You’re taking the right step in researching driving range tips to help you practice smarter at the golf course and see improvement in your golf game quicker. My name is Nick Foy, a golf instructor helping golfers like you fix their golf swing and work on various drills to lower their golf scores.
The following guide below is full of the best driving range tips for beginners I’ve compiled to help you in several ways such as:
- Fixing flaws in your golf swing
- Learning the feel of a new golf club
- Improving your swing consistency
- Practicing situations you face on the golf course
- Building muscle memory in the golf swing
Sound good? Let’s dive in my friend.
What is a Golf Driving Range?
All my veteran readers out there, I know that you’ve been at your local driving ranges many times. But this section is dedicated to the novice golfers who are yet to visit their first golf driving range.
As the name suggests, a driving range is a place for golfers to practice their drivers. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot practice other shots. The area is designated to help you get down to the bottom of your weaknesses and improve from there.
When you first get to a driving range, you need to buy a bucket of balls to start your practice. And you must bring your own clubs. It’s always a good idea to bring everything you have to the practice for a dynamic session.
Generally, you have three options to choose from. A small bucket, a medium, and a large bucket. If you’re just starting out, getting the large bucket is a good idea. As you become better with time, you can bring it down to medium or small buckets.
There are individual areas for players separated by walls or rails. You get your own little area to align ad practice your shots. There will be targets marked on different distances to accurately measure your ball flight as well. Don’t forget to take notes while you practice!
Best Way to Practice on the Range
There are two main ways you can approach your driving range practice routine.
The first is what’s known as focused practice where your intent is to repeat one shot at least 100 times to build muscle memory and consistency so you can pull the shot off with ease during a round of play.
The second is an all around practice routine where you work a little bit with each of the golf clubs in your bag as well as working on multiple types of golf shots.
Types of golf shots you can practice at the driving range include:
- High trajectory
- Low trajectory
- Middle trajectory
- Increased backspin
- Decreased backspin
Golf Resource: Foy Golf Academy Practice System + Practice Plans
Driving Range Tips Before You Start Swinging a Club
Tip #1: Clean your golf clubs
Before you start hitting balls at the driving range, make sure you have clean golf clubs. You can’t trust the feedback you’re getting on each golf swing if there is dirt and mud impacting the spin and direction the ball is flying.
Most driving ranges have a club washer, but it’s recommended you also pick up a cheap scrubbing tool that can get into the grooves of your club faces to remove dirt and grass.
Tip #2: Stretch
You don’t want to injure yourself when practicing your swing on the range. Start off with a solid golf stretching routine to loosen the muscles up for optimal performance. You’ll unlock extra distance with your golf clubs when your body isn’t tight and restrictive.
Tip #3: Wear Golf Shoes
This driving range tip might sound silly, but you’d be surprised how many people head to the practice range with normal every day tennis shoes.
It’s recommended to wear golf shoes for the grip that you get on the turf when swinging. This can help you unlock distance in the swing from better stability in your legs and avoid possible injury if you were to slip wearing tennis shoes.
Tip #4: Set Up Alignment Sticks
Before you start your practice session, set up some alignment sticks pointing in the direction of your first target. This will help you ensure you are setting up properly on each swing repetition so you get the most value from your practice.
By knowing you are aimed perfectly at the target each swing, you’ll be able to learn your swing tendency and get feedback as you watch the ball fly one direction or the other.
Tip #5: Have a Plan
It’s good habit to have a driving range practice plan created ahead of time so you can head to the range with focus and know what you’ll be working on for that session.
I created 3 different practice plans that come with daily routines and drills for the range, the putting green, and the chipping green that you can follow step by step so you don’t have to rethink the wheel.
Golf Resource: Foy Golf Academy Practice System + Practice Plans
Tip #6: Aim for a Specific Distance Marker
Start your practice by picking out specific distances you want to work on. Most driving ranges have markers set up at 25 yards, 75 yards, 100 yards, 125 yards, 150 yards, 200 yards, and 250 yards.
The most important distance range is 50-150 yards as a high percentage of your golf shots will fall in that range and it’s a scoring club distance where you can position yourself close to the hole for birdie and par chances with your short irons and wedges.
Start with the 75 yard target working on your wedge shots. Then progress to the 100 yard and 125 yard using either wedges or short irons like 9 and 8 irons.
Focus on feel. Have good rhythm to the swing and maintain the same rhythm every swing but adjust power and distance by shortening the back swing from full to three quarter or half swings.
Tip #7: Focus on a target straight ahead
In addition to learning how to control the club to hit specific distances, you also want to work on hitting the ball as straight as possible, keeping the golf ball on line with your target.
Spend part of your practice time working on hitting the ball straight. Focus on your grip, your body’s alignment to the target, and tempo so you can maintain control and now over-swing, which causes loss of accuracy and control.
Tip #8: Work on Swing Flaws
If you’ve been playing golf long enough, you’ll begin to notice several swing flaws and tendencies that you have. It’s normal for most beginners to develop a slice golf swing where the ball banana hooks sideways off line of the target.
Spend your driving range practice focused in on one swing flaw and hit at least 100 balls to practice fixing the swing flaw.
If you don’t know the cause or how to fix your swing flaw, consider taking a private lesson with an instructor. But you can also try and research on Google for swing articles related to your flaw as well as YouTube videos from golf instructors.
Tip #9: Move from High Clubs to Low Clubs
A common practice method on the driving range involves starting with your high lofted clubs like wedges and work through your 9 iron, 8 iron, down to the low lofted clubs like your 4 iron or woods. Lastly, end off with driver, which is your lowest lofted club in the bag.
Tip #10: Give Yourself a Fairway Boundary for Driver Practice
When working on your driver, look out into the range and imagine a fairway. Pick boundary lines on each side of the target you’re aiming at and try to focus on each driver shot staying within the boundary.
Consider each successful drive that stays in this boundary as a success at hitting the fairway. You could create a 50 yard wide or 30 yard wide fairway for example, depending how tough you want to make it on yourself.
Tip #11: Never Rush Your Bucket of Balls
Take time at the driving range to put in solid practice, don’t rush. Treat each swing like you are on the golf course, going through your normal pre-swing routine and getting your mind clear before the shot.
50 focused golf swings are better than 100 rushed golf swings.
Tip #12: Play Games & Keep Score
One of the best ways to improve your practice on the driving range as a beginner is to set up games to play and keep score. This way you can set personal bests and try to better your scores over time, keeping you motivated to improve.
We created worksheets to track stats and see improvement over time in our golf practice plans you can follow step by step.
Tip #13: Don’t Stress About Total Distance
An important tip to mention to beginners is that driving range balls may or may not fly as far as your typical golf ball on the golf course. So don’t get overly stressed if you are questioning why your 7 iron is only flying 140 yards today when normally it flies 150 yards.
In addition to the range balls impacting your overall distance of your driver and irons, it could be the wind or other factors on the driving range so don’t overthink it.
Just focus on your tempo, your alignment, and other important factors you need to work on to improve your swing. Distance will work itself out over time as your swing progresses and you get used to your golf clubs.
Golf Practice System for Lower Scores
Learn the exact golf practice routines thousands of students at Foy Golf Academy are using to lower their golf scores.
Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.
Get access to hundreds of golf drills to practice as well as content on the mental side of golf, fitness plans, worksheets, and many more resources. This is a complete golf practice system.
Nick Foy, Instructor