Ask an expert: Is it really beneficial to hit the range after a round?

March 23, 2020
woman hitting range balls

GOLF’s new performance columnist Dr. Greg Cartin is the founder of GC3 Performance Consulting based in Belmont, Mass. He works with PGA Tour players and athletes of all levels and ages. Have questions? Send ’em to [email protected]

Q: Is it really beneficial to hit the range after a round?
—Adam W., Fallbrook, Calif

A: Prior to mindlessly heading to the range after a round, it may help to ask yourself why you are going. If it’s to improve upon some mistakes you made in the round, to find out what went wrong or to “build confidence,” my advice would be to go home. This may seem like the lazy thing to do, but it’s not.

Next time you have a tough round, pay attention to how difficult it is to walk away. As golfers we are so inclined to “fix” that we become programmed to go figure things out. I always say the hardest thing for golfers to do is to do nothing, and this is a perfect example. The skill doesn’t disappear, and more times than not there is nothing to repair. Golf is a hard game and we don’t always play the way we think we should. Grinding away on a specific shot on the range only sets an elevated expectation for the next day.

Now, if you enjoy hitting balls, and the understanding is that a post-round session makes you feel good, then by all means have at it, so long as the expectation is kept in check. Skill development and acquisition take place in focused, deliberate practice, not quick-fix grind sessions when you are tired and frustrated. Letting things be, while difficult, can set us up for success the next time out.

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