9 Driving Range Games That Make It Fun to Improve
Going to the driving range can sometimes be a drag, but what if you had some fun games to play while you practice? These driving range games will make your range time feel less like a grind and more like a competition, whether it's against yourself or a friend.
Create a Fairway
If the driving range is well marked with different yardage signs and greens, try to mentally carve out a fairway among those markers. It can be straightaway or, if you can visualize it, try to create a slight dogleg. Not only does this prepare you for the golf course, but it also narrows your concentration on the driving range because you have a visual path to follow.
You can take it a step further by setting aside five golf balls and tracking how many fairways you can hit, with a target score of hitting three, four, or all five fairways.
Create a Hole
A good way to use multiple clubs in your bag is to create a golf hole in your mind and execute your shots on the driving range as though you’re playing that hole.
For example, let’s say you make up a 400 yard par-4 that’s straight with trees on both sides. Tee up your driver and swing away. It won’t be exact, but try to estimate how far it went. If you hit it 225 yards down the middle, take your 175-yard club out and try to hit the imaginary green. If you hit that approach shot straight, go over to the putting green and give yourself an appropriate putt for birdie. Don’t forget to tap in for par if you miss.
The fun thing about creating a golf hole on the driving range is that you can hold yourself accountable as you would on the golf course. If you slice your ball into the woods on your tee shot, hit a punch shot to get it back in play. If you miss the green, take out a wedge and hit a chip shot. The idea is to hit multiple clubs, and in some cases, clubs you’re not comfortable with.
Your favorite backyard basketball game easily transitions to the driving range. Just like in basketball, you’ll need a friend to join you for this game. You can pick a target, a ball flight, hitting the range picker, or anything else you’d like. Feel free to get creative.
Player one calls their shot and if they don’t execute it, player two is up. If player one does execute the shot it’s then up to player two to duplicate it. If player two fails they get an “H.”
Keep going until someone loses by spelling HORSE. You can also choose whatever word you’d like to spell. The great thing about this competition is it easily translates to the short game practice area as well.
Short, Middle, Long
Pick out a green or a target on the driving range and try to hit that distance. Then, take out one club longer and one club shorter. Use the longer club to hit a shot on the same line, but 10 yards farther than the first ball. Then use the shorter club and hit a third ball on the same line, but 10 yards shorter than the first ball. This exercise will really sharpen your distance control, which is a huge step in taking your game from the double-digit handicap level to the single digits.
Tiger’s Nine Shots
If you have watched, read, or listened to any practice advice that Tiger Woods has given over the past 25 years you’ve heard him refer to his nine shots. These are the different shot types that Tiger aimed to master, and he did a pretty good job. Try Tiger’s nine shots and cross them off as you accomplish them.
- Straight shot
- High straight shot
- Low straight shot
- High Draw
- Low draw
- High fade
- Low fade
Closest to the Pin
Whether you’re at the driving range with one other person or ten, play a simple game of closest to the pin. You won’t be able to actually measure who’s closer, but if it's that close, you can always call it a wash, especially if it’s among friends. Incentivize the competition by playing for a post-range beverage or a couple of dollars.
Every Club in Play
Create a fairway on the driving range to help you visualize an actual golf hole. Preferably, a straight hole.
Take out the highest lofted club in your bag, for example, a 58-degree wedge. Concentrate on hitting it straight and within bounds of the hole you’ve created. If you hit it well, go to your next highest lofted club and attempt to repeat it. Go club-by-club until you’ve hit your driver. If at any point you hit one out of bounds, start over with the 58-degree wedge.
This fun game teaches you to get comfortable with all of the clubs in your bag and also forces you to hit pressure shots with long irons if you get to that point.
Pick out all of the targets on the driving range. Start with the closest and try to hit it. Once you have, move on to the next furthest and so on. If at any point along the way you miss one of the targets, start over with the closest target.
Leave it to the Wheel
Use your phone to find a randomizer. A great one to try is Wheel of Names. In the text fields, enter the different color flags on the driving range or whatever differentiates the targets. Then, spin the wheel. Whatever target the wheel lands on you have to hit five shots at that target. This forces you to hit targets of different distances and different directions. It’s also designed to get you out of your comfort zone.
Going to the driving range can be fun. These games are a great way to transform your range session into an effective use of your time and to build skills that will translate to the golf course.