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A Trip to the Driving Range - Practice Makes Perfect

Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and countless other major professional golfers all have one thing in common: they all spend (or spent) an incredible amount of time practicing their game.  Greatness does not come without hard work and practicing your game many times over.

Whether you are striving to be one of the world’s best or just trying not to hit too many trees on your weekend trip with friends, there are a few things you can do to get yourself ready. The first thing that you should partake in is a trip to the driving range. At the driving range you should hit a few shots with more than just your driver; while it might be fun to launch the ball off the tee, that will not improve your score on game day.

Take your irons out of the bag at the practice range and hit all of them, preferably in succession from easiest to hardest (pitching wedge to 2 or 3-iron). If possible, hit your bucket of balls off the natural grass area of the range instead of the rugs with plastic tees as this is a more accurate representation of what you will be facing.  Try a few different shots instead of trying to hit the ball as far as you can; hit your woods off the grass instead of a tee and try to hit approach shots at the greens stationed in the middle of the range. Getting closer to the hole on your approach shots is the best way, along with putting, to improve your score and should be the focus of your practice.

Once you are finished hitting your bucket(s) of range balls head over to the putting green.  Many strokes are lost on the golf course due to poor putting, and many good approach shots or drives are wasted as a result of 3 and 4-putts to the hole.  Spend as much time as you can on the putting green working on short, medium and long range putting. On long range putts your focus should be getting it close so you can tap it in for a 2-putt instead of taking 3 putts to get there.

Additionally, if allowed, you should practice chipping from off the green toward the hole. Many of your approach shots, especially if you are an amateur, will be left short of the green and require a good chip shot to get close. Again, the goal should be getting it close enough to only need 1 putt to finish off the hole.  Finally, you can practice your swing and putting at home in the yard; the best way to do this is to have a large net you can drive balls into or a landing area representing a green that you can chip to (assuming you have a section of lawn you do not mind hitting balls off!). Practice makes perfect, whether that means winning a tournament or not losing your entire bag of golf balls in one round. Following these tips should help you get the most out of your practice and put you in a better position for your next round.

For more tips from GolfPlayerMania see our article on Buzzle.com.