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How Often Should One Go to the Practice Range, Etc.?


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How often and how does one practice at a driving range? do you start everyday with the same clubs? do you hit the clubs that are more troublesome? at an average how many balls do you hit at a driving range per session?

 

All these questions for a 58 year old player. Thanks,

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  • iacas changed the title to How Often Should One Go to the Practice Range, Etc.?
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9 hours ago, GuamAP2 said:

How often and how does one practice at a driving range? do you start everyday with the same clubs? do you hit the clubs that are more troublesome? at an average how many balls do you hit at a driving range per session?

 

All these questions for a 58 year old player. Thanks,

I’m 60. I tend to practice everyday unless I’m playing. But that doesn’t mean hitting lots of balls. I use the range to look at ball flight. I use my net to film and work on swings. I mix it up. Guam obviously doesn’t have winter weather concerns so you can play all year. But if you use a mix of net and range practice, you can accomplish a good amount of swing work. Even 5 minutes of practice can help.

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I like to practice almost as much as I enjoy playing.
I will mix up my practice, starting with hitting 3/4 swings with several clubs.
Some days I will work on specific swing mechanics like hitting fades or draws.
I like to hit a variety of wedge shots with my wedges, low, high, spinners, etc.

I'll also practice on slopes and bunkers, basically try to create unusual situations I may encounter on the course. 
And there's always putting mechanics to fine tune on the green.

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(edited)

During golf season (roughly March - November for me) I typically go to the range 1-2x a week and 1 short game/putting session per week as well.

Normal range sessions are the "large" bucket at my range which is ~ 75 balls. I like to practice in blocks or groups of balls, usually in groups of 10-15 balls focusing on a specific thing which can vary based on what my weaknesses/priority piece at the moment is.

For example, a typical practice session right now would look something like this, keeping in mind this is more of my "in season" practice session, an off season session where I'm working on a swing change would be structured differently.

~10-15 warm up shots. Couple wedges, couple mid irons, couple long irons

~10-15 mechanic practice, reinforcing my priority piece(s) with a short/mid iron

~10-15 Driver/3W, working on my main swing feels with these as they are different than with irons

That's usually about half the bucket, then the other half is more of "skill-based" practice, things like giving myself 5 balls and hitting them all between 90-100 yds, or having to hit 5 straight drives within a 40 yard left/right window, flighting iron shots, seeing how low I can hit a 4 iron pretending I'm under a tree, etc.

I do try to keep this general guideline in mind as I practice

 

Edited by klineka
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I guess for us older folks, it's as often as our bodies allow. I think there is a certain length of time after which it becomes unproductive to keep practicing because your brain and body are fried. It could be 1 hour, 2 hours, YMMV. I guess either take a break, move on to putting or short game or something, or live to practice another day.

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15 minutes ago, nevets88 said:

I think there is a certain length of time after which it becomes unproductive to keep practicing because your brain and body are fried.

I absolutely believe this, at some point more swings are exercise more than proper practice.  If you're not able to concentrate on exactly what you want to do with each swing, its time to move to something else.  My personal limit is in the range of 45 minutes, and my "something else" is usually a beverage or two on the clubhouse deck with friends.

Last year was weird with COVID, but for 4 or 5 years before that, I practiced twice a week most times during thee season.  I'd play 18 on Saturday and Sunday, play a pretty informal 9 on Tuesday evening, and go for a practice session after work on Wednesday and Friday.  As I said, my practice sessions are usually 45 minutes or so, and are generally focused on full swings.  Maybe I'll work on putting or short game for half a session once or twice a month.  I'm 65 now, so close enough in age to @GuamAP2 to be somewhat relevant.  But as @iacas, all of this is personal, there's a huge range of needs, physical ability, and motivation among different players.

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Depends on your aspirations, and how well your body can take it. I only go to the range when I need to work something out with my swing, maybe 3 times/year. I practice in the practice facilities the course has before a tournament lightly. Other then that, my rounds of golf are my practice. 

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In addition to the "range" I recommend finding a good short-game practice area and putting in some time there as well. If you can't hit within several feet of a target line 15 yards away, how do expect to hit a green 150 yards away?

