If its later in the day, or money is tight, do you normally either go to the range, or play nine? I normally go to the range, since money is tight on college guys, but I just haven't played in forever it seems.....just wanna know everyone's thoughts on this.
Play 9 or go to the range?
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I find the 9 holes more useful as it forces the "right first time" if you have a consolidated swing and are looking for more experience in shots etc. And you dont mind losing some balls as a consequence... And if the course is empty you can hit multiple balls if a shot displeases you.
The range is more useful when time is limited and you want to groove a specific part over and over
I have this delimma every Friday, and honestly it depends on when I can get to the course. My group of regular guys tee tee off at 2:30 so if I can get out of the office by 3:50 I can get to the course and play the back 9 with them. If I leave anytime after 4:15 I just go hit 3 bags of balls on the range. I mean, I could go and play 9 by myself, but I like playing with the guys.
I think another factor is what you do at the range. Most people don't use range time efficiently. I usually play 9 holes instead, although my choice is easier for me, because both options are relatively cheap. But 9 holes allow work on the mental game as well as the physical, something that's hard to get at a range. Even if you are hitting less, this 9 holes of practice allows you to really think out each shot.
Alternate because you need time at both. Since you're a college student, I think you'll appreciate this analogy; you do the class assignments and homework (range) and then you take the mid-term (course). Your mid-term score shows what areas you've sufficiently grasped and what areas need additional work. Similarly, if you note the fairways hit, GIR, putts, etc. on your scorecard, you can determine what areas you've sufficiently grasped and what areas need additional attention. Armed with this information, you head back to the range and work on your "problem" areas.
My newest instructor splits up my lessons that way. We spend a bit of time on the range to work on specific things. From there, we go to the course and play 2 or 3 holes so he can gauge how well I've grasped those instructions and to evaluate what other areas need additional support.
Unless you are really working on a change or swing issue ..... the range for sure.
If not, play the course, as feel for real lies and feel for the shots distances, trajectories, spin, etc...... etc. is done there.
Golf has become a driving range game, youngsters need to play the courses more often to develop feel, which can only been done at the course !
Play the 9. I try to fit in a 9 every Friday too, and courses arent cheap out here in Japan. Id love to play courses more often, but thats mostly because I've done enough swing mechanic work, I just want more course management experience. Heck, I'd like to have my own private course in the backyard so I could play that, but if I did, I'd probably be a rich pro who's always on the road playin courses all over the world.
I enjoy range time, both for using it "wisely" and, when I get tired, sometimes just whacking balls as an exercise in itself. After all, the game is supposed to be fun, not JUST focus...
Lately I've been playing more, but I need to swing the balance back toward range (and chipping/putting) time. It is useful to practice things on the course, but for me, it's easier to truly work on something on the range.
Also, if it's late and time is going to be an issue, I'd definitely go with the range. While I'm all for playing quickly, having a hard deadline and a sense that you must finish in a hurry is a recipe for an unpleasant round for me.
I've always played over range but I'd say if your looking to improve, the range is better. But you really got to have something concrete you want to work on for improvement to happen. I'd say over the years I'd be a better player if I went to the range more but I really enjoy playing. The range isn't playing golf. I like the variety of shots you have to hit when playing. I also seem to be better on the course and more consistant than I am hitting balls at the range.
I believe if you can only do one it depends on the state of your game. If you feel you are swinging well but not scoring then play. If you feel you are not swinging well then range. I am at the point where getting my game from the range to the course is the issue, so playing makes more sense.