🥇 Tips and Drills to improve your Practice at the Golf Driving Range

Golf Driving Range Practices

Let’s discuss about the perfect Golf Driving Range Practice Plan. How we would structure a practice routine at the range. This is specifically for the full swing practice. These tips and techniques can be used by beginners as well as better players. 

The main steps in a golf driving range practice

  1. Have a clear plan for that practice session
  2. Warm Up and Wedge Drills​
  3. Mechanical Drills​
  4. Skill Drills​
  5. Course-like Drills

List of Contents

How many golf balls should you hit at the driving range?

Golf Driving Range practice balls

So how many golf ball should we hit at the driving range? You can practice with any amount of balls, depending on the time available and the cost. We recommend  around 50100 golf balls, for a good practice.

Have a clear plan for your golf range practice

Golf Driving Range Practice plans

For the best practice routine, you need clear plan. How to use the time and the balls you have available in the best way.  So, when you get to the range for a practice, what should you do? how should you spend your time? There is there a specific way and sequence, that you can do things, that’s in our opinion is the best. Here you cover all the important drills, instead of just doing any kind of mechanical practice. How do you do the 100 ball set? Below, we will discuss this further.

Golf Driving Range Practice Routine Summary

Let’s discuss the golf driving range routine summary. We are going to do this on a 100 ball set. Now you might have a lot more balls, or have less, but around 100 golf balls are better for a good practice. First, we break down the number of balls into specific drill areas. Then we will go through and demonstrate how this works.

First 20 Golf Balls. The warm-up and wedge practice:  Out of a 100 golf balls, let’s break it in categories. The first 20 golf balls, the first fifth of the practice, you should do a warm-up slash wedge practice. For the first 20 golf balls, we are going to start with a sand wedge. We are not pulling out a 9 iron or 7 iron or a driver and using those clubs first. We are bringing out a wedge and for those first 20 balls, we are going to do a warm-up slash your wedge practice.

Next 30 Balls – Mechanical Practice : The next 30 balls, what we are going to do is, the block mechanical practice. That is, we are working on the swing fundamentals, any in-swing mechanics we are trying to work on. For those next 30 golf balls, after your 20 warm up wedges, you have your 30 mechanical block practice. That is total 50 of the golf balls, that is half of your 100 balls are now done.

Next 25 Golf Balls – Skills Practice like distance Control or Direction Control  : The next 25 balls, you are going to do skill practice. So, with your full swing, that could be things like distance control or direction control. With your irons specifically, you try to get better control over the balls. You are beyond the contact part now. We are assuming in the block practice you did the contact part. How could you get better hitting your irons? You could get better at controlling the distance you hit and you could get better control in the direction you hit them. You could do some form of game for that, we are going to demonstrate a little bit of it later on. We will go a little bit more in depth with the skills part. That might be you working on trajectory control, try maybe hitting curves at that point, you might be missing a certain side of a target, might be eliminating your misses.  We are working on skill pieces for those 25 golf balls. That 75 total golf balls now.

Last 25 Golf Balls – Game-Like or Course-Like Practice : With the last 25 balls, we are going to do game like practice, we are going to practice similar to the golf course as possible. What do you mean by Game-Like or Course-Like Practice? You are going to do a routine on every ball, going to stand behind it, visualize, do your breathing and walk up.  You are going to pick a different target on each golf ball and we are also going to change the club or the distance you use on each ball. This is beautiful information for you guys. This is the best range practice you can do whether you are a beginner player or you are seeking a play the PGA tour. That is how you structure your time. There are also different adjustments you could make, we will talk about it later. 

One more time, 20 ball warm up and wedges. You need to practice your wedge distance control. Just do this as a part of you warm up. 30 ball mechanical practice in the middle, 25 balls after that for skill practice and then 25 balls at the end for course-like conditions. There is a lot of things you can do well.  We will discuss more about that as we go, so let’s get started.

Full Practice Summary:

  • 20 Balls – Warm Up and Wedges Practice
  • 30 Balls – Mechanical Practice
  • 25 Balls – Skill Practice
  • 25 Balls – Game-Like Practice

1. Warm Up and Wedge drills - Improve your Golf Driving Range Practice

Golf Driving Range drills

The first part of golf range practice is 20 balls of warm up and wedge shots. You get to the range and start warming up. Watch good players, there is a common thing you see amongst all of them, that is they start with a short club.  They start slow and short. Their first couple shots are going to travel like 30 or 40 yards. Every time you warm up and practice; the club head, your swing, all that feels a little bit different. It doesn’t feel the same every single day.

