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Hitting a lot at the range...good or bad?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I talked to the local "golf pro" at the range today, and he told me that coming to the range and hitting a lot of balls in a short amount of time is not good.  I disagree.

 

Basically I have two types of range visits:  1.  Sometimes i'll go and wear out my 7 iron, aiming at various targets.  I'll hit a lot of balls quickly, one after the other.  2.  Other times I go and work on ball placement and ball shaping, rotate through my clubs, putting and chipping.

 

I have found, that over the last couple of years, #1 has helped me tremendously with ball contact.  I rarely miss hit the ball or shank one while playing a round.  I usually always hit the ball solid, and i think it's because i have hit so many balls, which i think has improved my ball striking.  So many times i'll see these guys with a perfect golf swing, but often miss the ball or shank one off into the woods.  I'm not saying I'm any better than these guys, but I feel i've gotten to the point where i can strike the ball with confidence, because of #1. 

 

Opinions?

post #2 of 22

I'll often hit 2 or 3 buckets of range balls during a practice day, but I'll usually spend 15 or 20 minutes between buckets chipping and putting.  This helps me strech, relax and identify what I'm working on.

 

What the pro was referring to are the numerous players who bang balls without a purpose.  It's easy to let bad habits creep in when practice lacks direction and focus.

 

I too will sometimes hit a whole bucket with an 8-iron.  I like working on shaping the ball left and right to a wide variety of distances.  Lately, I've been focusing on doing so with more body turn and less hands, which has really helped my ball striking and distance control.

 

Keep it up!

post #3 of 22

If you are practicing good things hitting a lot of balls is great, but if you're just whacking aimlessly you could just be ingraining bad things. After all, when is that last time you had a string is 20 7-irons in a row on an actual golf course?

 

I find that one large bucket is my max. After that, especially in the summer, I get tired and any time spent after that is just wasted. 

 

I like you number 2 idea though. When I'm having a good day at the range, the easiest way to tell is whether or not I can work the ball at will. Low cuts, high draws, slice it around a tree, that kind of stuff. 

post #4 of 22

I take 3-4 clubs to the range and get a bucket of 120 balls. I start out hitting my PW until I'm happy with my swing, direction and distance, then move onto my 6i, then 4h and finally 3w. From there I "play" at the range, e.g. tee off with a 3W, then imagine I pushed it into the rough and have 150 to the green so I hit my 6i etc. Occasionally I take my SW and spend an entire session picking out targets for pitches and chips and practice my power estimation.

 

I see it as if you're working on things and you're being able to progress your swing from it, why stop? The only proviso here is that the range tends to give you false confidence if you're hitting everything off the auto-tee or synthetic mats so bear that in mind.

post #5 of 22

I am of the school that the range can be a bad thing.  It exists for practice.  And practice is a good thing.  But what if your swing isn't right...you've developed a bad habit or flaw?  Suddenly you have no answers and you're supposed to play the next day or so or maybe in a tournament.  Your confidence is shot from hitting a bunch of bad balls at the range.  You have anxiety and your next round is more than likely horrible. If at all possible I will try to play nine holes instead of hitting at the range.  You work on all facets of the game and frankly, isn't playing what it's all about?  For me the range is someplace I go if my swing is totally out of kilter and I need to find a fix OR I simply need to keep my swing grooved because I just don't have time to play between rounds/tournaments.  Even then I will try to avoid.  But I will give you an example.  I went to the range with my son today because he wanted to work on his short irons (he hadn't been hitting them well....still scores great).  I actually struck the ball very well through out the whole bag UNTIL I got to driver.  I couldn't hit it decently to save my life.  I figured out a swing to hit it albeit not very inspiringly.  So now I have no confidence in this club and I am supposed to start a match play tournament this week.  Just great.  

