It is frightening how often I speak to golfers and they all have the same issue (and this issue comes up as much as any). It isn't the usual slice or the dreaded shank, it is taking their best golf game to where it matters most, the golf course.
We have all been on the range the day of a competitive round, warming up for the club championships, society match or playing for a few quid with your usual 4 ball. You're swiping away balls straight towards your target, you're smooth, calm and it feels like you have all the time in the world. Then comes the first tee, the palms are getting a little sweaty, you see the out of bounds left, the trees right and the fairway is shrinking every time you look up. It doesn't take long for that comfortable, calm and relaxed swing to go flying out the window (along with your scorecard).
So this is for you golfers who feel like a driving range pro but a golf course hacker!
Now this is something which is individual to us all, you can't teach a tempo into people but you can learn what is best for you. Ernie Els and Nick Price are a great example of this, two major winning golfers but both have vastly different tempos, any can work you just need to find yours.
Next time you're on the range try the "Humming drill" this is where you hum out loud throughout the whole of your swing keeping the same pitch and not wavering. End each practice or warm up session with 5 of these shots, full swings with a mid iron or above. If you manage to do them all at the same pitch then you're good to go. (By the way, this can make you look a little silly but who really cares if it improves your golf game).
2. Grip Pressure
When teaching people I ask them to rate there own grip pressure from 1-10, 1 being about to fall out and 10 being as hard as you physically can. The response I hear most of all is 7/10, but most of the time without realising they are gripping a lot harder than they think, usually around 9/10.
Having a grip pressure can seriously derail the rest of your swing before it has begun. If you over grip this can send tension throughout your body stopping you from releasing the club properly affecting club face alignment and swing speed.
Next time you go to the range and have a go at hitting some drivers at 4 or 5 out of 10, get used to the feeling and next time you feel under the cosh use it and watch the ball fly long and straight
3. Practice your Pre Shot Routine
First of all for those of you who don't have one, get one! How do you expect consistent, good results if you're approaching the ball in a different way every time?
Now your pre shot routine doesn't have to be as complicated as Bryson DeChambeau's or as long as Kevin Na's it just has to be yours. It can be as simple as a couple of waggles before you hit or picking out a small target, just make sure you have one and practice it.
In every practice session make sure a handful of balls or a 5 minutes are set aside just to practice your pre shot routine then when you get out on the course stick to it. You won't regret it!
Thanks for reading my blog post on how to take your driving range game to the course. Please give it a go and let me know how you get on!