This high-pressure range drill will help you hit more fairways

March 2, 2019

Too many golfers don’t put enough thought into their practice sessions. My mantra: If it doesn’t feel like a real golf shot, then it won’t help you hit more fairways.

Add a dose of on-course reality to the range by building a proper practice station, just like the pros do. Lay down one club for alignment, stand a swim noodle on a stick 10 yards downrange and six inches to the left of your target line, and put 10 balls even with your peg, but a yard to the right of your target line. The noodle and the balls create a window, simulating a fairway that’s about 50 yards wide. Your goal: To drive as many balls out of 10 as you can through your target window.

ohn Dunigan New York Top 100 Teachers Westchester Country Club/Rye, NY, USA 06/19/2017 GF-113 TK5 Credit: Angus Murray

Alignment is your key to success here, just as it will be on the course. Step into each shot from behind the ball, not from the side. Square up the clubface to the target first, then align your feet (most weekend players do it the other way around). Check your stance relative to the alignment club. Get a sense for what perfect alignment looks like from your perspective at address, because you won’t have the luxury of using an alignment club when you’re on the course. Once you see it, feel it. Then do it. By challenging yourself in practice like this, striping that next opening tee shot will seem like a breeze.

1. Lay A Club On The Ground

Set any club parallel left of your target line. After squaring the clubface first, set your toes along the club on the ground. Get a sense of what this perfect alignment looks and feels like.

2. Use A Pool Noodle

Set it 10 yards in front of you and about half a foot to the left of your target line. When you hit balls in practice, none of your attempts should start or end up left of the swim noodle.

3. Make A Pile Of Golf Balls

You’ve got 10 chances to see how many times you can successfully smash through your target window. Set a goal—and get to work!

John Dunigan New York Top 100 Teachers Westchester Country Club/Rye, NY, USA 06/19/2017 GF-113 TK5 Credit: Angus Murray