54 Holes In One Day...At The Driving Range


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I had a great session at the driving range yesterday. Originally, I had planned on just working on my chipping and putting. They usually have a bunch of balls sitting on or near the practice green for anyone to utilize. Since the majority of the people only use the range, I usually have the entire practice area to myself.

I love working on the short game. I think getting a 30 foot chip shot close to the hole is way cooler than hitting a good shot off the tee. It takes a certain amount of finesse that leaves people in awe of you when you execute a difficult up and down.

When I first got there, I noticed a bunch of balls just sitting there at the end of the range. I went on with my practice for about an hour and a half and no one touched the balls. No one even walked near them the entire time I was there. I saw one of the employees I have become friendly with leaving for the day, and asked him if anyone was using the balls. He said, "There yours."

I grabbed a few of the balls that I had been using to chip with and went over to where the vacated balls were sitting. There had to be over 200 hundred balls. I don't know who left them behind, but thank you very much.

I started with my pitching wedge and then moved on to my 7-iron. I try to get the most out of every practice session, trying to be as efficient as possible. I don't want to be one of those people who aimlessly hits ball after ball without working on anything specific.

I had heard from a few instructors, including Michael Breed of The Golf Fix, that it is beneficial to act as if you are playing a specific course while at the driving range. When you do this, you end up using all of the clubs in your bag. Instead of just banging out balls, you are now practicing with a purpose. 

Since I had so many balls, I ended up playing three simulated rounds. I don't know the courses out here in Phoenix that well yet, so I had to imagine three courses from Miami. I played Miami Springs Golf and Country Club, Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne, and Miami Beach Golf Club. I have played these courses numerous times so it was easy to see them in my minds eye and play them as if I was really there.

All I know is that I wish I was really on the course because I would have had some great rounds. Maybe had a chance at braking 80. I hit the ball really well. My driver would have found the fairway the majority of the time and my irons were dead on. Maybe it's all the chipping work I have put in during the last week. Instructors say that the better you get around the greens, it will carry over to the full swing.

I did everything that I would have to do during a real round. If I hit a bad shot and the ball would have ended up in a bunker, I simulated hitting out of a bunker. If I hit a drive into the "trees", I practiced a low punch shot to get back into the fairway. If I hit it short of the green and I had to get it up and over a bunker, I hit a flop shot. I continued this process until I finished the round.  So much more stimulating than just swinging away.

Next time you are at the range, try playing your favorite course. You will be hitting meaningful shots and it will make your practice session a lot more fun. Hitting ball after the ball can get a bit monotonous. Work on what you need to for the day and then play a simulated round. Do this before one of your real rounds and you will be more relaxed by the time you step up to the first tee. Have a great round and always hit your target.

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Comments (2)

  1. March 8, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Here an SBTU tipster... when you play a round grab some extra score cards and store them in your bag. and when you hit the range now you have yardage and a blank score card to play your range round.. i do it all the time... hit a drive to a target... figure out about how far you drove it and minus it by how far off the target line you drove it hook or slice. the difference is your total drive yardage...example.. i drove it 270 but i sliced it off the target line by 20 yard.. that leaves my drive at 250 minus total yardage of the hole. So my score card would show:Hole 3 total yardage 425- drive 270-20 offline leaves me with 175 for my second shot. and that continues till im on the green.. or 0 yardage..and just add a 2 putt or 1 putt tap in to the end for the score for the hole. 250 drive 170 hybrid 5 yard chip... if i leave it close to target its a tap in +1.. if not putt+2. par or bogey.

  2. March 9, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    I like it SBTU. This will give me a chance to learn the courses better before I play my next round. The pros do it. That what the yardage book is for. I should be doing the same. And like I said, it makes practice so much more meaningful.

    Any other tidbits you might have for us in the future, we would love to hear them. Take it easy.