Practice Swings on the Driving Range

By Steve Silverman

Improvement in golf is like improvement in anything. It takes practice. One of the ideal places to practice is at the driving range. Even when the range is crowded, you are still alone with your game. You can work on building upon your strengths and improving your weaknesses. You should use your time and your practice balls wisely. You can use your driver and work on your tee shot, but there are other shots you can work on as well.

The Drive

In order to work on your drive, take an athletic stance as you address the ball. The golf ball should be about one ball length closer to your front foot, and you don't have to try to kill the ball to get more distance. However, if you want to increase your power, tilt your upper body to the back of the tee box just before you begin your swing. This is called the power lean and should add 10 yards to your swing. 

The Fade

The fade is an important shot for most right-handed golfers to learn to hit. On course where dogleg holes are prevalent, left to right doglegs are found with much greater frequency than right to left doglegs. In order to hit the fade, open your stance just a bit so you are no longer square to the target. Turn your left hand inward just a bit and play the ball a bit more forward in your stance. This will allow you to hit a fade and give the ball the left to right action it needs on many holes.

Pitch Shots

The short game is probably the most important part of the game when it comes to scoring. Don't ignore your pitch shots when you are at the practice range. You should use your pitching wedge, gap wedge and lob wedge equally at the range. The key to hitting a pitch shot is to hit down on the ball and then follow through until your club is at shoulder height. With square contact at impact and a full follow through, you will put backspin on the ball. That will put stopping action on the ball after it lands softly on the green. Use your time at the range to work on your pitch shots.

Muscle Memory

Remember that the most important thing you are building on the driving range is your body's muscle memory. The more you perform certain motions the easier it will be for your muscles to repeat those motions smoothly. This is also why it is important to make sure you have solid fundamentals before worrying about more complex shots. Without solid fundamentals, your score is doomed before you even tee off. Keep this in mind as you train up your muscle memory on the driving range. 

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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