The 9 Shots in Golf - How To Practice at the Range and the shots you need to learn!

How To Practice Golf And The Shots You Need To Learn

December 28, 2018 1 Comment

Why Practice:

Lower score's = more fun!  I'll call out anyone who says "I just play for fun, I don't keep score"..  BOGUS!  Whether you keep score or not, you have more fun when you're playing well.  Isn't the smile on your face bigger when you make birdie, rather than bogey?  Is bogey good enough for you?  Stop reading, don't waste your time reading this blog... 

The more shots you have in the arsenal, being smart to know when and how to use those shots, and learning how to effectively use your equipment can be a huge difference of posting a snowman or a bird.. 

When practicing at the driving range, the goal isn't knowing how to only hit straight shots when golf courses bend and curve and put tree's in your way..  It's boring to punch your shot back in the fairway, then moseying up to the green.  Why not punch-cut that ball down the fairway and lay it up in front of the green, chip close and putt to save par!  Maybe its a high-draw shot to the green for a chance for birdie?  Have some freakin' fun!  You can play it safe in the game of life, but on the golf course, take chances!  Go for it!  So what if you don't pull it off, at least you tried.  Don't be scared of playing well.  

What to Practice while on the driving range:

It's not difficult to see what people are practicing on the range if you look...  Most, are just trying to hit the ball straight.  Did you know there are nine shots in golf?  Most courses don't always have straight looks into greens or fairways, its helpful (and way more fun) to know how to work the ball.  You think the Pro's are hitting straight all the time?  I don't want to hear anyone say, "well, I need to learn how to hit straight before I learn any other shot".  NO!  Altho a straight shot is labeled "easy" in the chart below, its highly debated whether it should be "easy" or if its among the hardest shots to pull off.  Below is a chart of the nine shots you should try practicing at the range while shooting at a specific target/flag-stick.  What is the most difficult shot to create?  The Punch-Cut...  It's difficult to open the face and close it down at the same time.  Try it!

Golf - 9-Shots To Practice - How To

How to practice:

The nine shots above are a great starting point for practicing on the driving range.  You also need to establish what your goal is.  Are you hitting on the range, not changing anything and just trying to be repeatable?  Or, are you trying to make a swing change and ingrain it in your swing?  You can't just go practice on the range, beat balls, and expect your game to improve...

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”

- Albert Einstein 

Instead of getting a large bucket and randomly hitting with no plan, try getting a small bucket and make every ball count.  Pick a club, pick your shot (one of the nine), pick your target and make it happen!  You've only got one chance on the golf course, so give yourself only one chance on the range.  My point is, the range is for practice, don't waste your time mindlessly hitting rapid-fired balls.  What is your goal for the range session?  Best way to pit-stain your shirt?

Lets talk about club selection during a practice session.  There is the argument that one reason you want to change clubs during practice is if you keep hitting the same club, that one club will literally get bent out of shape (lie angle and loft).  Practice range mats are notorious for being very firm, and can change the specs of your clubs after repeated abuse and practice on them (especially forged clubs, softer metal bends much easier).  At some point, if you always practice with your 6-iron, it wont match the rest of the set, and you'll start "chasing the dragon" on a club that now has different specs from the rest of your set, thus, your swing will only work for that one club and not the others.  You want to wear out all your clubs together.  So, not only do you prolong the life of the entire set congruently (this includes wearing out grooves), which also makes you practice all the clubs in your bag.  Whether you've got forged clubs, or cast clubs, get your iron set checked by a club-builder every so often for lie and loft angles.  Depending on how often you play, every 100 rounds or every other year is a good check.  Our customer specs are all on file, so all we have to do is look up their spec, and double check the clubs are good, or not good..  We can fix them back to normal!

About Lessons and Teachers:

There are better teachers out there than others, for you...  Some teachers prefer to teach one perfect swing, whether your body can do it or not..  Other teachers work with what you have.  They know you don't have the flexibility, so they can help you manage a better/consistent swing that matches what your body can do.  Most 98% of us golfers will fail the T.P.I. (Titleist Performance Institute) test (can you touch your toes?) but that doesn't mean that we can't be good golfers.  The main objective is to find someone who teaches in a way you receive information, but can also work with your ability and/or limitations.  Some teachers are loaded with technology, video cameras and flight monitors.  Others are more traditional that just stand there and watch.  Both can be good options, but are they teaching in a way you can receive the information.  If you like to see with your own eyes your swing and what your doing wrong before you can process making a change, then perhaps the teacher with the video and technology is for you?  If you'd rather "feel" what you need to do, then perhaps that old school teacher, whom stands there with their arms folded, who only watches your swing and has 1,000+ different analogies to portray the same swing-change or thought is for you?

COMENT BELOW!  What are your thoughts about what I said?  Do you hate me?  Do you love me?  Did I miss something?  Come on trolls!  Let's hear how smart you are!

1 Response

Geoffry Juviler
Geoffry Juviler

April 25, 2019

Makes so much sense about the range! My current teacher is working with what he’s got and understands my way of absorbing feedback.
For the range, would you start with high irons and work through to the woods?
Or pretend your first shot is a driver then play the club’s you’d need from second shot to green?
To practice the “9 shots” with same club what would be the max swings you’d suggest to not wear out the club?

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