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctorfro View Post

I am of the school that the range can be a bad thing.  It exists for practice.  And practice is a good thing.  But what if your swing isn't right...you've developed a bad habit or flaw?  Suddenly you have no answers and you're supposed to play the next day or so or maybe in a tournament.  Your confidence is shot from hitting a bunch of bad balls at the range.  You have anxiety and your next round is more than likely horrible. If at all possible I will try to play nine holes instead of hitting at the range.  You work on all facets of the game and frankly, isn't playing what it's all about?  For me the range is someplace I go if my swing is totally out of kilter and I need to find a fix OR I simply need to keep my swing grooved because I just don't have time to play between rounds/tournaments.  Even then I will try to avoid.  But I will give you an example.  I went to the range with my son today because he wanted to work on his short irons (he hadn't been hitting them well....still scores great).  I actually struck the ball very well through out the whole bag UNTIL I got to driver.  I couldn't hit it decently to save my life.  I figured out a swing to hit it albeit not very inspiringly.  So now I have no confidence in this club and I am supposed to start a match play tournament this week.  Just great.  



I have the same opinion as you. I used to be at the range a lot but the past month or so I've taken a different approach and only go to the range if I won't be playing in more than a week or something is whacked out with my swing. When I was going the day before I was playing, if I had a bad session, my mental approach was shot - just made things worse.

 

post #7 of 22
Ask Vijay Singh.

As long as you work on something or is ingraining good moves, I say hit balls as long as you got energy or want to. If you're just hitting balls with no goal or caring about the results, you might not want to hit that many. Only way to ingrain a change is by hitting lots of balls
post #8 of 22

I become wore out whacking ball after ball on the range and going thru my entire bag.  2 tokens, 60-65 balls, PW, 52*, 56* 60* and driver for practice.  Pre round, 1 token, same clubs.

post #9 of 22

It can be good and bad.  Good if you know what you are doing and can get real practice.  Bad if you are just banging balls for the purpose of banging balls.  If you take just one club practice doing several things with hit; choke down and hit 3/4 shots, 1/2 shots, high shots, low shots, left-to-right shots, right-to-left shots.  You can get good practice if you just know what you are doing.  If you are spending a bunch of time at the range, and don't consider yourself a 'great' golfer, I would take half that time and practice chipping and putting.  You will be amazed at the amount of strokes you can shave off a round if you can chip close and eliminate 3-putts.  It can take years to get a good, repeatable swing and you can struggle to whole time.  You can make great strides in putting after only a few weeks, and it will always stick with you.  The short game is the equalizer.

post #10 of 22

Start my practice.  first drive tee on 5 shots.   next 6 iron hit straigh 5 shot and draw 5 shot.   break time 5 mins.  be relax   Other how look good golfer hit? there look begnnier golf.     I was pick up 9 iron  warm-up shot 10 shot.  next 7 iron 5 shot,  next 4 iron 6 shot,  next 2h hybird or 3 wood  10 shot   break time 12 mins   i'm smoking....i don't care golfer complain about smoker golf.    

 

LOL!

post #11 of 22

When it's 99 degrees like it has been lately, I avoid the range like the plague.;) Sounds like what the guy at the range is telling you is when practicing you need to think about what your doing. Maybe you are, but your fast practice habits or tempo may give him the perception that you are not. If you feel you are working on something specific, I say do it. 

post #12 of 22

What if when playing your 9 holes you find you swing isn't right? Confidence is shot the same way. Maybe you would be hitting the driver awesome if you didn't go to the range. Seems to me that is more likely that you would be hitting the same as you hit on the range.

 

Some people like practice. Others don't. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctorfro View Post

I am of the school that the range can be a bad thing.  It exists for practice.  And practice is a good thing.  But what if your swing isn't right...you've developed a bad habit or flaw?  Suddenly you have no answers and you're supposed to play the next day or so or maybe in a tournament.  Your confidence is shot from hitting a bunch of bad balls at the range.  You have anxiety and your next round is more than likely horrible. If at all possible I will try to play nine holes instead of hitting at the range.  You work on all facets of the game and frankly, isn't playing what it's all about?  For me the range is someplace I go if my swing is totally out of kilter and I need to find a fix OR I simply need to keep my swing grooved because I just don't have time to play between rounds/tournaments.  Even then I will try to avoid.  But I will give you an example.  I went to the range with my son today because he wanted to work on his short irons (he hadn't been hitting them well....still scores great).  I actually struck the ball very well through out the whole bag UNTIL I got to driver.  I couldn't hit it decently to save my life.  I figured out a swing to hit it albeit not very inspiringly.  So now I have no confidence in this club and I am supposed to start a match play tournament this week.  Just great.  



