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Going to the Driving Range

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, first post here.

 

I know this question has been asked many times, but I'm not sure which answer is the right answer (if there is one).

 

How many clubs should I be taking to the range?

 

The guy who's been teaching me (a good friend of mine) says that I should only take one or two clubs and focus on improving one aspect of my game.

 

Another golfer friend says that I should take all of my clubs, start with the pitching wedge and work up to the driver all the while focusing on improving one aspect of my game.

 

A third friend says that I should take all of my clubs, start with some club and practice my shots as if I was playing a course.

 

I understand that the most important part is focusing on one thing to improve (stance, aim, alignment etc), but all three of these guys make valid arguments to support their viewpoints.

 

Friend #1 says that by taking only a couple of clubs, I wont have to worry about altering my swing and can therefore focus on what I want to improve. So for example, taking a pitching wedge and a 6-iron, or a 3-wood and a driver.

 

Friend #2 says that progressing through all of the clubs will allow me to build rhythm and confidence.

 

Friend #3 says that by practicing as if I am on the course, I will train my body to transition from club to club.

 

I don't know who I should listen to. Is this another matter of personal preference?

post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck17 View Post

Hey guys, first post here.

 

I know this question has been asked many times, but I'm not sure which answer is the right answer (if there is one).

 

How many clubs should I be taking to the range?

 

The guy who's been teaching me (a good friend of mine) says that I should only take one or two clubs and focus on improving one aspect of my game.

 

Another golfer friend says that I should take all of my clubs, start with the pitching wedge and work up to the driver all the while focusing on improving one aspect of my game.

 

A third friend says that I should take all of my clubs, start with some club and practice my shots as if I was playing a course.

 

I understand that the most important part is focusing on one thing to improve (stance, aim, alignment etc), but all three of these guys make valid arguments to support their viewpoints.

 

Friend #1 says that by taking only a couple of clubs, I wont have to worry about altering my swing and can therefore focus on what I want to improve. So for example, taking a pitching wedge and a 6-iron, or a 3-wood and a driver.

 

Friend #2 says that progressing through all of the clubs will allow me to build rhythm and confidence.

 

Friend #3 says that by practicing as if I am on the course, I will train my body to transition from club to club.

 

I don't know who I should listen to. Is this another matter of personal preference?

It's personal preference - i always bring my whole bag and maybe even an extra club or 2 to see if they will fit in my bag.

 

I've never been one to work up the ladder, i'll go gap wedge, driver, pitching wedge, 3 wood, etc - but thats just me. I feel going up or down a club at a time just gives me false confidence.

 

There is nothing wrong with only taking 2-3 clubs - as long as they are a bit spread out.

 

There are a few on here that like to pretend they are playing a round of golf on the range - it's not something i have the patience for. When i go, I dont have hours to spend there.

post #3 of 17
Welcome to the madness! a1_smile.gif

Assuming your friend is a competent instructor in whom you're placing trust to develop your game, listen to him. It doesn't matter what someone else does.....they're not you.

If your friend is just a better golfer than you, trying to get you started in the game, now would be a great time to throw a couple of bucks at a series of beginner lessons from a teaching professional before you ingrain some bad habits that will be tough to break later on.
post #4 of 17

I use all three types of practice depending upon what I am wanting to accomplish.  Mostly though, if I am working on an aspect of my swing, it's just me and the 6 iron. 

post #5 of 17

They are all good practice methods depending on what you want to accomplish at the range.  If I am only working on one part of my swing, I will bring only a few clubs.  If I am dialing in distances, I will bring more.

 

I generally warm up with wedges if I am at a grass range.  Then progress to what I am working on.

 

In the winter, when hitting into a net, all I will usually bring is my 58 wedge, 6 iron and driver.  

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess my next question is, what do i absolutely want to avoid doing at the range?
post #7 of 17

I like to bring my whole bag, start with the wedges and work my way up through the bag, hitting 10 balls with each club and then finish off hitting wedge shots to work on my distance control with my wedges.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck17 View Post

Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess my next question is, what do i absolutely want to avoid doing at the range?

There are 2 big things I try to avoid during a range session.

