Divide Your Range Session Into Smaller Segments

I teach at a public driving range facility, which means I have the opportunity to watch interesting methods of practice on a daily basis. The most common approach I witness is the “rapid fire” method, which doesn’t accomplish a whole lot other than aerobic exercise. We are all guilty of this at times, but there should be more to range practice than firing at will.

A standard large bucket is 100+ golf balls. The best approach to range practice would be to divide that bucket into three segments with about 35 balls per topic. This is true whether you are someone who practices frequently or occasionally.

Here are some examples of range topics:

1. Specific swing changes, such as following a lesson
2. Rhythm, tempo, or timing
3. Routine and setup
4. Aim and alignment/hitting to specific targets
5. Measurement

An example of a great range session following a lesson with an instructor would be topics 1-2-5. For the first 35 golf balls, you would work on the new swing change. For the next set of golf balls you could work on rebuilding your natural tempo, which takes a hit during more technical practice. Then you would finish with measurement practice, in which you would find your new distances with that different swing.

It would even be acceptable to do a 1-1-1 practice session, but all three sections of the practice would need to be on different topics, meaning your coach gave you three distinct things to practice. The brain can only handle a certain amount of time on one topic, and after about 35 golf balls the focus level tends to drop off, making extending the practice on that same topic counterproductive.

Another example of a sound practice session under this format would be a 2-3-4, meaning working on rhythm, setup, and hitting to specific targets. This sounds like an ideal practice for someone who is preparing for a tournament.