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nevets88

At the range - can't see half my shots - is it worth practicing?

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On a clear day at one of the ranges I go to, I couldn't see my ball because it blended right in with the sky - I was on the fourth or fifth floor, way up there. Even if I got to see the ball landing, I couldn't tell if it was my ball because so many other people were practicing.

Extremely frustrating.

Do you think it is worth it to practice in such conditions?

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I know the feeling.  I got new irons the other night and ran over to the range, but the floodlights they have only light up the hitting area.  The light that spills over into the range is enough to see out to 100 yards or so clearly, but beyond that, the balls disappear into the night.  It doesn't help when your main goal is trying to gauge distances for your new irons.

But the glass-half-full side of me remembers that I was able to go to the range at 9pm the night before a round, so at least that was better than the alternative of not practicing with them at all.

My conclusion is that if that range is your only option, then yeah, its worth it to get swing practice.  But if you can go somewhere else, or maybe go there at off times, you be better off.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

.  It doesn't help when your main goal is trying to gauge distances for your new irons.

How can you judge your distance by the use of beat up range balls? Hech around here they are so bad I can barely get my wedge to go 100 yrds.

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Originally Posted by hammerhead

How can you judge your distance by the use of beat up range balls? Hech around here they are so bad I can barely get my wedge to go 100 yrds.

Well, I am certainly not going to get exact distances in one night on the range, but the range balls where I go are not that beat up, so I can at least get an idea.  It's also usually pretty easy to see if the ball is beat up while its corkscrewing through the air, or taking a nose dive halfway down the range ...

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Do drills. Work on the segments of your swing that need work.

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I practice a lot more than I play and in the morning I might be looking into the sun, but I still go.  My range has some range balls and some recycled/refurbished balls, and some that people who go there a lot (like me) donate.  Even though I try to get the best balls each time I can't count on them for reproducible distance.  Keep hitting them and work on something specific each time out.  You'll notice improvement the more often that you go.

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I find that the only time I have difficulty seeing where the ball lands is around 4:30 - 6:00 when the sun is setting.  When I practice I always aim for targets and usually try to work on not moving my head until my left shoulder makes contract with my chin so I will just usually look at the target area where I expect the ball to land to find my ball in the air.

The range I go to isn't usually that crowded and if it is, there aren't many good golfers that practice hitting to targets (usually they are trying to out hit each other) so it's not a problem for me find where my ball lands.  My shots off mats are pretty predictable, typically the ball will land close to my target and my miss (outside - inside swing) is a weak fade that falls short and to the left of the target.

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The best practice a student can often do is hitting balls into a net (http://thesandtrap.com/t/53895/hitting-into-a-net/), so yeah, it's still worth it if you use the time properly.

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If you are practicing but can't see the result of your swing, you are getting no feedback, and have no way of knowing which swings were successful and which were not. You have no way of diagnosing your errors and no good way of experimenting with corrections (because testing those corrections requires you see your new results to determine if the corrections worked or not).

If you practice without receiving feedback, all you are doing is ingraining your current swing. You are not making real changes - you are not improving. You are just swinging. Consider it exercise, not practice.

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Your feedback is a lot more than your ball flight. There is the feel (sound) of the shot. You can put tape on your club to see impact. You can feel how your body is moving. And so on.

Originally Posted by lostmyballs

If you are practicing but can't see the result of your swing, you are getting no feedback, and have no way of knowing which swings were successful and which were not. You have no way of diagnosing your errors and no good way of experimenting with corrections (because testing those corrections requires you see your new results to determine if the corrections worked or not).

If you practice without receiving feedback, all you are doing is ingraining your current swing. You are not making real changes - you are not improving. You are just swinging. Consider it exercise, not practice.

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Originally Posted by x129

Your feedback is a lot more than your ball flight. There is the feel (sound) of the shot. You can put tape on your club to see impact. You can feel how your body is moving. And so on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by lostmyballs

If you are practicing but can't see the result of your swing, you are getting no feedback, and have no way of knowing which swings were successful and which were not. You have no way of diagnosing your errors and no good way of experimenting with corrections (because testing those corrections requires you see your new results to determine if the corrections worked or not).

If you practice without receiving feedback, all you are doing is ingraining your current swing. You are not making real changes - you are not improving. You are just swinging. Consider it exercise, not practice.

There's always value in hitting into a net or into the ether at dusk. Ball flight is certainly important but I'm not sure how anyone above the level of absolute beginner couldn't differentiate between good shots and bad ones by feel at impact.

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Thats why I use the brightest orange ball I can find (Wilson Smartcore) - I can't very well see white balls in flight ... still waiting for a dayglo ProV1 !!

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Yes, I think it's worth it.  I often practice into a net and that is great - very effective.  I still like to go to the range to see the ball flight, though.  If you can even see 100 yards of your ball's flight then you'll know if you hit it high, low, fade, hook, etc.  The range where I practice is useless for learning your distances with each club as the hitting area is elevated and facing into the wind (most of the time) . .plus they use range balls - some of them pretty beat.

You know what *is* good for learning your distances?  Laser Range finder.  Start using one of those when you play and you will get a good idea of your real distances.

But yeah, if you can see at least 100 yards or so of the ball flight then it's worth it, in my opinion.

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When I'm practicing my driver, and have a good shot ( carry = +200), I very often can not see the ball.

Sometimes, I see it take off but when I look up it has already become invisible to me, and sometimes I can see the first part of it's flight, but then it simply disappears.

When this happens a lot, is it caused by the contrast of the sky, or could it be an eye-problem?

I know my depth-sight isn't super and I'm a little short-sighted, but not very much.

Thanks for the information!

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You could have an eye condition. I have one called Retinitis Pigmentosa where I have significant gaps in my field of vision, so if I lose the ball in one of those gaps I have a real hard time picking it back up...
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I now understand the benefits that are possible when not able to see the ballflight. It is this one particular range that gives me trouble now that I've had the chance to go to other ranges, but my eyes are pretty bad to begin with.
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