When a golfer goes to the range they tend to hear chatter from other golfers, instructors giving lessons, or just noise that can distract them. Sometimes they hear a tip and think about applying it to their game, when it doesn’t fit at all. The entire reason I am writing this article and giving you my golf instruction tips stems from these things we all hear at the range.
Don’t just drown them out with your iPod or MP3 player. You need to hear the sounds of the game and the strike of the ball because it will help you in many ways. However, you do need to figure out a way to ignore those giving tips around you, since more than half the tips won’t apply to you or simply don’t provide you any benefit.
My Five Golf Instruction Tips for the Range
1. Choose a Spot Away from Instructors
Unless the range is packed and the only available spot happens to be near someone giving a lesson, you should always avoid this area of the range. If you setup shot next to an instructor, it will become very hard to ignore the things he or she is teaching. What happens if the student they are working with needs advice on curing a hook, but you slice the ball? Their instruction won’t help you at all.
It’s better to find a spot as far away from lessons as you can just to keep the chatter to a minimum. This will help quite a bit and it will keep you from thinking you heard that golden secret to golf that doesn’t exist.
2. Ignore Other Golfers Chatter
You cannot avoid other golfers teaching their friends or each other on the range. This makes for a very dangerous situation because most of them simply cannot teach or even play the game. Even those that can play the game cannot always teach it. Most of the time, you can step away for a moment, watch a few of their shots, and you will see that everything they teach each other can’t possibly work.
Most amateur golfers don’t know how to communicate good advice for the golf swing. When you get stuck next to someone teaching a friend don’t assume they know what they are talking about. It’s safer to assume they don’t and just write off everything they say as false.
3. Go to the Least Crowded Area First
If your range gives you the option of a putting green, short game area, and place to hit full shots, then start with the least crowded. You need to spend half your time on or around the green anyway, so if the range is packed, but nobody is using the putting green, go there first. Then, by the time you finish working on your short game, the range will clear out a bit and you will deal with less chatter.
4. Work on Something
Unless you use the range just to warm up for a round of golf, you should work on something. It could be as simple as throwing down an alignment stick just to make sure you line up properly, but it needs to be something. They call it a practice range for a reason, and this is your time to iron out anything you need to work on.
5. Driving Range Doesn’t Mean Driver
Just because they call it a driving range does not mean you should hit 50 drivers every time you go there. Yes, this shot gives the most satisfaction, but you don’t even use your driver 20% of the time when you play. If you play 18 holes (on most courses), you will only get 14 opportunities to use your driver and most golfers use it much less than that.
Most golfers use their putter more than they use any other clubs and most shots on the golf course are hit from 40 yards and in. You should spend a significant amount of time on any clubs you hit from 100 yards and in along with putting and chipping. I only hit 5 drivers in my warm-up, and then finish with 12 more out of over 200 balls when I do a regular practice session. Most of those balls get hit with my wedges, and short irons. Most of the time I’m not even hitting full shots either.
If you use my golf instruction tips and you learn to budget your practice time properly, you will avoid the chatter and see lower scores this year. Making improvements in your golf swing, gaining distance, and hitting the ball more accurately will certainly help, but putting and chipping like a pro will cut your scores faster than anything else.