Golf is a very technical sport and for some beginners getting a good grasp of the game seems nearly impossible. Newcomers to the game need to learn the different aspects of golf which include driving, iron play, chipping, and putting, and then there are also the rules, etiquette, and mental part of the game. With all of that in mind, it is very easy to understand why beginners need all the help that they can get.
The 5 Best Golf Drills for Beginners:
Below we are going to take a closer look at the best driving range drills and tips for beginners. These drills and tips won’t ensure success, but they will give you a good chance at grasping the game of golf right from the get-go. Additionally, these drills and tips aim to ensure that you have fun while doing it because ultimately that is what matters most.
1. The Grip
The fundamentals of the game of golf are key for beginners and it lays the foundation for your journey as a golfer. Arguably the most important fundamental is the grip. The grip is the only point of contact that a golfer has with a golf club which is why it is so important to grip the club correctly since it has a direct effect on accuracy.
When you look at Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods you will see a noticeable difference in how these two players grip the club. There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to the golf grip but there are some key characteristics that all good players and ball strikers have in common when it comes to how they grip the golf club.
The following drill is a great drill for beginners to ensure that they nail those key characteristics right from the get-go. Grab any club with your right hand and grip it halfway between the grip and the clubhead on the shaft, once you’ve gripped the club hold it out in front of you perpendicularly with the grip pointing down to the ground.
Step 2 of this drill is to take hold of the grip end of the club with your left hand. Wrap your fingers around the grip with your thumb pointing down the shaft. Once in place, your left hand is in the correct position on the club, now go ahead and let go with your right hand and lower the club head down to the ground.
Address the ball with the clubhead behind it, at this point make sure that the clubface is aiming at the target, if not adjust your left hand accordingly before adding your right hand to the grip.
When adding your right hand you can either choose to overlap or interlock your right pinky finger in between your left index and middle fingers. To learn more about the difference between overlapping and interlocking click here. Wrap your fingers around the club with your right thumb pointing down the shaft and your right palm should cover your left thumb.
As a beginner, it will take a while to get comfortable with a technically sound golf grip, feel free to practice this as often as possible. You don’t have to hit golf balls to practice your grip, you can do this drill at home while watching tv.
This golf grip drill is fairly simple and at first, it will feel uncomfortable, but once you get used to it, it will make the world of difference to your golf game both in the short and long term.
2. Posture and Stance
A fundamentally solid golf grip is very important, but good posture and a solid/balanced stance are equally as important to ensure long straight golf shots with a driver.
Good posture includes optimal weight distribution, knee flex, the correct spine angle, and stance width. If this sounds foreign to you, don’t be alarmed, the next drill will ensure that all of these factors fall into place automatically.
This drill can be done with or without a golf club. Start by standing with your feet next to each other and with your hands by your side, if you do want to do this drill with a club hold the club in your left hand (right hand for left-handed players). Step one is to spread your feet shoulder-width apart, once in position roll up onto your toes and jump into the air as high as you can.
When you land back onto the ground make sure to absorb the impact of the landing by flexing your knees slightly. This will ensure that your knees are bent at the optimal angle and it will also ensure good weight distribution throughout your feet. Once you are in position simply bend forward through your hips to ensure a good spine when addressing the ball.
If you are having a hard time imagining how this drill will ensure the perfect golf stance and posture, think about the stance that a boxer would take when fighting. A strong balanced stance and good posture are effective both in the ring and on the golf course.
3. Swing With Your Big Muscles
When you watch the best players in the world it looks like their arms play a big part in swinging the golf club, but in reality, their big muscles, being their hips and shoulders, is the engine that powers the golf swing. The arms play a vital part in controlling and guiding the club and club face but as soon as the arms overpower the swing you are in trouble.
This drill is a very easy and very effective drill that will teach beginners how to swing the club using their big muscles easily and effortlessly. This drill can be done both in your backyard or at the driving range depending on the size of your backyard, you need about 50 yards of open space to do this drill.
Start with a wedge, and always make sure to check your grip and stance/posture before hitting golf balls on the range. Grip the club and take the 4th and 5th fingers of your left hand off of the club, also remove your 2nd and 4th finger of your right hand from the grip.
By removing your fingers you will weaken your grip dramatically which will force you to swing the club with your big muscles. A strong shoulder turn will be required to take the club back and good use of your hips will be a must to generate speed through the impact zone when making contact with the golf ball.
Start your practice sessions by doing this drill and it will only be a matter of time before you start seeing the results out on the golf course. Additionally, this drill is a drill that you can do for the rest of your golf career irrespective of how skilled you become as a golfer.
