Golf Practice Routine

Setting up a routine will help every aspect of your golf game

For most people, the driving range is enough for them to consider “golfing”. To others who golf at a course, use the range to pound a whole basket of balls with 1 or 2 clubs, most often the 1 Wood / Driver.

Every club in the bag is important. But practicing with 1 club is not going to help your game.

On a regular golf course where par is 72, you might swing your driver 10 or 12 times. With par 3’s, you wouldn’t use a driver and some holes have water hazards prevent the use of the driver off the tee.
If you think about that …
Let’s assume you shoot 100 on a par 72 course.
10 of those 100 swings are with your driver.
The average golfer putts about 36 times (2 putts per hole)
100 – 10 = 90.
That means, 54 swings on the course are with other clubs in your bag.

65% of of your golf shots happen within 150 yards of the cup/pin.

Now … what club do you think you should practice at the golf practice range?
The reason for the practice/driving range is to understand what your swing will do, with each club.
Rarely does every golfer ever hit a true, 100% straight shot. every time.
Knowing what you do with each club will help you on the course.
With each swing on the range, pick a target to aim at. Everything you do on the range should emulate actually golfing on the course. When golfing on the course, you aim (or should be) at areas of the fairway, or areas away from a hazard or the green. If you aim big (from side to side of a large fairway) you will miss big.
If you look down the range/fairway look for a spot you would like your ball to finish. Then look for a tree or other identifier on the horizon to that ideal area. 
Especially at the range, if you are hitting balls down the range and not watching it land. Wow will you know if you are improving your swing?
Before hitting each ball, make yourself a little routine that can transfer to the course. 
  • Place a ball on the tee or on the ground or hitting mat.
  • With your club in hand, stand behind the ball, looking down the range or golf hole
  • Pick your target to aim at, then imagine what the shot will look like as it flies through the air.
  • Take a few practice swings from this position. To get a feel for how feel you will need to swing the club to hit your target
  • Then address the ball (prepare to hit the ball). Align your body/shoulders to your target.
  • Then swing away.
  • Watch the ball flight and the ball landing. Even if it isn’t going where you want it to. Try and learn from it. Then start this routine over again, for each shot.

Once you set up a routine like this on the range, continue it on the course.

It will help you stay focused and prepared for the shot.
After you have bought your bucket of balls and set up at your location on the range … here is a quick list of things to do next:.
  • Stretch/warm up. The golf swing involves a lot of body parts and muscles to execute the proper, comfortable swing.. You can do some at home before leaving to the range as well if you like.
  • Short Shots First. Choose a high loft club from your set, a 9 iron, Pitching Wedge or similar. Take about 15 to 20 balls and loosen up with some short chip shots. Remembering to pick a target down range to aim at. Setting a shot routine as above.
  • Club Up. After you feel warmed up or have hit enough consistent shots. Then you can move on to a 7 iron and hit longer, lofted shots. Remembering to pick a target down range to aim at. Setting a shot routine as above.
  • Continue to Club Up. Depending on how your swing is going, good or bad, you should switch clubs often (like you would on a golf course). Hitting the same club more than 3 times will seldom happen on a golf course. Don’t get caught up in hitting a lot of balls with the same club. Use your own judgement.
  • Finish with the Driver. By the time you have hit enough balls with each club in your bag. From the highest lofted to the least lofted (3 iron or similar). Then you can move into your woods / drivers. If you are golfing right after the range, then chances are your first swing on the course will be with a driver or 3 wood. Set up a driving range routine to where you finish with the club you will use on the first hole. Doing this might provide you with the confidence you need to start your round.