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Another thing is the rate at which you are hitting balls. I am doing slow rehearsals, videoing and analyzing right there on the spot. Often, I will take more time with a small bucket than most people with large buckets. I believe this is a more productive way to practice though as you see what you're doing wrong right there and adjusting rather than hit and guess (and curse). My routine is after I hit a shot, I always take extra time to think on what worked or didn't. And look on the face for contact point.

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

If you're not able to concentrate on exactly what you want to do with each swing, its time to move to something else.  My personal limit is in the range of 45 minutes, and my "something else" is usually a beverage or two on the clubhouse deck with friends.

😁  Good one!

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  • 1 month later...

Just came across this topic, since it has been on my mind.... and looking for advice on how to get the best out of my range sessions. I know I coming in a bit late on this thread, but thought it was an important one. My range is really close and I have a membership with unlimited balls. I would always start with 2 large buckets (about 200 balls) and alternate 3 balls each on driver, long iron, mid iron and wedge.... with working on one or two aspects of the swing. Started now to add in the drills, since I’m back on TST. Then, I move over to practice green, where I would mix up chip/pitch and putt out.  Along with lag putting practice, and putting from different distances. Right now, I have focusing on putting flow and torso turn. 

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I’ve got tennis elbow so I’ve only been a few times over the last few years as hitting balls one after the other does me no favours.

 

I’ve got tennis elbow so I’ve only been a few times over the last few years as hitting balls one after the other does me no favours.

 

I usually play Wednesdays and Fridays also the odd Monday  .

If I don’t play Monday I will often go and have some practice, either that or a Tuesday. I often take the Driver , 3 wood 4,5 & 6 irons out of the bag and go with the rest. Learn to hit shots with the clubs I have ,stop around the green have a few chips ,pitches putts etc. 
Also I read Dave Pelz’s short game book a while back. I’ve adapted my bike and can fit a wedge on it. At night I go down to the corner of a mown area by sports fields. I take turns of which wedge, and do pitch & 2 different ‘finesse’ swings.

Over summer I’ve gotten a pretty fair idea of how far I hit the various swings & it’s definitely paid dividends . I regularly get up & down from under 100 yards, especially under 40/50. 
Before I just sort of guessed which club, and the other benefit is swinging slower I find I’m much more accurate with my direction. 

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I have been playing on and off for the last maybe 12 years and my handicap fluctuates like the tide. The friends who took up the game later than me now have single digit handicaps. I am so inconsistent, I keep hitting over the top.......just frustrated

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37 minutes ago, GuamAP2 said:

I have been playing on and off for the last maybe 12 years and my handicap fluctuates like the tide. The friends who took up the game later than me now have single digit handicaps. I am so inconsistent, I keep hitting over the top.......just frustrated

It's not about the time you put into practice but the time you put into quality specific practice.   

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1 hour ago, dennyjones said:

It's not about the time you put into practice but the time you put into quality specific practice.   

I totally agree! I love my range and spend a lot of time there. That is why I signed up again with Evolvr.... to make the most of that time, and not just hit ball after ball without any focus. 

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3 hours ago, Dave325 said:

I totally agree! I love my range and spend a lot of time there. That is why I signed up again with Evolvr.... to make the most of that time, and not just hit ball after ball without any focus. 

True

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I find myself, on the average, going to the range the day before I play and sometimes, depending on how I played, going the day after to fix certain things that might not have gone well during the round; ie...driving, fairway woods, etc. At times, if I have a half hour or 45 minutes with nothing else to do, I'll also practice full shots in my fairly large backyard with sponge rubber or "Almost Golf" practice balls, and wedges with real balls, up to 70 yards.

The translation from range to golf course is different for each person, I think. Yesterday, at the range, I thought I had finally discovered the secret to golf, Every shot, irons, fairway wood and drives (from the grass practice area, not the mats) was perfect. Today, on the golf course, drives/fairway woods were 50/50, 7-iron thru GW were perfect, 4-6 irons - not so much. Putting, which I didn't practice at all, was other-worldy and was what kept my score from being not as terrible as it could have been.

I'll be going to the range tomorrow.

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