Practice The Driving Range

driving rangeYou might think that spending any time on the driving range would assist improve your golf game, however if you are just hitting balls to hit balls do not anticipate to break 90.

When the pros practice, they practice with a purpose. They work on particular shots and alternately hit hooks and fades to prepare them for whatever shot they are going to face out on the course.

Consistency is the key to scoring low in golf and that starts by developing a solid swing. To repeat the swing in the same manner over and over again it is essential to develop a pre-shot routine.

Take your stance in the same manner, take a look at your target and give the club a little waggle before you start. This routine should be used every time you step out onto the driving range to practice

Tempo and shaping shots are other things to work on, on the practice range. Try to always take the club back at a slow steady pace and then accelerate through the ball. On the practice range, experiment will ball placement in your stance to see how it affects the flight of the ball. If you move the ball back in your stance you will hit a fade (bending back to the left for lefties) and if you place the ball a little more forward than usual you will hit a  draw (left to right movement for lefties).

It is important to have a golf plan even for practice. Warm up by hitting a few shots with your pitching wedge and then start with your short irons. After you are loose begin to try for different targets on the driving range with the same club. Go through your pre-shot routine just as you would if you were in the middle of the round. Once you have concluded your iron work break out the driver. Your golf plan should include very specific goals as you work with the driver. Don’t just see how far you can hit it, work on your accuracy and see how many balls in a row you can keep in the fairway.

Make sure you complete your practice by spending some time on the putting green. Hit chip shots and putts. One good drill is to work on getting up and down from different spots around the green. First hit your chip and then get out the putter just as you would on the course and work on getting the ball in the hole.

Golf Course Management

If you are having cutting a few strokes off your score, the problem may not be your golf swing or putting stroke. For many golfers, poor course management is what is holding them back. Going for birdie every time can often lead to a bogey or worse and poor decision making may be what is holding you back.

Every shot you make should be carefully thought through. You should not only consider what happens if you hit the ideal shot but what if you catch it thin or fade it a bit too much to the left. No one wants to plan to hit a bad shot but there are many occasions during a round of golf where it will pay to hit a safe shot and avoid trouble. For example, on a long par 5 do you go for the green in two or lay up to your favorite distance for your third shot and try and hit it stiff.

Focus on shot making as you travel the course. If you are playing a long par three with water on the right, make sure that if you miss the green it is going to be to the left so you can still make par. If the water is in front of the green, go with an extra club just in case you catch the ball a little thin so you won’t end up in the water. Smart golfers will play to avoid that one big number on the scorecard which will kill any round.

One way that many people practice good golf course management is by visualizing the shot they are about to hit before they hit it. If you are playing into a green, figure out exactly where you want to see the ball come down and picture it landing there. This mental exercise also will work with chips and putts. For that pitch shot, determine where you need to land the ball on the green so it can roll close to the hole. If you have a bending putt, picture in your mind how you think it is going to break and then get the ball rolling on that line. Visualizing where to hit is a great way to build confidence before you stand up over the ball.