First 5 Golf Balls- Get a Sense of How the Club Feels

So literally on your first 5 balls, you are just getting a sense of how the club head feels. We are feeling what it’s like for the club head to hit the mat. You are going to hit little shots, as you are warming up. It’s called a warm-up for a reason. You see a lot of guys coming to the range and working at mechanics on their first swing. They don’t even like to warm-up, to loosen up and they are already digging into mechanical things. We are not there yet. We are just loosening up, getting a feel for the club head, hitting it 30 or 40 yards, just making contact, just trying to hit the ball and make contact. The reason we do this, where we combine the two, wedges and warm up, is just for efficiency.

Very few players, practice their wedges and/or write practice plans.  As you write plans, the wedge is going to be part of that all the time. As you are warming up and taking it slow, you might as well do your wedges at the same time. You start 30 yards, then you will do one or two shots to 40 yards or 50 yards. And you go 60, 70, 80 or 90 yards. You just work your way back, do 30 and 40 yards. Then go for one out to 50 and we are going to build your club “feel”. You are just going to gradually make your swing a little bit longer on each one.  Still just feeling the club here, no mechanical pieces.

Work Your way up to a Full Swing Sand Wedge

You should work your way up until, you got into basically a full swing sand wedge. For you it’s a probably be about an 80-yard, kind of soft shot and full swing 100 yards. And that would be your wedges. We said 20 golf balls. Start 30 yards, do a couple of them. Then a couple 40 or 50 yards. Work your way up and so we are hitting a full sand wedge. That would be the first part of your practice and that is sort of when you are fully warmed up. Then you can take a sand wedge swing, at a full length with a decent amount of speed to it, you feel warmed up and then we are going to move on. Some people in the warm-up and wedges, maybe not only hit 15 balls with the wedges and they may also hit four or five 7 or 8 iron, to warm up with a longer club before doing the mechanics. That would be okay as well. That is the wedge warm up part. 20 golf balls first and we will move on to the mechanical practice.

2. Mechanical Drills - For correct Golf Driving Range Practice

Golf Driving Range Practice tips

Part number two of golf range practice, is the mechanical practice. You just did your 20 balls warm up. We are going to hit 30 balls for your mechanical practice. Here is the part of the 100 balls that we would change a little bit, depending upon your skill and how long you been playing and your ability level.

If you are New to Golf or Struggling with Contact – Increase Mechanical Practice : If you are just starting playing or solid contact is a big problem for you. We would increase the amount of mechanical practice. So right now, we are only doing 30 out of a 100, so for you math geeks out there, that is 30%.  30 out of a 100 for your mechanical and it should be enough, if you can hit it solid enough. If you are struggling with solid contact or have a really big problem with ball control skills, you probably need to stay here a little bit longer. So how much? You still probably limit it no more than 50% percent. Stay little bit longer here, because if you can’t do solid contact, that skill portion practice of 25 golf balls, is not going to matter nearly as much. You still have to do so some of it and can’t completely eliminate it.

You cannot completely eliminate skills practice : If you do only mechanical practice, you lose that return on investment, that compounding interest with skill practice. That is how that works because skill practices does not show up like magic, like throwing money into account accruing interest over time. And after a couple months and years, it builds up. You will acquire skills that you would not have had. If you are just doing a new swing mechanics or new feel or new part of your swing that’s needed. It may feel very exaggerated, in the initial part of the swing change. You can do more mechanical practice during that phase as well. You can do more mechanical practice when making a swing change. You should limit it to max 50 % of the total practice time.  This section of range practice is really important.  

You must have Feedback - For Better Range Practice

Mechanical practice is non-negotiable and is very important. During this phase you must have feedback. You are absolutely not just guessing.  Every one of these 30 reps, you must have feedback. For example, you may need to work on your wrist conditions at the top and you just feel like hitting 30 balls with no feedback, then that does not count. All those reps do not count, that is not we are talking about here. You need feedback, on every single shot.

How do you have feedback?

