August 5, 2021

Regular and intentional practice is the one sure way to strengthen your golf game. And the best place to practice is the driving range. This is why today, we're looking at some driving range tips that will help you kick ass as you advance to the next level of your golf journey.

We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to practice. It would be best if you put in the work and the time to practice every chance you get to perfect your golf swing. No matter if you're starting and know nothing about golf, it doesn't matter. If you have the dedication and the will-power, you'll become a pro in no time.

These driving range tips will enable you to pinpoint specific areas that'll help you lower your golf score. You also need to optimize each second spent on the range.

Before we dive into the range tips for beginners, let's look at the two types of practice that you need to understand and separate. They are Rote practice (also known as muscle memory practice) and Situational practice (aka game management practice).

Rote Practice

Rote practice is designed to establish muscle memory. Golf requires you to develop muscle memory in various ways. Even if you've played other games before, you'll find that muscle memory is so much more important in golf.

The reason is that playing golf requires a myriad of swings, and you require a unique skill set to master all the necessary swings. Therefore, the only way to do this is through repetitive practice, hence rote practice.

As Sam Snead said, "Playing golf is like eating…it is something that has to come naturally."

Situational Practice

You might enjoy situational practice, aka game management practice, compared to rote practice because it involves playing golf matches. This second type of practice is essential because it enables you to understand what you need to do when presented with certain situations during your round.

You can think of situational practice as introducing learned skills into actual game situations while you are in the driving range. Nonetheless, we recommend that beginners like yourself need to concentrate on rote practice first.

After you have developed a sound and repeatable golf swing, you can now graduate to lowering your handicap through situations practice.

Now, let's dive into the driving range tips that will make you a pro on the golf course.

Tip 1: Putt One-Handed With Your Lower Arm - Rote Practice

Here's how to work the drill:

  • Take your top hand off the putter and use only your bottom hand.
  • Begin with shorter putts (5-8ft) and gradually move out to further ones.
  • When you're attempting longer putts, concentrate more on distance control first and take note of how your perspective varies as you move back to having your hand on the club.
  • Many suggest having your bottom hand at the top of your putter. Nonetheless, it can also benefit you to try this drill with your bottom hand on the putter wherever it would usually be if you were using a standard two-handed stroke.

Goal of this driving range tip:

A good putting stroke will have your hands working together to establish proper aim and distance control. Therefore, this first drill will help you get the feeling of what the role of your bottom hand is.

Benefits of this driving range tip:

  • To stop jabbing at the ball
  • To develop an end over end roll
  • To trust your stroke
  • To improve your follow-through
  • Keep your head steady throughout the stroke

Tip 2: Develop a Solid Repeatable Takeaway - Rote Practice

The takeaway of the golf club is where you should always start when you're trying to develop a good golf swing.

While on the driving range, you'll find that most of the time, your golf club will return on the same path it was taken. This means that if you pick your club up outside of your intended takeaway path, it will return outside in.

On the other hand, if you pull it inside, it will encourage a low-swooping swing which also returns on an outside-in plane. You might be asking yourself if you pull it inside shouldn't it return inside out? After all, isn't this a desirable swing path?

What happens, in this case, is: the pulling inside shifts your whole axis, and you end up casting outside, which changes your swing plane and swooping outside in through the impact zone.

Here are some drills that will help you develop a takeaway that is repeatable to start you on the right plane.

a) Bench Drill

This drill will not have you hitting balls.

It is designed to enable you to feel what a good takeaway should feel and look like. If you have a regular bench on your driving range, you can use it for this drill. If your driving range doesn't have one, you can use the benches on every tee box.

This driving range drill is best done with a five or six iron. This is because it is easier to set the orientation of your club's toe with a mid-iron than any other one in your golf bag.

Here's how to about this drill on the golf course.

  • Start by standing with both shins, almost touching the bench while you get into your address stance.
  • Slowly take your club back as you start your backswing and let the shaft ride along the edge of the bench.
  • As the head of your club gets to the point that it's no longer in contact with the bench, stop your swing, then take note of the shaft angle and your club-head orientation.
  • The shaft angle should be pointing directly away from your target line. Your club-head orientation should be pointing skyward.

b) Bench Drill

You don't have to do this drill on the driving range. This is a very simple driving range tip that you can do during practice sessions at home.

Here's how to about this drill on the golf course: Take a simple floor mop and swing it as you would a golf club. The idea is that the increased weight of the head will encourage a low and slow takeaway.

Goal of this driving range tip:

  • To see your takeaway being the fuel that drives the engine, that is your gold swing.

Benefits of this driving range tip:

  • To slow down your swing
  • To start your swing on the right track
  • To stay away from an outside-in swing path
  • To initialize a proper shifting of your weight to your back foot

Tip 3: Frequently Change Your Target - Situational Practice

Although this is not a drill, it's a way to ensure that your practice routine doesn't become mundane. It's important that your range sessions don't start to feel like a chore. Finding ways to enjoy your practice time is one of the most essential driving range tips for beginners.

Whether you are on the driving range, in the chipping and putting green, or in a short game practice area, it will make you want to come back to the course and strengthen your routine if you have fun during the practice sessions.

