As golfers, we have all probably heard someone say “Man, I hit everything straight on the range, why am I hitting it like _____ on the course?”. In this months blog, I would like to shed some light on why you may be experiencing this, and some things you can implement to your routine to help.
Obviously, a lot of this is mental. While I have been very blessed to be trained in different areas here, psychology is not one of them. Luckily, there are some simpler ways to look at it. For example, let’s say you warmed up with your 7 iron and you thought you hit it great on the driving range. Ask yourself, what was my target? How far was the target? Was I trying to avoid anything (imaginary bunker, hazard, etc.)? Did I go through my pre shot routine? If you guys are like me, the answer is likely no.
Because of this, it is easy to trick yourself. If you are just throwing balls down and hitting them rapid fire, you are basing your shots only off how they felt and how they looked. You don’t know how far they are going, how far off your line they are from your target, and where you are missing the most often. On the golf course, how many times would you hit the ball without aiming at anything and base the success of the shot just off how it felt? Probably not very often.
Now, I am not saying you need to go the range and be super calculated all the time. There is nothing wrong with going to the range simply just to enjoy yourself. That’s why we play golf. However, when you are warming up or going there to practice, I recommend trying to have some sort of intention for every shot. If you are chipping, maybe find a patch of grass where you’d like to land it. If you are hitting your driver, find anything that could represent the left & right side of the fairway (could be a tree, post, flagstick, etc.) and see how often you are executing your shots.
As a result, you will not only practice better, but since you are now in a similar mindset on the range as you are the course, you may find that you are able to transfer your game from the range to the course more often. Good luck and play well!