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I feel like range time is wasted


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My shots on the range barely resemble my shots on the course... when I go to the range I am usually focused on one or two fundamentals, I always pick a target, and I try to emulate course conditions as much as possible, but it just doesn't work. I almost feel like I'm wasting my time because the swing doesn't translate to the course (thankfully, because I tend to spray shots on the range) Anybody else have this problem? Any ideas on how to make it more course-like?
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My shots on the range barely resemble my shots on the course... when I go to the range I am usually focused on one or two fundamentals, I always pick a target, and I try to emulate course conditions as much as possible, but it just doesn't work. I almost feel like I'm wasting my time because the swing doesn't translate to the course (thankfully, because I tend to spray shots on the range)

Anybody else have this problem? Any ideas on how to make it more course-like?

I actually like hitting shots on the range.  I can work on something without having much concern over where the ball goes.  I can focus even more when I am hitting into a net.

For yourself, have you ever tried to visualize playing a round while on the range.

Example:

First shot:  Driver - hooked left

Second shot: 7 iron draw to get around trees and back toward green

Third shot:  60 wedge - 50 yards

Fourth shot:  Driver again

Fifth shot:  Hybrid - (second shot on Par 5)

......

......

......

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Yes, definitely, its mostly mats by me and that can be a big transition to the grass, it sucks.

So I've been taking it slower at the range, working on each part of the swing from takeaway to finish and trying to get it all into a smooth swing rather than hitting a lot of balls.

The other thing I do is approach the range likes holes, first I drive, then second shot with hybrid/long iron, then wedge, all with a target, if I hit the same club over and over I get good with it, but that doesn't help on the course, it's all about that first shot.

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Your HC index is +1.1 and you have this problem?

How is that even possible??? - JK!

I hear ya.  I have the same problem when I have something on the line.  I think, at least for me, it's because I tense up (consciously or subconsciously) when I have something riding on the line.  So on the course, instead of putting a good swing, I tend to "guide/steer" the ball.

If I have nothing on the line, I feel lose and just put a good swing on the ball and the results are similar to the range sessions.

I need to just trust my swing when playing in a tournament or for $$$.

Just my 2 cents.

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When on the range, I do not hit the same club over and over after I get warmed up. For instance I might start a sequence of three practice shots with my driver, then my 3 W, and then a PW. while focusing on the same target . I also take my time between hitting each of those clubs, while using my own pre-shot routine.My next sequence might be 5w, 6i, and 9i. Very seldom do I ever use the same club twice in a row when actually playing, so I don't practice that way either. It's the same when practicing my chipping, and putting. Once warmed up, I will only use one ball, and play it from different areas around, or on the practice green. Another thing I do is practice tougher shots more than the easy ones. I will work more on side hill lies, up hill, and down hill lies more than I will a level lie. I will purposely practice hitting balls out of high rough when ever possible. I will purposely step on balls in the practice bunker. I even practice hitting slices, and hooks, because sometimes knowing how to hit those two "bad" shots actually comes in handy. Practicing actual playing conditions is what it's all about for me.

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Any ideas on how to make it more course-like?

Why should it be more "course-like"? The practice range has two purposes:

1) To warm up before a round.

2) To practice .

Just swinging and hitting several types of shots to various targets is really not a very effective use of practice time.

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Why should it be more "course-like"? The practice range has two purposes: 1) To warm up before a round. 2) To practice . Just swinging and hitting several types of shots to various targets is really not a very effective use of practice time.

I guess I don't fully understand what you are saying. I do use it to practice. I want to practice situations and shots I will face on the course, I'm not there to practice being good on the range, I'm there to learn how to score better. At this point I don't work on many big things with my swing because I don't have a coach and I don't know what I should and should not change, so I mostly just try to work on becoming more consistent at the range. I do that by working on small swing changes and just general fundamentals. But the problem I have is that I can't hit the ball nearly as well or as consistently on the range so it feels like I'm working on improving a completely different swing than the one that is actually important. [quote name="Yukari" url="/t/75448/i-feel-like-range-time-is-wasted#post_1011412"]Your HC index is +1.1 and you have this problem? How is that even possible??? - JK! I hear ya.  I have the same problem when I have something on the line. [/quote] I think you may have misunderstood what I said, I am significantly better on the course under tournament pressure than I am just practicing on the range. :)

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My shots on the range barely resemble my shots on the course... when I go to the range I am usually focused on one or two fundamentals, I always pick a target, and I try to emulate course conditions as much as possible, but it just doesn't work. I almost feel like I'm wasting my time because the swing doesn't translate to the course (thankfully, because I tend to spray shots on the range) Anybody else have this problem? Any ideas on how to make it more course-like?