It's great to get out and "bang balls" every once in a while. However, you can also have fun while performing on the range, and this is the goal of becoming a great golfer. Here's a drill that will help you do that.

21 And Done Drill

This drill will help you simulate situations that could arise during the course of a round and help you improve your sessions. However, it's vital that you are brutally honest with yourself for this to work.

Here are some steps to about this specific drill:

  • Start the drill with your driver.
  • Give yourself a reasonable target both in terms of distance and direction. You can pick a flag as your spot that's not out of range.
  • Take your swing.
  • If your drive is more than 10 yards on either side of your target or 10 yards short of the target, deduct one point.
  • If it is within the acceptable 10-yard convergence, add one point.
  • Take five shots with every club that's in your bag and see how fast you can get to twenty-one.
  • As you near your wedge, shrink your target to a 5-yard area on all sides of your target.

Although it's not as easy as it seems, it will help you become a better golfer every time you do it. If you get good enough to consistently get to twenty-one before you get through your bag, shrink the target area to make it more difficult.

Goal of this driving range tip:

  • To make practice time fun so that you can do it more often. Also, this drill will allow you to simulate situations that usually arise on the course. Therefore, becoming a master of the 21 and done drill will sharpen your game exponentially.

Benefits of this driving range tip:

  • Have fun while practicing
  • To push yourself to get better and gain more confidence
  • Develop an eye of distance and change in terrain
  • To make you start thinking about course management

Tip 4: Goodbye to Outside-in Swings - Rote Practice

This specific driving range tip is one that you should try to instill in your golf swing from the moment you first start the game. Develop a swing that is anything but outside-in. Once you do this, you're good to go.

One of the worst things about an outside-in swing path is that it can lead you to take many different bad shots. A square face will give you a weak fade. A closed face will make you hit a straight pull. An open face will lead to an all-out slice. None of these is acceptable.

Let's look at a drill that is a driver-only drill and will enable you to have a swing that is square to your intended target.

The Open Your Mind to a Closed Stance Drill

Here's how you go about this drill.

  • Take your normal stance with your driver.
  • Step back with your back foot for 2-3 inches without widening your stance.
  • Swing your club. Be patient if it doesn't work on the first tries.
  • If after ten tries you're still coming outside-in, move your back foot more. If nothing changes, check if your clubface is open on impact and close it a bit if it is.
  • Monitor your dispersion with your drive once you have developed a proper swing path.
  • If you find that you are straying left after some time, this could mean that you have over-corrected, and you are now able to swing the correct path without your closed stance.
  • Gradually move your foot back to its original position.

Note that your golf swing will keep on changing and evolving as you continue. Nonetheless, the goal is to try and keep it as consistent as possible.

Goal of this driving range tip:

  • To improve your driver performance. Consistency with your driver is sure to make you a more confident player and ultimately lower your scores. This will happen once you eliminate the dreaded outside-in swing.

Benefits of this driving range tip:

  • To keep the ball in play off the tee
  • To become more consistent
  • Have a more powerful ball flight
  • Eliminate the outside-in path

Tip 5: Play No Favorites While Chipping -

Situational Practice

Every golfer on the planet has experienced the misfortune of missing the green, and you will too. When that happens, your goal should be to get up and down every single time.

Many players have admitted that they would save 3-5 strokes per round if they were a better chipper. You'll find that they track the number of times the player makes par when they miss the green on the PGA Tour.

This includes all kinds of situations such as chipping, pitching, and sand saves. In this section, we're going to look at chipping. Different terrains and intermediate obstacles will dictate the club to use to optimize your performance. Let's look at an important drill.

Use Them All Drill

When you are on the practice green, work your way through all the clubs in your bag.

Start with a relatively easy flat shot. This means that you can start with your wedges and work your way up to your longest club that you'll use to chip with. This might be a hybrid.

Ensure that you hit about 4-5 shots with each club. You can move to different spots on the chipping green that allow you to have different situations that call for a different club. For example, downhill/uphill, undulation, or even sloping shot.

By moving through all your clubs, you'll develop different approaches to all the situations.

Goal of this driving range tip:

  • To get up and down every time.
  • To develop a rapport with your chipping clubs.

Benefits of this driving range tip:

  • To expand your comfort zone
  • Improve your confidence when you miss the green
  • Manage your approach shots
  • To lower your handicap

Conclusion

Did you enjoy our driving range tips for beginners? Remember that if you put in the time and effort to practice, you'll eventually become a great golfer in no time. 

About the author 

Andrew Robertson

My name is Andrew and I have been playing golf since I was 5! I currently play on HCP 2 and I have been working as both PRO for many years where I have been instructing both junior golfers and more established and experienced golfers. I have been working part-time at a large Golf Shop where I have been in charge of purchasing and custom fitting. My favorite item in the bag at the moment? My TaylorMade Spider X Putter, for sure. I hope you enjoy my guides here at Pine Club Golf. Leave a comment or send me an e-mail at Andrew@pineclubgolf.com if there is something you want to ask!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}