I’ve had a bunch of my students ask me what I do during my practice session on the range. A lot of golfers are used to doing their normal routine, which is mostly just hitting balls into space, sometimes focused on a good target. As we know, with the limited time we have to practice, it would be great to get the maximum return on your time invested. I figured I would share what my typical practice session would look like. Here is a range practice sample that I do quite often.
- Note: This is a practice session, not a warm-up for my round.
Pre-Arrival: Movement exercises and dynamic stretches for approximately 7-10 minutes. For one of my favourite stretching routines click HERE and my favourite stretch HERE. I’ll also do a few other movement exercises but these are the ones I make sure I do no matter what. I want to make sure my body is ready to swing the club right from the first swing.
Technical focus and Alignment
During this time I put an alignment stick on the ground. I’m looking to see if my alignment feels good or if it’s off a bit. If it feels off it’s usually related to my ball position changing and then affecting my shoulder line (open or closed), which then affects how I see the target. Once I’ve worked on my setup a little bit I transition to whatever I’m working on in my swing and put my attention there. Normally I have about 3 different technical pieces that I need to make sure I’m managing:
- Staying Centered (at times I’ll get shifting off the ball)
- Creating some depth in my backswing with my right hip and hands
- Early transition feel – I don’t want to stand up too early in my downswing.
I’ll hit about 40 shots during this time starting with wedges and working towards my driver.
Most of my technical focus is done at my home in front of a mirror so I really don’t spend a lot of time focusing on it during my outdoor practice.
36 Shot Challenge. This is the game I normally play although I’ll substitute this for other games from time to time. I walk into every shot as I would if I were playing on the course. It’s a great time to practice to my breathing and acceptance.
During this last bit of time I’ll work on the shots I struggled with during the game. If I had a really good session then I may work on shaping shots to a target or flighting shots high, medium, or low. I also like to use the last bit of time to work on some wedging. I’ll pick a green and try to land balls on the 4 edges of the green: Back, Front, Left and Right and see how many I can pull off in a row.
Once completed, it’s a good idea to make some notes in your phone or in a notebook. Do whatever works for you. I’m not a big note-taker but I like to log my scores of the games I play. The notes I make are pretty simple: steady head, right hip back, patience. Since our bodies can feel different day to day our feels will be subject to change as well so don’t be too concerned if you’ve lost a certain feel for a bit. It’s normal.
- Be warmed up before you hit your first ball
- Have a plan for your practice
- Review your session and make some notes
If you have any games or drills that you find effective I’d love to hear them.
Practice well, Play better.