There is a practice area that can work for you in two ways. One will build skills and muscle memory. The other will loosen you up and build your confidence. The place with a dycondomy of identity is a driving range. You need to adjust you approach to it depending on when you are approaching it. Savvy?
Practice Driving Range
So you head out after work to hit a bucket of balls on a Wednesday night to help prepare for your game with the gang on Saturday. You read some article on GolfDigest.com and a few dozen videos on Youtube. Now you are ready to fix your swing and improve your distance. This is the time and place for tweaking your swing and building good habits. (See my recommendation for Driving Range routine)
The key to practicing on the driving range is to have a plan and stick to it. Practice where you are weak and strengthen your game. Feel free to try something new and hit that crazy shot like a flop shot or under a tree 4 iron punch shot. Have fun.
Pre-Round Driving Range
You roll up to the golf course a good 30 minutes early and buy a small bucket of balls and head out to the driving range. You have one goal and that is to loosen up. Hit four or five balls per clubs starting at your wedge working your way up to your driver. Loosen up and stretch. Hold back from smashing long shots until the last handful of balls.
Do not try anything new! Stick to the basics and a nice easy swing. Keep it simple. You want to build your confidence for the course. If you hit a bad shot, shake it off and hit that club again.
How you approach your practice on the driving range is dependent on what comes next.
- If it is a beer on the couch, fire away and hone your skills.
- If you are getting ready to play a round, build your confidence and loosen up.
Do not confuse the purpose of a driving range when you step on to it.