Why you should hit less balls at the driving range
We have all heard the term ‘quality over quantity’. But all I ever see golfers practicing is the complete opposite. I hear a lot of people tell me they’re hitting hundreds of golf balls, but I also hear the same people telling me they’re not improving as a result of hitting all these balls.
To be honest though, it doesn’t really surprise me. When you’re hitting ball after ball without working on a specific part of your swing – whether that be alignment, landing zones for approach shots or even your pre shot routine- how can you measure improvement when just shelling golf balls down the range?
I also hear a lot of golfers telling me they hit the ball really well at the range, yet can’t take the game to the course. Again, this is because the range isn’t being utilised properly, so can’t be applied to the course when you have no alignment and it’s not just about hitting the ball aimlessly as far as you can.
Now I’m not saying that hitting a load of golf balls isn’t going to help, however, hitting golf balls without a plan isn’t the quickest route to lowering your handicap. So think of the process like this-
Whenever you practice, if you want to improve, then this is one of the best ways to go about it.
Plan of attack – think about your last game, where was it going wrong? What can you build on?
Action – work on the goal and see how you can improve that part of your game, but have a way of measuring your progress. For example, if you’re struggling with your ball being constantly wayward of the target, put some alignment sticks down so you can check exactly where you are aiming and how close the ball is to the target.
Result – How did the session go? Did you improve on what you were working on?
Feedback/Reflection – Do you feel more confidence to take that part of your game to the course now? What can you take from the practice session? Most important of all, what can you do to improve further?
If you apply this to a round, always set mini goals. The only way to improve is to measure performance, whether it is in competition, a friendly round or just practice. This applies to any level of golfer- if you’re constantly sending balls OB, try and get round the entire course using the same ball; if you’re new to the game, see an 18 hole round as 18 seperate games and put less pressure on yourself for an overall score; if you’re trying to push through a certain barrier if handicap, work on your course management.
Watch any professional on the range before a tournament; I can assure you they all have a goal of what they’re trying to achieve- these goals in turn reflect on performance.