Do you practice alone? Ime and my buddies play range and putting games to create pressure like on the course. I lose most of the time :) it helps to gamble, even if for chump change, and put something on the line. I have many scratch level friends and many of them tell me hitting balls doesn't really make them better other than just to create different shots and be able to execute them on demand but that's about it at that level.

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I guess I don't fully understand what you are saying. I do use it to practice. I want to practice situations and shots I will face on the course, I'm not there to practice being good on the range, I'm there to learn how to score better. At this point I don't work on many big things with my swing because I don't have a coach and I don't know what I should and should not change, so I mostly just try to work on becoming more consistent at the range. I do that by working on small swing changes and just general fundamentals. But the problem I have is that I can't hit the ball nearly as well or as consistently on the range so it feels like I'm working on improving a completely different swing than the one that is actually important.

I think you may have misunderstood what I said, I am significantly better on the course under tournament pressure than I am just practicing on the range. :)

This is not why I use the range. I tend to work on the swing and try to eliminate swing flaws when I am practicing. Most of the time is spent getting the body positions adjusted and doing any drills I was given during my lessons. I spend about 30% of my time at home against a net, 40% at the practice range and 30% practicing on the course (not scoring rounds).

If I am warming up, I am just trying to get my timing down for the course before I hit the first tee.

The range is also a great place to play games with your friends to see who can make it closest to the pin etc., but that's not what I would consider practice.

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A ton of people have this problem. (good players included)  Everything gets quicker when you take it to the course.  I try to take my driver back slower on purpose because I know I'm going to be jacked up to rip one.  It's a lot more tense when your score counts!

I've striped a dozen drives on the range and literally walked to the first tee that's 30 seconds away and straight pulled it into the trees.  I tend to get quick.

I only use the range for a quick warm up pre-round or if I'm working on a swing change.  If I'm swinging fine I just go play.  Screw the range.

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My shots on the range barely resemble my shots on the course... when I go to the range I am usually focused on one or two fundamentals, I always pick a target, and I try to emulate course conditions as much as possible, but it just doesn't work. I almost feel like I'm wasting my time because the swing doesn't translate to the course (thankfully, because I tend to spray shots on the range)

Anybody else have this problem? Any ideas on how to make it more course-like?

As Johnny Miller say's you must play play play. I have the same problem. It takes great concentration to hit ball after ball and get good practice in.

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I guess I don't fully understand what you are saying. I do use it to practice. I want to practice situations and shots I will face on the course, I'm not there to practice being good on the range, I'm there to learn how to score better.

A few facts before I make my own point:

1. The best players tend to hit their stock shot 95% of the time. They don't often shape shots. Tiger Woods is often cited as an example of the opposite, but even most of his shots are his stock cut.

2. Hitting a bunch of shots and just making full swings isn't really "practice." It's just hitting shots.

3. You won't be able to practice the situations you face on the course on the range because nothing matters, there are no real greens, your score doesn't count, the lies tend to be flat, you're hitting range balls, etc.

So… what I was saying was that you should practice improving your swing on the range most of the time. Drills. Half swings. Slower speed.

I think you may have misunderstood what I said, I am significantly better on the course under tournament pressure than I am just practicing on the range. :)

I read that part.

I just don't think it's particularly important to be "good on the range." I hit balls like crap on the range sometimes when I'm working on things. I'm content to hit shanks, chunks, thins, etc. if I'm changing the picture. They don't translate to the course, but the on-course shots improve because I've put in the work on the range.

Everyone can do things a little differently, so if you're happy with your routine, great.

