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Is the driving range a waste of time?


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So I get a bucket of warm up balls before my round and go to the range. I start with 9 to 3 shots. I hit every one of them perfectly with my gap wedge. Then I go to 3/4 shots. Then full shots. Then I take out my 8 iron and do the same thing. I hit every shot perfectly straight and on target. They made that nice noise when you hit the ball - you know that whump sound. This was going to be a banner round. I go to the practice green and putt. Took some getting used to. These greens are fast. But they're soft.

Now onto the course. I bomb my drive. Make decent contact with my iron but push the shot. That was the last good iron contact I hit for 6 holes. Everything from then on was a fat chunk. Where did that range session go?

This has happened  the last three times I've gone to the range - good sessions. Bad outings on the course.

Is there a video of "Taking your range game to the course?" Mike? Erik?

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Is a batting cage a waste of time? Is returning the serve from a tennis ball thrower a waste of time? Is it a waste of time to punch a heavy bag? No. It's not the same as the real thing, but it

The driving range is not a waste of time. However, there is a lot of time wasted on the driving range.  If you want to play this game well, 75 percent of the balls you hit should be with wedges in you

So I get a bucket of warm up balls before my round and go to the range. I start with 9 to 3 shots. I hit every one of them perfectly with my gap wedge. Then I go to 3/4 shots. Then full shots. Then I take out my 8 iron and do the same thing. I hit every shot perfectly straight and on target. They made that nice noise when you hit the ball - you know that whump sound. This was going to be a banner round. I go to the practice green and putt. Took some getting used to. These greens are fast. But they're soft. Now onto the course. I bomb my drive. Make decent contact with my iron but push the shot. That was the last good iron contact I hit for 6 holes. Everything from then on was a fat chunk. Where did that range session go? This has happened  the last three times I've gone to the range - good sessions. Bad outings on the course. Is there a video of "Taking your range game to the course?" Mike? Erik?

Were you hitting off of mats?

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Helloooooooo, Tiger.

I like the range to get a rhythm, to gain confidence that I am ready. I start slowly with a wedge - and hit some chips, then I guess it's a flying wedge, then half wedges, full wedges, 8i, a hybrid, driver, then back to wedges for rhythm. If I'm smart, I'm not going balls out.

I think most tend to get quicker on the course than on the range. If you can think rhythm and staying within yourself.

Easier said than done.

Ask Tiger.

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Of course. You know they don't allow you to hit off grass with irons around here unless you're at a private club.

When I was in high school, Northshore in Federal Way was the closest course to me and they had grass areas to practice your irons as well as matts. I would always practice on the matts and hit a ton of great iron shots but then would go out and hit everything horribly fat in my rounds. I couldn't understand why that would happen so I started going over to the grass practice area and all my shots were fat, shanked, etc. The matts disguise bad shots but it's so hard to tell until you hit off grass. The pro at HC lets people hit off the grass sometimes. You should ask of it's ok and do that before your round.

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Unfortunately I was at Allenmore. ;-)

I did a little mirror work today and it is as I suspected. I'm getting stuck on my right side. When I transition into my downswing I'm not starting my motion forward with my hip turn and the club strikes behind the ball. When I move forward the club strikes the ball then the carpet. Basically I just need someone to get on me for an hour about it and help me get a positive picture in my brain.

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I suppose the driving range is a waste of time if you are not working on something specific, checking distances, and/or aiming at a target. I am guilty of not doing any of those three things sometimes. However,  I do have fun just hitting balls sometimes. Sometimes I might hit a bucket (60-80 balls) just to let my golf swing muscles know they will be needed at a later date.

Other times I won't finish the bucket, and will go over to the short game practice area for an accuracy/distance check up. If you think about it, that's what golf really is all about. Correct distance with accuracy in the long game, short game, and putting.

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I mean, there are no consequences to bad shots on the range. Where does that happen on the golf course? Don't we just wind up beating balls? I've found that going out on the course for practice rounds and playing 2 or 3 balls is more effective. Uneven lies, water, trees, endless short game opportunities. And consequences. You can't lose a range ball. The driving range is a tempo killer as well.


