Aspen Lakes professional says simple drills will help get the most out of a practice session
The scene on the Aspen Lakes Golf Course practice range is a familiar one: Golfers in line sending golf ball after golf ball into the blue Central Oregon sky, then watching as the white spheres come crashing down on their emerald-green resting place.
Golfers working on their games like this can be seen at most any practice facility. But for Howie Pruitt, Aspen Lakes PGA director of player development, he sees a different kind of practice session … something less productive.
“I walk the line and ask what they are working on, and I usually get a blank stare from golfers,” Pruitt said. “But for a practice session to be productive, you can’t just be spraying balls down the range. Every shot has to have a purpose.”
What’s a golfer to do to get more out of a session? Well, Pruitt suggests a few easy drills.
It starts with a simple training aid: driveway markers. With driveway markers, or at least a suitable replacement, golfers can:
- Practice their alignment by setting up a single stick to align the stance.
- Set two markers up, one for your stance and another set up parallel to the first stick, create a target path for each shot.
- Set up two sticks perpendicular to one another to check ball position.
In addition, golfers should set two golf tees along the line of the range and then place a golf ball between the two tees. Then golfers should practice hitting the ball with the goal of not touching either tee. As a golfer improves, the tees should be moved closer to one another until it is at a width just longer than the clubface.
The idea of each drill is to retrain yourself to think differently on the range.
“You want to get away from thinking about the results of the swing, and instead focus on the process of the swing,” Pruitt said. “That is where real improvement can be made.”
Of course, every golfer should devote more time to practice their short games.
“I see so many golfers go to the range, hit balls, and then walk right past the putting green,” Pruitt said. “That is a mistake.”
Remember what Vince Lombardi said: “’Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”
Private, group lessons, classes and clinics with Pruitt are all available through the Aspen Lakes PGA Learning Center. Call the Aspen Lakes pro shop at 541-549-4653 for more information. To book a tee time call the golf shop or book online.