By: Fred Altvater
Most casual golfers can’t wait to get to the golf course, park their car, throw on their shoes, grab their clubs and run to the first tee. Then, they can’t understand, why they slice their first drive out of bounds, top two shots, skull one over the green and take three putts to get the ball in the hole.
Frustration mounts and golf rapidly loses its allure.
Everyone is busy with a million items on their schedules, but if average golfers would carve out a few minutes every week to practice, the game could become much more enjoyable.
Here are a few tips to make efficient use of your time at the practice area.
- Always Have a Plan
Don’t just stand on the range aimlessly banging balls and tearing up turf. Develop a practice regimen and stick to it. One that I recommend is to always begin your practice session by hitting wedge shots. The wedge is the easiest club in the bag to hit and helps create a smooth tempo. A few good wedge shots will build confidence and prepare you for the first tee.
- Always Hit to a Target
Again, don’t just go through the motions of hitting golf balls. Pick a target, visualize a specific shot on the course and prepare for your next round.
- Change Clubs Frequently
Never hit more than two or three shots with the same club. When you are on the golf course, you very rarely hit the same club twice. If you do, you are not having a good day.
- Visualize a Particular Shot
The range is the perfect place to build the confidence to prepare for the shot on the course that always seems to drive you crazy. Visualize that hole in your mind, pick the club that you would be hitting and learn to make the correct swing. Again, this will build confidence so you can pull off that difficult shot the next time you are on the course.
- Swing Harder
When you are on the golf course, trees, water and sand tend to get in the way of your golf ball and every golfer shortens their back swing and tries to guide the golf ball. Take full swings on the range, even take a bigger swing than normal to ingrain the feel of always taking a full swing. Short back swings are the most common error of the average golfer on the golf course.
- Practice Chipping and Putting
Average golfers want to step onto the range hit the driver and impress the ladies, as well as, their playing companions.
“Chicks Dig the Long Ball, but Chipping it close and Making the Putt wins the Money, and Chicks Love Money More!”
Most golfers will lower their scores much quicker if they spend more time on the practice green than hitting slices and hooks on the driving range. A good rule of thumb, spend at least as much time on the practice green as on the driving range. For higher handicap golfers, spending more time on the practice green will lower your scores exponentially.
Golf is meant to be a relaxing and enjoyable endeavor. If you are playing poorly on the course, you are not having a good time. Spending quality time on the practice green and range will greatly increase your enjoyment level, when you do hit the course.