4. Train Tracks Putting Drill
Grip, stance, posture, and rhythm are important golf swing fundamentals and the importance of these swing fundamentals filter through to putting and chipping. Most beginners find putting particularly difficult but with good fundamentals in place, your putting will go from a weakness into a strength in no time.
When it comes to putting, being able to take the putter straight back and straight through the impact zone is vital to ensure success on the greens. On longer putts, the putter will arc naturally but through the impact zone is what matters to ensure success on the greens. A square putter face at impact will lead to consistency both in terms of strike and direction which will ultimately translate into more putts holed and the train track drill is a great drill to train this putting fundamental with.
For this drill you will need two alignment sticks or two clubs, align the clubs about 6-8 feet away from a target to resemble train tracks. The width of the train tracks needs to be slightly wider than the width of your putter. This will ensure that your putter can move through the tracks freely without allowing too much room for error.
Hole at least 50 putts every time you do this drill and your putting will transform overnight. This versatile putting drill can also be done at home on your carpet with a cup as a hole.
5. Chipping Balance Drill
Chipping either comes naturally to you or it doesn’t. If you are one of the unlucky ones that struggle with chipping as a beginner don’t stress, this drill will take care of the majority of your chipping issues.
Good balance is key when chipping and beginners can practice this using a very easy to do drill. For this drill line up to a chip shot and stand on your front foot (left foot for right-handed players and vice versa for left-handed players) and go ahead and chip like you normally would. By placing all of your weight on one foot you will be forced to keep good balance throughout the shot otherwise you will fall over or miss the golf ball completely.
This drill is a great drill to do in your backyard, around the practice green, and on the golf course as part of your practice routine.
5 Driving Range Tips For Beginners
1. Quality vs. Quantity
Golf requires patience and hard work. Beginners and amateurs alike are under the impression that professional players hit thousands and thousands of golf balls a day but the reality of their practice sessions can’t be further removed from this.
There’s a time and a place for quantity but when it comes to effective practice quality trumps quantity every day of the week. Most beginners and amateurs have limited time to work on their golf games thus it is vital to ensure that every second on the practice tee or practice green is used properly to ensure progress on your golf journey.
2. Practice Like You Play
Practice like you play goes hand in hand with quality over quantity. Make sure to practice like you play, focus on your practice swing, alignment, and thought process similar to how you would on the golf course. Simply bashing balls on the range without aiming at a specific target will only lead to picking up bad habits.
Practice like you play is equally as important on the practice green, play 9 par 2 holes on the putting green and try to improve your score every round. Not only will this make your practice more effective but it will also be more fun than just putting or hitting balls aimlessly.
3. Aim Small Miss Small
Aim small miss small, Bradley Cooper famously used these words when he played the role of Chris Kyle in the award-winning movie, American Sniper. Aim small miss small translates very well into the golfing world and as a beginner using this principle can make a massive difference to your golf game.
Make sure to aim small when choosing a target, instead of the fairway aim for a specific tree trunk, the edge of a fairway bunker, or any other landmark that you can spot out on the golf course. On the putting green aim for a small spot or discoloration on the grass instead of just aiming towards the general direction of the hole. This tip might seem simple but you will be surprised at the difference that it can make in terms of narrowing your focus.
4. Warm Up Your Body
Fitness and physical training continue to take center stage when looking at the practice routines of professional golfers. Injury prevention, added distance, control, better range of motion, and the list of why fitness and physical training is so important goes on and on.
Amateurs and beginners spend most of their time behind a desk, to ensure optimal performance of your body out on the golf course make sure to warm your body up before every round or practice session. 5 – 10 minutes of stretching and mobility exercises will make the world of difference to your body and your golf game. Get into this routine as a beginner and you are sure to reap the rewards in the long term.
Don’t underestimate the power of breathing out on the golf course. After a bad shot or tough hole you will be amazed at what difference a big deep breath can make. Breathing is also a very important component in the pre-shot routines of the world’s best players.
Deep breathing releases tension from your body and it allows your muscles to relax which in return ensures a smooth rhythmic swing. To learn more about the importance of breathing out on the golf course click here.
Golf is one of the most difficult games to master but the journey to improvement is what makes it such a unique and special game. With good fundamentals in place you will have every opportunity at success out on the golf course.
The drills and tips mentioned above are functional, effective, and very easy to do to ensure that you are establishing a good foundation for your golf game. Most importantly have fun and enjoy the journey that is golf.
This article was last updated on December 21, 2020 .