Dec 28th, 2017
How to practice properly at the driving range
Three time Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher has some tips
Feeling rusty after the Christmas break? Then you’re probably thinking about getting down to the driving range soon to loosen up. But do you know how to get the most out of your trip? We’ve got the lowdown…
1. Put the driver down:
We know, it sounds like madness. But think about it, what part of your game always needs the most work? It’s not your long game, is it? It’s your short game. Drive for show, putt for dough and all that.
We’re not saying don’t use your driver at all at the driving range. That would be ridiculous. It’s in the name after all. What we are saying, is find a balance between hitting some irons and drives – particularly just after the winter break. Rocking up, pinging 100 balls down the fairway with a 3 wood and going home won’t help you in a month or two’s time when you need to chip out of the rough to save par.
Three-time Ryder Cup captain an Golf Care ambassador Bernard Gallacher recommends:
Short irons: 30 balls
Mid-Long irons: 30 balls
Drivers: 40 balls
“That way you still get the enjoyment of the long smash, but having already stored some muscle memory for your iron game, as well as iron out some of the kinks that tend to creep in over winter!”
2. Focus on your stance:
Getting the correct stance for your swing and keeping to it is one of the hardest parts of golf, but the driving range can be the best place to practise it.
Some of the best driving ranges these days have auto-tee technology, meaning you don’t have to change stance between shots, so you can gradually adjust till you hit your sweet spot. But even if the range you’re at doesn’t have auto-tee, you can still benefit from not walking between shots!
If you have them handy, take a couple of spare grips with you. Adopt what you think is your ideal stance, and then place one at the back of your heel and one parallel to your leading foot. Then, when you swing – not only will it keep you contained, but you can easily tell if you move your feet too much when you swing.
3. Use different tees:
It can be all too easy to stick to a routine when you’re at the driving range – and the tee heights are a perfect example. I almost always use the highest tee thanks to a nasty habit of hitting the ground before the ball, but challenge yourself.
Use the low tee to replicate a cushioned lie in medium rough, or no tee at all to work on getting some height into your chips. There are plenty of elements to a driving range bay, so make sure you use them all. Perhaps even try hitting at an angle as if there was a tree in the way!
No matter whether you’re on the driving range, putting green or the course itself – accidents can strike at any time. Make sure you and your fellow golfers are protected with the UK’s Number One specialist golf insurance from Golf Care – now from only £24.49 for the whole year