Golf Driving Range Practice video recorder

You can set up a camera/mirror to watch yourself swinging the golf club. For example, a live Viewgolf camera and app connected to your phone or tablet. Download live Viewgolf app, to your phone and you can watch yourself hit the ball live. We have been using it for a long time. You can record videos and you go back and watch it.  With a liveview golf, you can literally see yourself on your phone, as we are making a swing with a mechanical piece. You can see what you are doing and adjust. If you are not using liveview, you can use a mirror or video-recorder. You have to use something! You have to know what you are doing, when you do your mechanics practice. You should record at least your first 5 swings, so you know what you are doing and then you can make adjustments. Imagine doing 30 swings and doing all 30 wrong. You just wasted all that effort! So, record the first 5 shots. Even better, have the liveview golf and you can see yourself swinging right away.

Set up Golf Alignment Sticks for more feedback

Golf Alignment Sticks drills

You can also have alignment sticks, so you get feedback from shots. You need alignment sticks or you need to watch what you are doing on all 30 of shots. You can have the stick in front, for a feel and to monitor your follow-through swing direction. We are trying to get the club exit more left around your body. We are trying to give it a push and hooks. This can work really well for you. When you have the stick in, what you notice is that, the club works more as you planned.

Goal – Feels you can transfer in to practice and play: We are not super worried about where the ball’s going, but we are looking for feels during this phase. That you can transfer into your skill practice and transfer into your course-like practice. Finally you can transfer the same “feel”, when you go play on the course.  So, you are feeling like your clubs working left or right and shoulder is turning enough towards the target. Let’s check you can hit some shots, missing the alignment sticks. You could do 30 shots like this. You can use one club first: a 9 or 8 iron and use a longer club as we progress.

3. Skill Drills - For ideal Golf Driving Range Practice

Golf range Alignment Sticks practice

Third part of the golf range practice, is the skill practice.  With the irons in particular, we are working on distance control, direction control, trajectory, curves or something along those lines.

Do skill games with a score, that will work ball control skills: There are so many different games, that can really take you guys to the next level. You have a game with the score or you have a purpose to your hitting shots. The ball control skills that you gain here, is going to transfer really well on to the golf course. Practice you direction control or distance control, do something skill-wise in these 25 golf balls.

4. Course like drills - For better Golf Driving Range Practice

Golf Driving Range tips
Here you can do the following:
  • Must do a pre-shot routine.
  • Switch Targets.
  • Switch club or distance.

Last part of the golf range practice is 25 golf balls course-like drills. Let’s make this as course-like as possible. We set a couple key element in the beginning. One of them is that, we are going to do our pre-shot routine, that is number one. Going for pre-shot routine every shot. We are going to switch targets on every shot. We are going to switch either club or distance on each shot. Let’s take an 8 iron here. What we are going to pick a target in the distance. You can pick the 150 yards and we are going to go through your pre-shot routine as if you were playing. Do 2 practice swings behind the ball. You line up at your target. Then we are going to visualize your ball flight and can see the ball landing. We are going to breath as you walk up to the ball, take your time. Lining up to your intermediate target, look at the target once, back to the ball, look at the target twice, back to the ball, and now you go ahead. That would be ball number one. Number two, you can switch clubs here, maybe switch target distance. Next you can target, maybe a tree over to the right and use an 8 iron. You aim and hit a 150-yard, kind of knocked down controlled shot. Take two practice swings to get the feel. Visualize your shot. Pick your intermediate target. Breath properly and line up to your intermediate target. And swing with a good tempo.

Finally Coordinate all of your golf range practice feels.

You work through this for 25 balls. Make sure you hit some drivers here as well. You can pick a fairway grid and use some of that. We are coordinating all of your feels here, in this last practice.  We are taking whatever mechanical feels you had earlier. And we are taking whatever skill piece feels and now we are coordinating those. What do you need to feel, when you go play golf? That is the purpose of this last part. And this is the hundred ball break down. Enjoy your game!

F&Q Golf driving range practice

How often do you need to practice at the golf driving range?

It all depends on the available time and money. But if you really want to improve your golf, then try to practice 2-3 times a week, at the driving range. Also try to play on real course whenever possible.

Is it better to play golf at the course or just practice at driving range?

You need BOTH. Practice your skills at the golf driving range and put that skills on test at the golf course.

How many golf balls do professionals hit every day at the driving range?

Statistics show the professional hit more than 500 golf balls per day, divided between long, middle and short game. And further practice in chipping, bunker shots and putting.

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