Practice With A Purpose On The Driving Range
This week the PGA Tour stops at Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida for the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Last year’s winner, Dustin Johnson, finished with a final score of 279 to finish one stroke ahead of J.B. Holmes. By winning the tournament, it extended Johnson’s streak of winning at least one tournament on the PGA Tour for 8 consecutive seasons. The famous Blue Monster Course has hosted a PGA Tour event for more than 50 years. Originally designed by Dick Wilson and measuring more than 7,200 yards it’s home to the most famous 18th hole, which is a demanding par 4 that consistently ranks as one of the top 100 holes in the world.
Too often, golfers simply “pound” balls on the driving range without a real purpose. When you’re on the range you’re either trying to warm up before the round or use it as a practice session to improve your swing. In both cases, many are simply hitting balls one after another, not seeing any improvement. Depending upon how much time you are investing on the driving range, your practice methods will vary. However, the main thing to focus on though is to practice with a goal in mind. Here are three few ideas to keep in mind while practicing on the driving range.
Topgolf has made practicing fun, even for the non-traditional golfer, making targets are very visible. Targets are important when practicing – it helps prepare your mind for playing on a golf course. Most driving ranges will also have yardages available for each target. If you know the distance to the target and can see where your golf ball lands, this will help you figure out how far you hit each club. If possible, use a rangefinder on the driving range to verify the distances that are listed.
It’s easy to blindly hit golf balls without noticing where you are lining up. I recommend at least utilizing your golf clubs. You already have them with you. Place them on the ground, one directly in line where your feet are and another next to the ball so they are parallel to each other. Make sure to adjust the clubs each time you change targets.
Visualize hitting range balls as if you were hitting an actual shot on the golf course. Go through your normal pre-shot routine. This might include stepping behind the ball and lining up the shot and waggling the club a couple of times before you hit the shot. Another recommendation to help visualize would be to pretend you are actually playing the golf course while hitting balls on the range. Try this by hitting your driver to a target, hit an approach shot to a target, and then a pitch shot.
Hopefully, these tips will have you practicing smarter and ultimately shorter! If you need more help email our PGA Professionals!
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Rudi Fann has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 2008. He began his career in 1998 as the Assistant Golf Professional at Wake Forest Golf Club in Wake Forest, NC. In 2002, Rudi accepted a similar position at Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He spent a year there before moving to Nipomo, CA where he worked at Blacklake Golf Resort. Over the next 10 years, he worked his way from Assistant Golf Professional to Head Golf Professional and finally Director of Golf Operations. In his time at Blacklake, Rudi devoted much of his time to running tournaments and other activities in order to create a social atmosphere at the club. After Blacklake, Rudi spent one year as Head Golf Professional at Paso Robles Golf Club before deciding to return home to North Carolina. Since returning to North Carolina, Rudi has worked with the First Tee of the Triangle helping to instill life skills and core values through the game of golf to local youth.