Does anyone else do this at the range?


#1

As someone who suffers from ADHD (was diagnosed at an early age and think it’s BS) I struggle with being able to practice at a range for too long before my mind wanders. I wish I could practice like Hogan did (because I would) but after hitting one club 8-10 times in a row I get pretty bored.

So, just about every time I’m at the range I get loose which each type of club. Typically I hit 5-8 balls with a wedge and then I pick evens or odds until I’m through the driver. Once I’m loose I’ll play a “mental round”. I picture the course that I know the most (in my case the Corica Park North Course in Alameda, CA) and hit shots. If I hit a wayward drive, I will actually practice a punch out or recovery shot. Obviously it’s tough to be exact on where each shot is landing and what the next shot would result in, but it’s better than brainlessly slapping shots into the abyss. Typically I keep the results on my phone (fairways, greens) and then I’ll approximate what putt would have resulted. Then I’ll go practice putts based on the results.

This helps me when I can’t get out to play 18 and still want to simulate a round. Just curious if anyone else did this. If not, try it. I enjoy it quite a bit.

Also, If I’m particularly excited about an upcoming round at a course that I haven’t played before I’ll look up the scorecard and a course tour/flyover (if available) and try that out.


#2

I don’t do that, but I think I’m going to start. That’s an awesome idea, and I’m sure most people here have at least one (if not several) courses they know well enough to picture every shot. Curious - if you mishit an approach and clearly miss the green you’re picturing, do you pull out a wedge and hit a pitch shot? How deep does the simulation go? I love the idea.

The only thing I do at the range with any regularity is to try out the 9-shot drill that Hank Haney talked about in his book The Big Miss. Try to hit a low draw, low straight, low fade, middle draw/straight/fade, and high draw/straight/fade with every club. Haney mentioned that when Tiger was really on, he wouldn’t miss a shot through the entire bag.


#3

Absolutely. If I’m dead right off the tee (I often am) I’ll hood my 5 and try to hit a bullet at the “fairway” and try to wedge on to putt.

If I “miss” a green i’ll try to simulate the short game shot the best I can. This works best at a range that has a short game practice area so if you’re in a bunker you can hit a shot that closely resembles what you’d be hitting on the course. Obviously, this doesn’t necessarily simulate the continuity of a real round (hitting all of your pitches&chips and putts at once instead of in succession) but it’s as close as you can get.

I’ve tried this. My natural shot shape has changed from left to right, to right to left over the years. When I was learning the game I wasn’t “trying” to hit a slice/fade. Now that I can control a shot going right to left I truly have no idea how to hit it left to right. So that drill for me would be hitting Reed style hooks, trying to hit it straight and likely chunking any attempt I’d be making at a fade…


#4

i do the simulated round just because its better more focused practice instead of mindlessly hitting the same club over and over again.


#5

CPG disciple in the house. I love it!


#6

This is so friggin relatable it’s crazy. I have no idea what’s happened over the past year but all of a sudden I can hit a damn reliable draw that sometimes turns into a toe hook. My entire life from the moment I touched a club until early this year, every single thing moved L–>R. It’s a mystery.


#7

Without very specific goals, i will lose interest.

I’ll make myself hit a certain number of shots before i’m allowed to leave. it puts pressure on, and its more efficient practice.

There are days though, that i’m hitting it really good, and will struggle to keep interest. In that case, i up the ante, am sure to take video for reference when im not hitting it well. These days are few and far between, I’m talking about every shot going exactly where i aim.


#8

I do this frequently at the range. I find it’s a great way to practice, as opposed to hitting the same club 10 times each. Unless I go to specifically work on a specific club, this is my go to!


#9

Same exact thing happened to me this year. For me it was getting new clubs (Shout out Callaway X-forged irons I got because of NLU plugging Callaway - LOVE them). Prior this I hit a fade and now I hit a draw/bordering on hook and it has been befuddling for quite some time. My alignment was SO screwy for half the summer.


#10

I don’t, because I use the range for one of two things:

  • Warming up
  • Practicing something specific

When practicing something, I know what the results will be, so I’m usually exaggerating it, doing it in slow motion, occasionally filming, etc.

There’s not a ton of value in just hitting balls, even if it’s to “play a mental round” because your brain isn’t so dumb that it doesn’t actually know there’s not a big pond to the left (or whatever).

With students I agree that switching clubs frequently and/or targets often can be advantageous, and while playing a mental round is better than just mindlessly bashing balls, I’ve always felt I get more out of 20 golf balls practiced the right way than “mental golf” or anything like that.

(Don’t get me wrong - mental golf is “good.” I can just think of better ways to practice than simulating golf holes. That’s just playing… without any actual pressure.)


#11

Yup, same here. I’ve been playing (badly) from the age of 8 then suddenly last year I started hitting a draw out of nowhere having hit a fade my whole life. It took a while to get used to it by aiming right of the flag instead of 30 years aiming (way) left. My miss is a hook now and I’ve noticed it happens when I’m tired and trying to hard. I have a very strong grip, which doesn’t help with that. My whole swing path changed without me meaning to do it. As I swing the club now I can see it coming across the ball from in to out but I never set out to change it.

Weirdly, I still fade my woods. Swing path with those is still way out to in, especially my driver.

On the main topic, I too love to structure my range session for mainly the same reason (lack of attention span!). Sometimes I do just go through the bag, but I love to ‘play holes’ using driver - 5 iron - lob wedge or 3 wood - 7 iron etc. It’s much more fun. The other thing I do is pick targets and give myself points (10, 5, 2, 1 etc) with maybe 30 balls. I try to get over 125 each time.

While we’re on the subject of lunacy, I’ll admit that I consciously gave myself an OCD routine! About a year ago I just became aware of how restless my mind was and how it would do loops as i was preparing to hit a ball. A lot of people do routines to stop that, but I was watching Keegan and thought it might actually help me to fill my brain with shit to distract me from the bad thoughts that infect my head. So I chose a whole set of different things for different clubs. For example, Driver is stand behind the ball, look at what shot I want to hit, turn sideways, two practice swings, face forward, look at the ball and the target again, tap the club on the ground 3 times, step into the address position, tap the club on the ground behind the ball, look at the target, look down, swing. Each club has a different number of club taps or looks or its own weird thing in that process. Has it helped? Yeah, kind of.


#12

I’ve read several articles from teaching pros suggesting exactly what you do. The point is to prevent the common practice strategy of swinging X number of 7-irons until you pure one and then moving on to another club and working through the bag this way. Who plays golf like that?

Assuming I’m not working on a specific swing thought, once I’m warm I will typically hit a driver, a long iron, then a certain wedge to a focused distance of 100-125 yards. Then I’ll start again. I try to imagine playing a certain long par 4, getting home on a par-5 in two, then imagining playing the same par-5 in a layup scenario. The mental aspect of it is that you only get one swing on the course and trying to ingrain that level of importance on the range - not just hitting a ball with a varied degree of success and raking over another one mindlessly.