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Why do I seem to hit great on the range, but horrible on the course?


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2 words...ALL MENTAL.

 

^^^This.

 

On the range you're by yourself. You pick a target and hit to it. No worries about score, playing well in front of your playing partners, trying to beat your playing partners, etc..

 

There are also no distractions on the range. No trees, OB, or hazards to focus on. If you hit a bad one, no biggie. Just pull another ball over and try again.

 

Next time you play, focus on a target. Play one shot at a time. We all hear it. It sounds corny and cliche but good players won't think about the tee shot on 15 until they make the putt on 14 and so on and so on.

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I don't spend much time on the range. Just a small bucket to groove my tempo, then to the practice green to putt maybe 3-4 balls. Then the course. I'd only hit a big bucket if I didn't have time for nine, and as many posters have said, I'll try to visualize various shots.

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When I go to the range, I see very few people who know how to practice. First, you need to know what you are attempting to improve. You can't know that unless you have studied your own swing via high speed video. You will need a model swing to compare. Second, you will need to 4 to 5 practice swings for each ball you hit and you will need to tape your swing to ensure you are doing the correct things. Third, it may take 3000 reps to ingrain a new swing improvement.I find that if I don't ingrain the new move, my swing suffers greatly during the round. Fourth, practice hitting targets and attempt to practice like you are playing a round.

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Pretty much what everyone else has recommended.

 

Play 9 holes instead of going to the range from time to time.

 

Practice your short game more; when you think it's enough, practice your short game even more.

 

When you go to the range, have a goal/purpose: working on draw/fade, mechanics (takeaway/transition/weight shift, etc); don't just go in hope things will "click" automatically.

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It's like driving in a parking lot vs. driving in traffic.

If I start out good on the first 3 holes, I have a decent day.

When you get on the first tee, and there are 3 groups it makes it tense.

People are still in the fairway, and my Father - n - law hits. He can only drive 190 yards, but he wants us to hit and we can go 260. Those people are in our range.

It starts out terrible, it goes terrible.

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I went to the range last week, felt like I hit the ball great. Out of 75 balls, I counted the sliced balls on one hand, and most hits were fairly good. Lots of little draws. Come Sunday, played horrendous. I mean, the worst I've ever played... But it's a constant theme. Hit the range, feel great. Go play, score 110, slices all over, thinned and chunked shots galore.

 

Is it just mental or am I somehow getting yips, but only on the course? I figure it's just the pressure I feel because there are people waiting behind us, or that my partner is a single digit HC and I feel like he judges me? Anybody else ever experienced this, and if so, what did you do?

 

I don't mean for this to sound harsh, just trying to be honest so you don't focus your effort on the wrong things. Hitting it "great" on the range is relative. Counting your slices on one hand and "hitting lots of little draws" isn't necessarily hitting it great on the range. For the most part, anyone that hits it "great" on the range is not capable of going out and shooting 110. Its not mental, it's your swing. Make that better and it will hold up when there are real consequences for poor shots.

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I went to the range last week, felt like I hit the ball great. Out of 75 balls, I counted the sliced balls on one hand, and most hits were fairly good. Lots of little draws. Come Sunday, played horrendous. I mean, the worst I've ever played... But it's a constant theme. Hit the range, feel great. Go play, score 110, slices all over, thinned and chunked shots galore.

 

Is it just mental or am I somehow getting yips, but only on the course? I figure it's just the pressure I feel because there are people waiting behind us, or that my partner is a single digit HC and I feel like he judges me? Anybody else ever experienced this, and if so, what did you do?

 

I don't mean for this to sound harsh, just trying to be honest so you don't focus your effort on the wrong things. Hitting it "great" on the range is relative. Counting your slices on one hand and "hitting lots of little draws" isn't necessarily hitting it great on the range. For the most part, anyone that hits it "great" on the range is not capable of going out and shooting 110. Its not mental, it's your swing. Make that better and it will hold up when there are real consequences for poor shots.

 

Yeah. Most players with this complaint aren't hitting it on the range as well as they think they are. That's easy to do when there are no consequences.

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I went to the range last week, felt like I hit the ball great. Out of 75 balls, I counted the sliced balls on one hand, and most hits were fairly good. Lots of little draws. Come Sunday, played horrendous. I mean, the worst I've ever played... But it's a constant theme. Hit the range, feel great. Go play, score 110, slices all over, thinned and chunked shots galore.

