Most golfers have experienced a faux sense of confidence at the driving range only to find themselves frustrated that they couldn’t replicate the same success on the course. But beginners shouldn’t fret, it happens to even to the most experienced golfers as evidenced by the many discussion boards on the topic. Upon hearing this though, you may wonder why the driving range exists if it doesn’t translate to play on the course, but there’s a time and place for each.
Hitting the driving range with friends can be a fun social activity, but the reliably flat terrain at the driving range doesn’t prepare you for the varied grass heights and inclines that lie on the actual course. That being said, practicing proper swing mechanics is still important for your game on the course. At the driving range you get to try out your technique without consequence. Hit a bad shot? Just try again! Plus, you can get a feel for different clubs until you find your groove. Experienced golfers can also benefit from spending time at the driving range to run drills or focus on improving one aspect of their game at a time.
The driving range is great for practice, but practice is just that — practice. Once you’ve successfully gotten a ball airborne and you feel ready to move to the course, pack your clubs and head out to the green. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not playing as well as you hoped at first. It takes time to get used to the challenging and often unpredictable elements of the course. That’s just one of the many reasons taking a golf lesson is so important for first-timers. Not only will you learn the fundamentals, but you’ll also be among a group of people who are also learning at the same level.
When it comes down to the best place to start though, beginners should opt for the practice range over the golf course because of the low-pressure setting and access to hands-on instruction. But make sure your training doesn’t end at the range. A great lesson will begin on the range, but take you through the challenges of playing on the course as well. Find a local place that offers one-on-one golf lessons, like The Bird Golf Academy, to really improve your technique. You’ll be having just as much fun on the course as the driving range in no time.