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Play the Course on the Range

Playing the golf course on the driving range

Play the Course on the Range

Struggling to take your driving range swing to the golf course? It’s a common complaint among golfers. “But I hit it so great on the range. Why can’t I do that on the course?” Sound familiar?

Swings on the range and play on the course are two very different things. On the course, you’re not repeating the same club, in the same spot, with a perfect lie. You typically play with people and there’s time between shots. These fundamental differences can mean your time on the range isn’t very well spent.

Next practice session, play the course on the range. With each shot, imagine you are playing the course by using the same clubs you would use for a hole.

For example, if the first hole at your course is a long Par 4, tee off with your driver hitting it to a visualized fairway, then choose the appropriate club for your next swing into the green. Remember to hit the approach shot to an exact target green on the range. Did you hook it and land in the rough on your approach shot? Then, grab your wedge and execute the appropriate pitch.  At Cedar Knoll CC, where I teach, we have the luxuury of the short game facility adjacent to the range. We can just turn around and pitch onto the green with a 30 or 40 yard shot.

Try hitting from different spots as well. Break away from what might be your favorite spot on the range and move around. Hit some from one end, a few more on the other, perhaps some middle of the way, then repeat. Find some uneven lies on the range if possible. This also helps with my final suggestion – waiting between shots.

Moving around the range will imitate the time between shots that play on the course brings. It probably won’t be as long, but it will at least break up the rhythm that hitting on the range affords.

Make the most of your range time and stop the monotony of mindlessly hitting golf balls. Challenge yourself, mix it up, and get better!