 

post #13 of 22

I used to hit balls quickly but I quit doing that. I get worn out and start making sloppy swings if i just go one after another and that certainly doesn't help. Now I just spend more time on the range and think about each shot more rather than blasting away.

post #14 of 22

I've recently been hitting the range more often than I have done in years. I do so primarily to identify weak swing patterns before I go and play the dreaded first round back after a 10 year break. 

 

I remember as a kid being taught that range practice had to have a defined set of outcomes; strengthen my short game, hit the driver toward a specific target, and then repeat training drills to ensure my swing was constant (constantly bad at times). 

 

  • I start with my 7 iron, hit about 20 balls to stretch, ensuring that it's not just random shots - aiming at a flag / marker / position on the range.
  • Move on to my 4 iron, try to hit it consistently straight - I'm trying to overcome a newly developed slice - so I start with short back swings and focus on the follow through.
  • Then I move on to my GW and hit 50m and 75m and ensure that I don't move on from the club until I can hit at least 50% of shots within a few meters of the target.
  • Finally move on to my driver, and begin brutally assaulting the nets beside the range, possibly killing passersby and swearing into the ground until I hit at least one or two straight drives which have to land and roll on from the 250m / 280m mark. 
  • After about 2 buckets (50 balls each) I go and concentrate on my short game as I have no real feel for the game anymore. 

 

I think range practice is vital, if its done with a purpose - if it turns into a pissing contest with the guys beside you to see who can smash a drive, or who can relentlessly hit a 7 iron in the air then it's absolutely a waste of your time. 

post #15 of 22

As long as your practice has purpose then I don't see any problem.  As others have said, whacking balls aimlessly is not really a good thing.  I'll often hit balls very quickly (as you describe in your #1) but I'm always working on something.

post #16 of 22

I have been playing for 23 years and currently I only practice putting and chipping within 80 yards with a shag bag.  3 hour a week practicing putting and 2 hour a week on my chips and pitch shots.  I do not spend anytime at the range hitting balls.

 

As a 20 handicap golfer, I have to agree with the pro, better to play 9 holes than to hit too many balls at the range.  I would also recommend focusing on practice time and how you should spend your time.

 

70% short game

Putting

chipping around the green

pitch shot within 100 yards

 

20% low to mid iron

10% driver,  fairway, hybrids

 

you can miss a drive and still par with a good short game

you can still double bogie with a good drive with a bad short game and putting.

 

I also would recommend keeping track of the following during your round:

 

Putts

Up and downs to one putt

greens hit

fairways hit

 

per hole 

front nine

back nine

total for 18 holes

 

keep your putts around 30 or under

up and down stats 50% or better

 

My best round this year I had the following:

 

26 putts for 18 holes

7 out of 11 up and downs to one putt or 64%

shot 72 or par for 18 holes.

post #17 of 22

I think providing you have the imagination to make the shots real it's fine. Mindless hitting of 1 ball every 10 seconds does not do much good, you will just groove a bad habit. 

 

I use the range more in winter time personally, in the summer I'd sooner practice at the golf club. 

post #18 of 22

 my head hurts
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OPIRIP View Post

Start my practice.  first drive tee on 5 shots.   next 6 iron hit straigh 5 shot and draw 5 shot.   break time 5 mins.  be relax   Other how look good golfer hit? there look begnnier golf.     I was pick up 9 iron  warm-up shot 10 shot.  next 7 iron 5 shot,  next 4 iron 6 shot,  next 2h hybird or 3 wood  10 shot   break time 12 mins   i'm smoking....i don't care golfer complain about smoker golf.    

 

LOL!



 

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