a drive.
this a a course management exercise as well as a warm-up to playing on the golf
Now you are almost ready to take your well-practised game out onto
the golf course. But, before you do, I strongly recommend you complete this exercise
to conclude your winter training programme. Until now, you have practised with
pretty much every club in your bag and you should follow your practice routine
as before, starting with your short irons and working your way up to your driver.
Once you have done that, try this. Imagine you are standing on the first tee of
your home course.
to create a mental image of how the hole looks and how you would play it in order
to achieve a par. If you think a driver is the correct choice from the tee, pick
a target on the range and hit a ball towards it. If the second shot normally requires
a four iron after a good tee shot, again, pick a target and hit a second ball
to that. Continue this process until you have completed either nine or 18 holes.
you play is up to you and be honest with yourself. Hit a few chips and pitches
as the chances are you will not hit every green in regulation.
your own course from the range...
Here we have a plan of a
hole which for argument's sake we shall call the 1st hole. The landing area in
the fairway is relatively generous, so take your driver. Let's say you have hit
the fairway and are left with around 175 yards to the flag. Perhaps you can hit
your career-best, five-iron 175, but think about it. There are two bunkers guarding
the front of the green and you might not catch it as purely as you would like.
Take a four iron and take the trouble out of play. After all, if your ball lands
towards the back of the green, you will have a better chance of two-putting for
a par than getting up and down from a green side bunker.