If you enjoy golf, you’ve probably spent some time practicing at the driving range. But are you just whacking balls for fun, or are you really trying to become a better golfer? By practicing these simple drills on your next trip to the range, you’ll be improving your game—not just your driver distance.
Hit a penny. Before you start hitting balls, place a few pennies on the turf and try to hit them high into the air. It’s difficult at first, but if you can master this drill, you’ll never hit the top of the ball again. Once you’ve master hitting pennies into the air, try placing a ball on top of the penny. If you can hit both the penny and the ball in the air, you’re getting very precise!
Pick a target. Instead of simply seeing how far you can hit the ball, try picking an exact target. Most driving ranges put practice flags on their ranges just for this reason. Start with the closest flag, then gradually try to hit further targets. This drill is more fun with a friend—and maybe a friendly wager!
Lose the tee. While hitting golf balls off tees is fun, it’s not the most practical exercise. That’s because, when you’re playing a round, you’ll usually be hitting the ball off a tee just once a hole—and sometimes not at all. If you can master hitting your driver off of the grass instead of a tee, you’ll be a big step ahead of most other golfers with your driver control.
Lift your feet. While a proper golf swing requires keeping both feet on the ground, lifting your foot during a swing can be a great indicator of how well you are balanced. Try taking a swing with one of your irons, but only bring your backswing back about 50-75%. On your follow through, lift your right foot off the ground and balance on your left foot. If you try this and are about to fall over, chances are good you need to work on rebalancing your weight transfer during your swing.
Different distance. Same club. Pick several targets on the range that are at different distances. Next, pick a club out of your bag and try to hit these targets without switching. This helps you get a better idea of how much range your club has—and its maximum distance.
Try out these handy exercises on your next trip to the range and you’ll be playing with purpose. That will translate to lower scores—which means more fun! Now get out there and practice!