The driving range can be a place of confidence building or planting the seed of doubt prior to launching for 18 holes of golfing fun. I am split on when and why to hit even a small bucket of golf balls prior to the golf course. Let’s look at both sides.
No Driving Range Warm Up
I play Bacon Park golf course almost every Sunday morning because I walk the course for $25 and get in my car after 2:40 hours on the course. My tee time clocks in at 7:30 AM and I never hit a single golf ball before standing on the 1st tee. I do this for multiple reasons. First, skipping the driving range warm up earns me 10 minutes of sleep. Second, Bacon Park is not a challenging course so I do not need my A game. The first 3 holes are straight a head par 4s so once I get to the 5th hole (after a par 3 #4) I am good to go.
I will do some simple stretching on the tee box to loosen the back and hips. After striding to the second hole, my body is awake and ready to play. So, that is an example of a hard No warm up.
Driving Range Warm Up
When I play Heron Glen, I always get a small bucket of range balls and make sure to save 6 of them to take over to the sand trap area. Heron Glen is a subtle course that can be quite challenging if I am off my game. I like to walk up from my wedges to driver to loosen up. The 1st hole is a par 4 with a sloping fairway from left to right that slide even fade drivers into the shrubs and award a penalty stroke for a drop.
If a course is a challenge or a first time play for me, I like to warm up and polish my swing. I am not working on anything specific or trying something new. Loosen up is the key and hit some zingers. I will putt some as well to hone my putting touch. So that is a vote for Yes to warming up.
Warm Up Checklist
I built a checklist to determine if you require a bucket of range balls:
These are not hard and fast rules but they help me decide if the driving range is in my future.
The call is yours. Make sure the decision is made for the benefit of your round and not to save $8.