I think it depends on how you practice at the range. You're not supposed to just go beat balls and that's it. What I do it make it so that it does matter. Aim for a specific target every shot. Change targets often. Go thru your whole pre-shot routine on every stroke. Line it up, lay down some sticks to check ball position. Hit some fades, hit some draws. You can visualize the fairway being there even when it's not and you can tell if you just hit into the woods or not. I used to just beat balls, but since I changed to the above, the range practice is much more productive!

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Going to the range just to beat balls makes very little sense.  But going on the course and hitting 2 or 3 balls doesn't make too much more sense either.  When I go to the range, other than warm-up for a round, it is with a very definite plan in mind.  Example: I am trying to learn a light draw shot, I practice that on the range because on the course is not the place to be trying to learn/hone new skills.

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Going to the range just to beat balls makes very little sense.  But going on the course and hitting 2 or 3 balls doesn't make too much more sense either.  When I go to the range, other than warm-up for a round, it is with a very definite plan in mind.  Example: I am trying to learn a light draw shot, I practice that on the range because on the course is not the place to be trying to learn/hone new skills.

Of course you can do that on the golf course if you're playing a true practice round and ignoring the ROG. Say you want to practice hitting off real grass, you can always just move your ball to a flat lie. You can play the entire round with your 7 iron if you want. Most people aren't disciplined enough to do that. You just don't keep score for the round and because it is a true practice round not played in accordance with the ROG you cannot report it.

And besides, where else can you get bunker practice?

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The range took my HC from a 25-30 to single digits.  To avoid getting long winded, its all about what you put into it.  Beating ball after ball without practicing smart is a waste of time unless you just do not care about getting a lot better.  If you go to practice with a purpose then its a great use of time.  Just beating balls without taking the time for pre shot routines, not working on trying to hit different shots shapes, imagining course situations, etc. then its going to limit your ability to get better.

That all said, you cannot live on a range either.  You have to put more of your time at the practice greens (short game) and nothing substitutes playing if you really want to play good golf.

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Of course you can do that on the golf course if you're playing a true practice round and ignoring the ROG. Say you want to practice hitting off real grass, you can always just move your ball to a flat lie. You can play the entire round with your 7 iron if you want. Most people aren't disciplined enough to do that. You just don't keep score for the round and because it is a true practice round not played in accordance with the ROG you cannot report it.

And besides, where else can you get bunker practice?


What I meant about range versus on-course was if you were trying to learn a specific swing piece, like a light draw.  It would be quite hard to learn that shot hitting 2 or 3 balls on the course.  But, if you learn it on the range, then it makes perfect sense to go on the course for a practice round hitting multiple balls.

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Yes, it's a complete waste of time. That's why professional golfers never go there.

The big difference being a pro will have a coach helping them work on specific aspects of his swing yet Joe public who pops down the range for a hour after work won't have this luxury and are generally hitting several inconsistent shots with no real aim or objective other than whacking a ball and as the OP mentioned not having the real life scenario of being on course with room for error being infinite then there is zero benefit of going

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Stretch

Yes, it's a complete waste of time. That's why professional golfers never go there.

The big difference being a pro will have a coach helping them work on specific aspects of his swing yet Joe public who pops down the range for a hour after work won't have this luxury and are generally hitting several inconsistent shots with no real aim or objective other than whacking a ball and as the OP mentioned not having the real life scenario of being on course with room for error being infinite then there is zero benefit of going

They don't have coaches w/them all the time. Recall the press making a big deal out of Como not being with Woods for one week. Coaches have many clients, they can't be there every time. Pros do have cameras and a caddy videoing them. So they're not going by ephemeral feels, they have visual proof of what they're doing, correctly or not.

Us folks w/o caddies or coaches can buy mass market, for most, affordable high speed cameras and a tripod can be had for the price of a couple of lattes. And take the time out to really learn what to look for in our swings.

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They don't have coaches w/them all the time. Recall the press making a big deal out of Como not being with Woods for one week. Coaches have many clients, they can't be there every time. Pros do have cameras and a caddy videoing them. So they're not going by ephemeral feels, they have visual proof of what they're doing, correctly or not. Us folks w/o caddies or coaches can buy mass market, for most, affordable high speed cameras and a tripod can be had for the price of a couple of lattes. And take the time out to really learn what to look for in our swings.

bubba Watson.. he never had a lesson or a coach

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Originally Posted by mslice15

bubba Watson.. he never had a lesson or a coach

Same deal with thousands of bogey golfers

Possibly millions. . . :smartass:

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