on the range
Our curated list of range tips showing the best way to approach your practice sessions, improve your golf game and become a better player. Straight forward, clutter free driving range tips from PGA Professional Butch Harmon, Justin Rose, Hank Haney and Rory McIlroy.
HANK HANEY - Plan your practice time
"Plan for your practice time and range sessions. Most people don’t have a plan a develop bad habits in their golf swing by just hitting the big stick, they are simply exercising. When you go to the range you have to make sure you have a good plan for your practice routine.
In order to make the plan you have to have a good diagnosis of your game. You have to understand your game. Where your big miss is. Where do you lose your shots, how many times you three-putt, how many penalty shots you take etc. People analyse their full swing but they don’t really analyse their game and how they perform on the golf course. You have to analyse your game to identify the weaknesses and improve them. Put out the biggest fire first and then go from there."
JUSTIN ROSE - Practice aiming at different targets on the range
Practice aiming with irons on the range. A specific drill to experiment with on the driving range, according to Justin Rose, is to find efficient ways to aim at specific targets in the distance. "I try to go with clear targets. If there's someone wearing an orange sweater two yards left of the flag, that's what I'm zeroing in on.
To aim, I draw an imaginary line from my target line to the ball. Then I choose an intermediate target on that line about six feet in front of me. I square the club to the shorter target, then take my stance. Practice that at the range, use different targets during your session, and make it part of your routine and your range time".
BUTCH HARMON - Focus on one area during your practice.
"Focus on one area of your game at a time. Don’t hit irons and woods during the same practice session, it's not ideal to use different clubs. A great way to improve your time at the practice range and hit better shots as a result is to focus on one thing.. Get some alignment sticks, the simple things are the important things and take plenty of practice swings, don't just hit range balls one after the other. Want to improve your golf score and hit good shots, next time you practice at the golf club have a clear purpose to get good results. Step into every shot with pre-shot routine and a specific purpose."
COLIN MONTGOMERIE - Don't forget the practice green and use block practice putting routines
"I practice putting by setting myself a target of holing 100 putts in succession from two feet. If I miss one I penalise myself by starting from the beginning. This exercise is great for improving my consistency when standing over those vital shorter putts as well as improving my concentration."
PHIL MICKELSON - Practice your short game.
Practice 50% (or more) of all your practice time working on your short game. Phil Mickelson once said, “The only way to win tournaments is with the short game. Over half your shots are within 30 or 40 yards.”
Probably one of the best golf tips for most casual golfers to really improve or save their score, especially if the longer clubs aren't behaving themselves on a tough round. Time to get the pitching wedge out of the golf bag and work on the half swings and distance control before the next round of golf!
JUSTIN THOMAS - Randomize your practice
"Let me ask you a question: Are you randomizing your practice? By that I mean, are you hitting the same shot over and over or switching it up? I'm a big believer in the latter. One way I do that is with my TrackMan launch monitor. I set it up to spit out random yardages, from 126 to 150 yards as an example, and I have to hit whatever shot it requests. I realize most of you don't have access to a $20,000 monitor, but you can give yourself a new target or a new challenge—or both—for every golf ball you hit. For example, hit one at the 150-yard marker with two different irons or two different shot shapes. What you're doing is simulating the golf-course experience. Rarely do you have the same shot two swings in a row, so your task changes from shot to shot. You should practice that way, too."
RORY MCILROY - practice beyond the range
“I listened to an interview with Bob Rotella a few weeks ago and he said, ‘golf is the only sport where you don’t practice on the playing field,’ which I thought it was a very good statement,” Rory said. “Why do we stand on this range that’s 80 yards wide and hit the targets that don’t mean anything?’”
He continued: “I used to practice a lot, I’m of the mindset now that I think the best thing you can do is go out and play golf; put yourself in certain positions by getting up and down from funny lies; that’s the game. That’s the game we play. My thinking on that has definitely evolved over the last few years.”
Maybe how you practice comes down to personal preference and most of us don't get as much time to practice as the best players on the PGA tour. But it's worth trying different ways to get your game in the best place possible.