You’ve been there before - I think we all have.
You hit the golf ball great on the driving range, but when you go to the golf course, it’s the complete opposite - just terrible.
Why is that?
Troy asked the same question when he wrote, “When I go to the driving range I hit the ball great; but when I go to the golf course, I really struggle to repeat what I was doing on the driving range. Do you have any driving range tips that will help me take my practice from the range to the golf course?
Before I share a few driving range tips with you, I would like to bring to your attention the importance of practicing on the range as if you are on a golf course.
Driving Range Tips #1
There is a simple thing I would like you to do with an alignment rod that will help.
First, set the alignment rod down, aiming it slightly left of the target (this will change based on the shot shape you are trying to hit).
Then, pretend you are on the golf course.
Second, I would like you to step in and address the ball, put the club down, look at the target, and shift your body and stance until you feel you are aimed correctly.
Once you feel like you’re aimed correctly look down and make sure your feet are parallel to the alignment rode.
If you are on the golf course you don’t have the luxury of an alignment rod.
It is important to practice as if there is not one there and just use it to verify you are aimed correctly.
Don’t step into the shot, align your feet to the alignment rod and then look at your target.
Remember - we are only using the alignment rod to check to see if we have aimed correctly.
Now, if you step into the shot and line up and your feet, and they are not parallel to the alignment rod when you look down, you need to step away and try it again.
The overall goal is to practice the correct feeling for good alignment with the alignment rod, so that when you’re on the golf course, you’ll be familiar with how good alignment feels.
Driving Range Tips #2
The other important thing I would like to share with you is the difference between blocked practice and random practice.
First, let me tell you about blocked practice.
Blocked practice should be used when changing a certain part of your swing or when trying to learn a new movement.
This would be when you have a large bucket of balls and you hit all of them to the exact same target with the exact same club.
You aren’t really working on your routine or doing much visualization.
Instead, you are trying to get a feel for the new swing and get comfortable with it.
Once the new move feels natural and you are not thinking about the swing as much, that’s when you would move onto random practice.
Random practice is completely different than blocked practice.
In random practice, you are never hitting the same shot twice.
An example of this is when you are going to practice hitting a 7-iron to one target, a 4-iron to a different target, and a pitching wedge to another target.
The ideal goal in random practice is to simulate on the driving range what you will be doing on the golf course.
Random practice is used once you feel you comfortable with a swing change.
You are not standing over the ball thinking about it. It’s automatic.
Now, it’s time to bring these 2 tips to the golf course.
Studies have shown...
People who use blocked practice typically have better practice sessions in that they are much more confident and happy when they leave the driving range.
This is largely because they have successfully hit the same shot over and over again.
The one downside to these “better” blocked practice sessions is that when they take it to the golf course, their performance is not as good as those people who employed random practice.
Generally, people who use random practice typically leave the range saying, “Oh, I hit it just OK.” However, when they go to the golf course, their performance ends up being much better than those who used blocked practice.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I want to play better on the course!
At a recent conference I attended, Dr. Lee from University California-Berkeley gave us a great analogy.
He talked about giving someone a math problem and said,
If I ask someone, what is nine plus seven, for a split second they have to think about it, calculate it, and hopefully give you an answer of sixteen. If you immediately asked them the same question again, they have to think even less because they already ‘know’ the answer. Then if you continue to ask them the same question they won’t have to think at all about solving the problem, they already know the answer.
This is what happens with blocked practice: You hit two or three 7-irons in a row and groove a swing pretty quickly; consequently, you stop testing and challenging yourself - you go ahead and continue to hit ball after ball.
What is happening here is that you are not challenging yourselves enough in practice and you actually stop learning.
Therefore, when you go to the golf course it’s a lot more difficult because you have not practiced effectively.
Check out this video to hear these driving range tips I just mentioned:
I’ll leave you with a final thought: The most important thing to remember when practicing is to always be learning and challenging yourself.
You want to make your practice as difficult as possible, so that when you go to the golf course, you’ll be ready.
Here’s The Next Step:
If you’d like something as a reminder when you go to driving range or golf course to help practice then download the bonus below.
You'll receive a free step-by-step checklist that shows you the exact step-by-step process to practicing better on the driving range.