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Practicing game type shots

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I recently took a lesson and made some changes to my swing and I also started playing with a new set of irons.  I wen to the range before playing a round on Monday, and hit the ball pretty well.  I hit my driver more accurately then I have ever have and although I was accurate on the range with my irons, I really struggled with my approach shots.  Can anyone suggest some drills that i can do to practice the conditions that you normally find on the course?  


My first thought was to just play more, but that can get expensive, so I was hoping for another way.


Thanks in advance for your feed back. 

post #2 of 6

Lately I go to the range and pretty much play a game in my head. Every single shot I say that flag is a bunker and water is to the right and I need to get this 140m to flag..set up and take my shot. Feel this kind of thinking has helped on the course instead of just hitting ball after ball. Dunno if this answered your question or not but I think it helped me

post #3 of 6
Just play more is the best advice. That said, four thoughts on the range-to-game work. First, and obviously, be sure you're hitting off grass, not turf. Second, course usually means less than 'driving range perfect' conditions. You're more likely to find imperfect/unlevel ground at the far end spots at your range, and you can usually add some randomness by dropping and playing as it lies. Third, when you play, there's time between shots. Take a couple minutes between shots. Take some practice swings, watch other people hit, check your text messages, whatever. Fourth, on the course, you rarely hit two shots in a row with the same club. Recreate that by grabbing an old scorecard and "playing" 9 holes. 26 handicap, don't worry about hazards or bad lies or doglegs, just work on distances. If hole #1 is 400 yards, hit driver. If you slice the hell out of your driver, pick a target that's 250 yards out and grab your favorite wood/hybrid. On the other hand, if you hit your driver 250 yards straight, pick a target that's 150 out and grab an iron. So on and so forth. Goal is GIR.
post #4 of 6

New clubs might just mean that you don't have distances dialed in quite yet.  Hence, the bad shots on the course during a round.


If you have a practice facility available that has targets of varying distances might want to practice there.  A place I go always has 4-5 greens with flags that I can shoot with the laser yardage meter, (bushnell range finder) to get exact target distances.  I play iron shots to those targets to help dial in distance by club.  Some of the greens even have two pins so I can practice both front and back pin yardages.


Not that this helps when hitting the 'money shot' on the course, but at least I know how far a well-struck 8-iron goes now!



post #5 of 6

I've always found the whole "play an imaginary round on the range" a hassle and just not something I've ever liked.  But I do something related sometimes.  Never hit the same club twice in a row. Instead of hitting 4 or 6 or 8 shots with one club trying to hit a couple good ones in a row, play like out on the course where you have to hit a different club than the one you used for the last shot every time.  Hit driver, wedge, driver, 7i, 3i, 6i, 3w, 4i, wedge...


Take the time like you would on the course too since you only get one shot with this club (for now).  Do some version of your pre-shot routine that fits in the space at range with each club, then hit it once, then repeat with a different club (and not just one iron up or down, if you hit 7i, move to SW or hybrid or driver or whatever).


I've found I often overestimate how well I'm hitting after a practice session if I hit 4-8 shots with each club before moving on, as I tend to remember those last 2 that were good or great, and not the first one that would've been my actual result on the course.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your feedback, I will defiantly try a few of your ideas next time I am on the range.


Thanks again.

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