Looking at those irons made me think about how little time I spend on the range these days. As a beginner I remember spending two or three hours a week bashing balls and always choosing the ‘economy’ bucket i.e. 80 or 100 at a time. Yes, that’s the equivalent of a whole round of golf completed (or messed up) in around half an hour! Several years down the road, I have come to the following conclusions:
- If I start off hitting badly on the range I rarely get much better.
- If I start off hitting well, I invariably get worse.
- Hitting well on the range before a round invariably proves the kiss of death.
I still do go down to the range from time to time, but I never hit more than 50 at one go, and sometimes share those with My Other Half.
If you really feel you need the practice (or it’s been pissing down with rain for a fortnight) take a tip I heard a while ago. Instead of hitting 10 or 20 balls with the same club, pretend you are playing ‘for real’, i.e. hit a drive then imagine where you might have ended up on the fairway, and play the next shot as you would on the course. For me this ends up with something like driver, long iron, pitch to the green. Don’t forget to line up your shot and take a practice swing, and If you play a bad hook, assume you’re in the rough!
Of course there’s one very good reason for going to the range. You have given in to common sense and booked a lesson. More on this anon.