 

Is it just mental or am I somehow getting yips, but only on the course? I figure it's just the pressure I feel because there are people waiting behind us, or that my partner is a single digit HC and I feel like he judges me? Anybody else ever experienced this, and if so, what did you do?

 

I don't mean for this to sound harsh, just trying to be honest so you don't focus your effort on the wrong things. Hitting it "great" on the range is relative. Counting your slices on one hand and "hitting lots of little draws" isn't necessarily hitting it great on the range. For the most part, anyone that hits it "great" on the range is not capable of going out and shooting 110. Its not mental, it's your swing. Make that better and it will hold up when there are real consequences for poor shots.

 

Yeah. Most players with this complaint aren't hitting it on the range as well as they think they are. That's easy to do when there are no consequences.

 

I came to this conclusion recently. ex. The artificial turf mats. There is a SIGNIFICANTLY larger margin of error playing off those mats. I flat out won't hit off them anymore. My $.02...they're f*****g worthless when it comes to accurately simulating what it takes to properly hit a ball out on the course.

 

If you've got a great swing and have no issues properly impacting the ball...practicing off artificial turf is likely a non-issue. However, for the average amateur that does not have a perfect swing and needs to ensure that they're not reinforcing bad habits when they practice...playing off artificial turf isn't going to do them any favors. Playing off those mats...even hitting a LOT of mat/well ahead of the ball...a shot that's going to result in a blooper on natural turf after the club digs in and weakly impacts the ball...that can net you a 100+ yard shot off artificial turf.

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As just stated, lots more room for error, especially behind the ball, when hitting irons off a matt. If the major difference is hitting irons fat on the course, I'd suggest the difference between matt and turf interaction is the difference.

 

Also as stated, there can be a mental factor. For example, If there is a major difference in the driver (off a tee), I'd suggest it's more mental.

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Ever since I started treating the range more like a real round, things have gotten a little better. I find myself putting for birdie/par more often. Obviously I go ahead and 3 putt every time because that's just how it goes for me right now, but I think things are getting better.

 

Unfortunately, the only grass ranges near me are horrible so I won't be hitting off any real nice fairway-like grass anytime soon. They are only useless for tee shots, or simulating that you're getting out of rough. Don't get me wrong, you need to work that, but for me I swing a little bit differently, and observe a different ball flight out of rough than I do a nice lie on the fairyway. Also, you can't really simulate those lies where you are on a hill, etc. Basically, I'm going to probably go hit on the indoor simulator every now and then to work a few things, but otherwise spend more time/money on lessons and rounds. Once winter comes around though the indoor sim will actually cost money to use, and be full pretty much 24/7.

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I used to be range crazy. I thought if i got good on the range i would be confident on the course....

 

NOPE!!....

 

Now i have been working on the opposite. More playing courses, a lot of times with no range warm up before a round after work.

Actually i try to limit the range to once a week and a small bucket of balls.

 

See, on the course i'm hitting about a small bucket of balls worth of shots. I want my mind to adapt to making each shot count naturally. It actually makes me slow down and take each swing in rhythm, opposed to just gunning through balls. Also i work on taking the same pre shot routine with each range ball. The same i would use on the course. So it starts to become second nature.

 

On the range, no matter what, i will not hit the same club twice. Even on a bad shot. Because i dont do that on the golf course. I play the range like a 9 hole of golf at my usual course. Even down to pitches.

 

It helps, so just maybe tweak your patterns.

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I run into this problem frequently as well. I've noticed that when I'm on the range I tend to focus more on making solid contact and not so much where the ball ends up. Then I take it to the course and can feel myself start 'steering' the ball away from the woods or water. When I slow down and focus on contact and the area around me rather than the trouble I tend to play much better.

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The range is a sterile environment too. You are hitting off a perfect lie every shot. Do you practice for example..flop shots, low wedge shots? Like mentioned ..if you aren't working on a swing fundamental you should try and simulate real course scenarios. If you slice a driver..don't hit another one with driver. Play a punch out shot.. simulate a par 3, 4,5 scenario and the clubs you would hit.

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I highly recommend the OP to get an read Dr. Bob Rotella book- Golf is not a game of perfect.

 

It teaches you mind techniques of golf, it has transformed my game. Even better is the audible version where it is read to you as an audio format, i listen to it all the time in my car on the way to work. Best lessons I've ever took.

 

If you want to move on even further with conditioning your mind to think and play smart golf, i highly recommend psycho-cybernetics by Dr. Maltby.

 

 

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