Why You Should Go to the Driving Range
Imagine if you would, that you are out on a perfect sunny day playing a round of golf with one of your clients and he says to you, “If you beat me on this hole, I’ll partner with your company.” At that moment, sweat starts to trickle down your spine because you know this client is a well-seasoned veteran on the course. On top of this, it’s your first time playing a full 18 holes. Before you get too nervous, you start to remember that you had watched golf a few times and have seen titans like Tiger Woods lose to someone you have never heard of before. This helped to usher in some rational and hope that perhaps, maybe you can do the same with this client.
You step up to the tee and somehow connect with a driver right on the screws into the center of the fairway. The client grins and, just as he is about to swing, a large gust of wind blows and he hits an errant tee shot into the water. You are now 130 yards from the green and two shots ahead of the client. However, you have no idea what club to use now so, you pull out a five iron and hit it soaring over the green and lose the hole and the client.
If only you would have gone to the driving range and practiced with each club would you have known the proper club to use for that type of shot, which could have resulted in securing a client for your business.
The Importance of the Driving Range
Before going to play an entire round of golf, it is necessary that you hit a few buckets of balls at the driving range. The goal is to gain more confidence in your swing and contact with the ball, as well as knowing the distances and trajectories with the equipment you are using. Additionally, using the driving range before a round of golf will give you an idea of how the weather conditions are affecting your shots. Is it windy? Is the humidity making the ball heavier or affecting the distance it travels? Practicing on the driving range will be essential to realizing these details without costing you a few strokes on the round.
The driving range will give you a basic idea of what you will need to do in a round of golf. At the driving range, you can really fine-tune your swing using your driver, your irons, your wedges, and the rest of your clubs. You will also train your short game via chipping and putting.
Using the driving range, in addition to helping you improve your game, will also optimize your time. It is not every day that you have time to play a full round of golf, costing you a few hours of your already hectic day. At the driving range, you can train in an hour or, in some cases, even half hour. Most golf courses are not lit at night, most driving ranges, however, are, which gives you the option of hitting some balls at night after your work.
This is not to mention the cost of the driving range is much lower than paying to play a full round of golf. It is a great benefit to use the driving range economically speaking, since the prices of an entire round on the course are around $100, depending on your tee time scheduled, the quality of the course, how many balls you use, as well as several other factors. Golf courses base their price according to the remaining amount of sunlight whereas driving ranges, on the other hand, base theirs on the number of balls in the bucket you will hit. The bucket prices for balls cost around $7 depending on size.
So, if you are learning how to play golf now, you’ll probably find it more comfortable to train at the driving range than going straight to the 18 holes. It is not easy to handle the pressure of people watching you on all of your shots. Additionally, on the range, you do not have that feeling of competing with another person and calculating scores. Either of these two circumstances can lead to nervousness and anxiety, both of which can disrupt your performance. Through visiting a driving range, it can truly empower and instill the confidence needed to start full matches on the golf course.
Another aspect to consider is the concept of lessons. We all know by now that practice makes perfect, right? Well, some driving ranges offer lessons with PGA or LPGA professionals in the event you are interested in having a professional help to improve your game performance. This is a good option for those of you who are really looking to take your golf game to the next level. However, be aware that this option carries a large price tag and the quality of the lesson can vary greatly from one trainer to another. It is important to do research and be sure that you find a qualified professional with an excellent reputation as you could be paying upwards of $100 per hour!
Different Clubs and The Short Game
Driving ranges really provide golfers the opportunity to improve their game across all clubs. On the range, you can use whatever club you want, as many times as you want. This means that you can train as many times as you think necessary with the same club until you find the most appropriate way to hit the ball and have the best result possible. This is gravely different from a golf course where it is necessary that you use different clubs on every hit.
As I said earlier, it is necessary to practice not only with your driver. It’s imperative that you take the time to practice your short game, which means practicing shots that typically are within 50 yards of the hole. The short game is the key to help you achieve your much desired ‘birdie´. As grandpa always said, “drive for show and putt for dough.”
Another part of the short game that is very important is chipping. Chipping consists of shots that are very close to the green and require a highly angled club, known as a wedge, to be used. (Some professionals use other clubs as well but, as an amateur, a wedge will suffice). Let’s be clear when we talk about chipping: this part of the game is definitely not the most fun part of the game. Everyone loves to hit a long and perfect drive and watching the ball fly over 300 yards away. What many golfers forget is that chipping is what will save you or make your round worse. Reason being, if you miss the green and hit a bad chip, you will no doubt score a bogey. However, if you miss the green and hit an awesome chip that puts you very close to the hole, you will have a high chance to secure a par.
Knowing that, it is always a good idea to take some time at the driving range to practice some chipping. In my experience, it’s critical to understand the placement of a golf ball when chipping. At a driving range, I highly suggest practicing with the position of the golf ball to see how it performs. Having the ball further back towards the right heel decreases the loft of the clubhead, which causes the shot to run. This is the best type of chip for when there is a lot of green to cover. When you position the ball in the center of the club, it will have enough loft to fly a short distance and it will also give you the acceleration needed for the ball to roll into the hole. When you position the ball toward the left heel, the ball has a fairly high flight. This is the kind of shot you need when you need to play over obstacles like bunker, water or bushes.
Besides practicing your chipping, you will need also to practice your putting. The putter technique is very simple because it does not require flexibility, weight transfer, or moving your hands/fists. Therefore, to effectively perform this movement, without leaving the wrists vulnerable to any unwanted movement, it is critical that the grip is in the correct position. There are several correct ways putt but what all the tips have in common is the grip position in the palm.
If you leave the grip on your fingers, you are holding the grip in a wrong way because you are using the grip similar to the way a golfer would in full swing. This type of grip forces a golfer to move their fists unintentionally, something that is not necessary when you need precision with your putters. The best type of grip is when the player positions the club in the palm of the hand, with the end of the grip on the inside of your fist. Now, for first timers, this may be uncomfortable at first; however, don’t worry. In due time, you will find that through continuous practice and light movements, you will improve your putter stroke and precision.
Save Money and Practice First!
In truth, the driving range is one of the best ways for a golfer to significantly improve and enhance their golf performance without having to spend a lot of money or time for that matter. With that being said, if you are wanting to secure business opportunities or even perform well on the golf course, it’s important that you become familiar with all of the clubs in the set. Head to a local driving range and practice with long-distance shots, and short-distance shots. Both driving and the short-game play a critical role in the game of golf. Take the time to learn your irons, hybrids, woods, wedges, driver, and even your putter. This way, when you visit the golf course again, not only can you play competitively and have fun, you can make money while you’re at it!