Driving Range Tips for Beginners

By Teresa Justine Kelly

It is common to see both beginner and seasoned golfers head to the practice range and immediately haul out the driver in an effort to pound the ball as hard and as far as possible, giving little thought to swing technique or structure to the practice routine. While there is nothing wrong with using your driver on the practice range, this is not the preferred club with which to begin your practice round. The goal of the range play is to first loosen up stiff muscles, to establish a rhythm and to select different targets on the range using different clubs. Get to know your clubs. The range is a great place to discover the distance you can achieve with each club. Use these few drills effectively to add purpose and structure to your practice routine that can ultimately help you in your game.

Warm Up Exercises

Always begin your practice round with about 10 minutes of warm-up exercises by stretching and preparing the muscles for the physical exercise your body is about to endure. Warm up both the upper and lower body, giving special attention to your back, to help give you a fuller range of motion in your swing and help eliminate injury.

Aim and Alignment

Begin your practice round by placing two clubs on the ground. Lay one club perpendicular to the target line for correct ball positioning, and lay the second club parallel to the target line for accurate alignment. The ball should be placed outside the parallel club, and your feet should straddle the perpendicular club. Starting first with your sand wedge, take aim at your target and practice hitting several balls using your sand wedge, then pitching wedge, focusing on making solid contact with the ball and incorporating a smooth rhythm.

Mid-iron Shots

Once you have grooved a smooth rhythm using your sand and pitching wedges, move up to your mid-irons. Pick different targets on the range using your five, six and seven irons and hit about a dozen shots, focusing again on solid ball striking, aim, alignment and tempo.

Fairway Woods and Driver

Turn your attention now to your fairway woods, and finally your driver. Use about 70 to 80 percent of your power, focusing on rhythm, balance and making solid contact with the center of the club face. Practice using the various targets on the range. Develop a pre-shot routine. Standing behind the ball, pick your primary and intermediate targets. Envision the ball's line of flight. Take a few practice swings, step into the shot, aim the club face to your immediate target and swing.

Chip and Putt

After using your driver on the range, warm up with a variety of chip shots around the practice green. Try to simulate the kinds of shots you might experience on the course. Practice chipping up close to the pin, then putt down. Each chip shot will have a slightly different landing spot, which will result in a much more effective putting routine than hitting a half dozen balls in a row from the same spot into the cup.

About The Author

Teresa Kelly graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She was an editor for seven years for several magazines and publishing houses. Kelly is an avid golfer, a well-known children's book and golf author, and is currently the president of Highview Press/Golfing Lady that produces all occasion golf greeting cards.


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