Golf is a sport that requires as much mental preparation as it does physical. And it’s important to work on both aspects during practice.
The next time you hit the driving range, try to visualize playing a round of golf. Instead of swinging with the same clubs over and over, change it up and imagine you’re playing a challenging 18-hole course.
“This is something I do before tournaments,” says Symetra Tour player Gabrielle Shipley. “It is like a pre-practice round before the practice round. It just kind of gets you familiar with the layout of the golf course that you are going to be playing.”
It can be beneficial to switch between clubs when on the driving range because golfers don’t hit five drives and follow it with five swings from a 7-iron during a round of golf. By switching clubs as you would on the course, it can help your body prepare for the transition between clubs.
Start your visualized round of golf by picking a target from the driving range that you’re going to aim for. You will then go through your pre-swing routine as if you were playing a round on the course.
Use your driver as if you were teeing off on a real hole. Wherever your ball lands after the initial hit is where you will play from in your mind. Estimate how far you are from the hole, and pick a club you hit with for that distance. Follow this with your approach shot to the visualized green.
“If you want to get very specific … after you hit to the green, walk over to the putting green and make a putt,” Shipley says. “This just helps to get your body ready to play 18 holes.”
By visualizing playing 18, you can help transition your practice into success when you hit the course.