There is that noise when you pull into the parking lot of your local driving range: the crack from a driver and the snap from an iron. The sounds from the driving range are a symphony of chaos. As you step in, the desire to swing for the fence is strong but it is a siren’s call. The name is misleading your practice routine away from improvement. What would you practice focus be if it were called a chipping range?
Many of us do not spend our time properly on a driving range. We should be practicing our short game where strokes easily multiply on our scorecard. Are you a sniper from 75 yards in? Why not? Can you flop a chip to stop by the hole? Why not? Can you hit a low punch shop from under a branch? Why not? You know but you don’t want to say it. You don’t practice these shots. Why not? You know that as well. They are not sexy.
To get the most out of the driving range, I find it best to spend half my time practicing chipping. I got tired of flubbing chips or sculling shots across greens. It paid dividends and my score dropped. Why ruin the two shots it took to get you just off the green by having no faith in your chip shot?
Here is my routine at the driving range with five to seven shots per club:
Half of my shots are within 75 yards. This is where I wanted to be confident that I cannot only hit the green but add a level of precision.
It should lots something like this:
The second benefit from mass wedge work is my body is not over taxed. When we swing the big clubs, we add a bit of power provided by over muscling the swing. By concentration on wedges, my long club shots are more relaxed because I want to take the easy nature of a chip shot and apply it to my driver. I would rather hit my driver a modest 220 yards in the fairway 95% of the time then crush it 275 yards and hit 20% of the fairways.
Spend your time on the range working on precision. Guess what. If you drive goes errant under a tree, you have the shot to punch it to the 50-yard point and chip it at the flag.
What do you do when you get to the range? Do you have a process or progression?