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I completely agree with you iacas. I don't work the ball very often. I play a fade almost always. That is the shot I'm trying to hit and practice getting more accurate with on the range, but I can't. I will spray them all over the place, very rarely hitting it the way I consistently do on the course. I'm trying to groove a swing so it always happens on the course and it feels like I can't do that because I'm so inconsistent when I'm on the range. So you think the answer is not to worry about that and work on other things to improve fundamentals? I can't remember the last time I did a drill to be honest. I do hit half shots and different things like that a lot though. [quote name="iacas" url="/t/75448/i-feel-like-range-time-is-wasted#post_1011781"] I read that part. I just don't think it's particularly important to be "good on the range." I hit balls like crap on the range sometimes when I'm working on things. I'm content to hit shanks, chunks, thins, etc. if I'm changing the picture. They don't translate to the course, but the on-course shots improve because I've put in the work on the range. Everyone can do things a little differently, so if you're happy with your routine, great. [/quote] That second quote was not directed toward you. It was to Yukari. But still more good info. Thanks for all the input everyone.
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A few facts before I make my own point:

1. The best players tend to hit their stock shot 95% of the time. They don't often shape shots. Tiger Woods is often cited as an example of the opposite, but even most of his shots are his stock cut.

2. Hitting a bunch of shots and just making full swings isn't really "practice." It's just hitting shots.

3. You won't be able to practice the situations you face on the course on the range because nothing matters, there are no real greens, your score doesn't count, the lies tend to be flat, you're hitting range balls, etc.

So… what I was saying was that you should practice improving your swing on the range most of the time. Drills. Half swings. Slower speed.

I read that part.

I just don't think it's particularly important to be "good on the range." I hit balls like crap on the range sometimes when I'm working on things. I'm content to hit shanks, chunks, thins, etc. if I'm changing the picture. They don't translate to the course, but the on-course shots improve because I've put in the work on the range.

Everyone can do things a little differently, so if you're happy with your routine, great.


Normal practice time for me is...

1.  I hit a medium size bucket of balls (about 90)

a. I hit the first half using some different clubs from driver to 60 wedge all full strength

b. I hit the second half as if I were on the course.  I think "short par 4".  Ill give myself 3 follow up clubs like 5-7 irons.  Distance lowers 1 club and accuracy lowers one club.  If I hit my driver

straight but offline I will hit a 6 iron at a target.  If i miss by about 15 yards ill grab my 54 wedge.  I play par 5, short par 4, long par 4, short par 3 and long par 3 in my head until the bucket

is gone

2. I spend about 30 minutes on the chipping green doing various shots from various lies

3. I spend about 20 minutes doing some putting drills on the putting green

What you are saying is not to bother with any of that with the bucket of balls and just work on the muscle memory of my swing.  If that is the case, then should I not worry about hitting from the grass (which at my range is very beat up with sand and bad spots etc) and just hit from the mats working on swing mechanics?  I am in the same boat as the OP as my practice almost never translates to the course whether good or bad.  I have had some great days on the range but a day or two later, the course chews me up.  I will go hit a few warm up shots on the range before playing and the warm up shots are junk but I shoot pretty well.

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My range sessions usually start out well then I stop being able to hit anything that even remotely resembles a good shot. This also tends to transition into my round if I play the next day. I try to do the drills assigned to me but after a short while I end up going back to full swings. I have a short attention span when it comes to practice I guess. It's obviously something that is going to hold me back until I can learn to focus longer.

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I rarely practice on the range because of several constraints.. Therefore I work on changing the picture at home using video and mirror work! The only thing ibises the range for is to just hit a couple shots for my lessons.. At be in the future when I love closer to a range that will change, as I really think I can get some good practice there as well!
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So you think the answer is not to worry about that and work on other things to improve fundamentals? I can't remember the last time I did a drill to be honest. I do hit half shots and different things like that a lot though.

Work on improving the piece or pieces that need improvement. Need the practice to be specific, not just something general like "fundamentals".

What you are saying is not to bother with any of that with the bucket of balls and just work on the muscle memory of my swing.  If that is the case, then should I not worry about hitting from the grass (which at my range is very beat up with sand and bad spots etc) and just hit from the mats working on swing mechanics?

The routine you outlined is just hitting a bunch of balls, there isn't anything specific you're working on or trying to improve. See the thread above.

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