 

1.  Dont ignore your pre-shot routine.   I dont think you need to go through your entire pre-shot routine...as it can be time consuming.  But try to avoid hitting shot after shot without stepping out of the "hitting area".  Before each shot, I like to step back behind the ball and take a slow practice swing trying to feel something I'm working on.  Then pick a target before moving in for the shot. 

 

2.  Dont go to the range and swing 100% the whole time.  You dont do that on the course and you shouldn't be basing your distances on 100% swings.  Dont get me wrong...you need to practice going after it...but work on your "stock" swing tempo.  Sometimes I will find that I'm swinging harder at the end of a range session than I was at the beginning and my strike quality always suffers...when I focus on dialing it back to 85-90%, I hit much more consistent shots.

 

Best of luck!

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck17 View Post

Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess my next question is, what do i absolutely want to avoid doing at the range?

First, don't just go and beat balls. Have a plan. Something specific to work on.

Second, never hit a SINGLE shot, without a specific target in mind. The range is 100+ yds wide......fairways and greens, not so much!
post #10 of 17

be sure not to dress like you're a professional when you go to the range, though - that apparently distracts other golfers.

post #11 of 17

All good advice above. I bring my whole bag just because it is easier and I can change my game plan if I want to. But as discussed above I always go with a plan. One day I will work on my long game, long irons, hybrids, woods and driver. Another day I will work on my short game, low irons and wedges. IMO the short game is the most important, (others believe driving is most important) I therefore work my short game more.

 

What not to do at the range is talk to much or loudly, it distracts others.

post #12 of 17

Personally, I bring all my clubs.  I like the idea of big switches like driver and then a wedge, or a short iron.  It simulates a real round a bit better.  If you just take out a wedge and hack at it for an hour (which I'll admit to doing), then you can get in a rhythm which is difficult to replicate on a course.  However, for building muscle memory, it's not bad.

 

I don't think there's really a wrong way go to the range but as others have said, make sure you're practicing with a purpose and have a specific plan on what you're working on.  Perfect practice makes perfect.

 

Good luck and welcome to the forum...

post #13 of 17
My routine lately has been a couple warm ups with a wedge then maybe half the bucket of 7 irons, then a few 3 woods, a few drivers, then play to random targets with all clubs the last bit. No idea if its right or wrong, just how I've been doing it.
post #14 of 17

Maybe filming your swing if you are working on a specific aspect of your swing

hakky

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
I appreciate all the help guys.
post #16 of 17

When I first started back into the game a few months back I just carried my pitching wedge to the range for a while.  If you can't hit the short irons, there's no point in practicing longer clubs really, or so it seems to me.  As stated several times, I do think it is important to go to the range with something specific you're planning to work on.  At my home course the range is far enough away that they give you a cart to get there, so I pack along my whole bag now in case I come up with other things I wish I could try, and because I always warm up with a wedge and some short irons before moving to longer clubs if that is the order of the day.  Just because you have the whole bag with you doesn't mean you have to actually HIT all those clubs.

 

I already admitted that I'm just getting back into the game, and I never was very good, but I think if you are working on a specific "issue" sticking to one or two clubs (after a warm up) is probably best.  However, for a "general practice" or a warmup before playing, switching clubs and "playing holes" on the range seems like a good way to go.  Hit the driver.  Pick a spot that is the target and see if you can hit it with your five iron.  Pitch one to a nearby weed (assuming your driving range is equipped with a few convenient weeds.) Then go on to the second hole.  But, for me, those are two very different types of practice.  I hit a lot more crummy shots when I'm really thinking about (for example) what my left wrist is doing at the top of the backswing.  For "playing" practice I try to just set up right and swing away without thinking too much about what's going on during the swing itself.

post #17 of 17

I like the advice of Martin Hall, Play more than you practice.  Pitch and chip more than you putt, Putt more than you hit your clubs.  Pretty good advice.

 

The range is fine for dialing things in but other than the tee box, very few shots in a round will be on level ,both direction, fluffy grass.

 

For me right now I take my driver and my 56 wedge.  Both cause the most trouble and could use the most dialing in.  Will add 7 iron if I want to practice full iron swings.

 

I have played for 18 months now.  Used to practice 4 time per week and play one to two times per month.  Now I play 2 to 3 times per week while practicing maybe once per week.  Not sure it has helped but it is way more fun.

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