5 tips to take your training session to the next level

One of the great things about golf is that every player strives to get better. The improvement is measurable and the opportunity to hit the best shot of your life is always lurking on the nearest fairway.

Many players quickly spend time on the course but don’t make it to the driving range or short game facilities in time. Those who do hit the driving range may not have a proper practice routine and are not making the most of their time. This leads many to speculate as to why they are not getting the results they believe they are capable of.

The answer is simple: you don’t practice intentionally and with a purpose.

Here are five tips to optimize your time while practicing at the range:

1. Get past the rapid-fire approach

A view of golf balls in baskets at a driving range. Photo by Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Think quality over quantity every day when hitting balls at the driving range. If you buy a big bucket and are done with it in 20 minutes, chances are you haven’t had a focused practice session. Develop a routine that you can apply to every ball you hit.

2. Don’t start with your driver

Charles Schwab Cup Championship 2021 Ernie Els warms up on the driving range during the first round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship golf tournament at Phoenix Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Starting out with your driver on the range is a recipe for injury. Starting with a club like an 8 iron is a safe bet as it keeps the body in a more neutral position and swings easily, upright and with a strong foundation.

3. Choose a target and use an alignment stick

BMW PGA Championship 2022 Ian Poulter of England practices on the driving range ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club on September 06, 2022 in Virginia Water, England. (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Practicing with a goal means hitting every shot on purpose. Where should the ball land? How should the ball land? These are all questions to ask yourself with every shot. Put down an alignment stick, or use another iron if you don’t have one, and make sure you’re committed to your goal.

4. Set drill

Open Championship 2022 Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas practice their putting on the 16th green during a practice round for the 150th British Open golf championship at the Old Course in St Andrews in Scotland on July 10, 2022. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images )

Many golfers focus on how they hit their irons or drivers, but forget where most shots are coming from. Putting is arguably the most important part of the sport. Many golfers practice putting by hitting their golf balls at random targets. Implement a recurrence element by performing an exercise. Hit a three-foot putt 25 times or retard the same putt 10 times. This helps build the confidence that you can take with you to the course.

5. Practice hitting different chip shots

Presidential Cup 2022 Team USA golfer Collin Morikawa hits his chipshot on the second green during a day of practice for the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. (Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)

Maybe the 16th hole isn’t the best time to try that flop shot you’ve never practiced before. The course isn’t the time to try new shots if you’re trying to get a low score, so master it beforehand if you practice. Spend time learning how to hit a low rolling or high spin chip shot. Try chipping with different clubs in your bag and practice hitting from different types of grass.

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