Are the price of golf lessons holding you back? Are you disappointed with how you played golf this year? If so, I have a great solution. A solution that is not necessarily new, but has recently been advanced with the addition of some free software.
I’m talking about creating your own backyard driving range and personal golf instruction studio.
I am sure some of you may be groaning at this point, having tried this before. However, you should continue reading because the backyard driving range has some very specific strengths.
There are a lot of different ways to set up your backyard driving range. However, I feel that there is one way which will provide you the best bang for your buck
You will need:
1. A hitting mat.
The golf mat has a True-turf surface which does feel as if I am hitting from a real fairway or tee box. Included is a unique patented tee holder for using your favorite tee if you happen to have one.
The Callaway Mat has an ultra-durable rubber backing for good shock absorption and the True turf surface protects your club. I like this mat as it is a heavier grade than some I have purchased and has good slip resistance
2. Golf Wiffle Balls
I use wiffle balls instead of hitting real balls into a net because you get to see how and what direction the ball flies in. I have a big fir tree in my backyard and I use the trunk of the tree for my alignment.
Being such a light weight design, they are perfectly safe, they are perfectly safe for small areas, especially when you are practicing at home!
3. Golf Swing Video “Equipment”
OK, this is the great part. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can download this app for free! If you have another smartphone, they are working on versions for those at this time.
The one I use is by Ubersense Golf. You can search for “Ubersense golf” in your apps search or you can visit the site by clicking on the link: Ubersense Golf
For free, you can video and save your swing, see it in super slow motion, stop at any point. You can also view pro golfers swings in slow motion right from the app.
All together, that is around $40 to set up your driving range. Now lets move on to our tips on utilizing a successful range, because it is very different than how most golfers use a traditional driving range.
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Benefits of a Backyard Driving Range
I am sure you have been to the driving range many times.
How often do you see golfers working on specific golf swing drills? Probably rarely.And yet drills are often sited as the #1 method to improve your golf game. The internet is filled with fantastic drills. So what’s up?
If you are at a public course or driving range, you likely had to pay money for the range balls. Many golfers are hesitant to waste shots on drills when they feel they should be working on their whole swing. Plus, for a drill to be effective, you usually have to hit a lot of balls and put in the time so that the drill will work for you. Many golfers neither have the patience for this or want to “waste” so many golf balls. Big mistake…but I see the point.
In addition, when you work on swing drills, you are much more likely to hit a lot of bad shots when executing the drill. This can be somewhat embarrassing. Especially if you are a good golfer and take pride in your game.
I’m sure there are more reasons but those are 2 common reasons why golfers do not work on drills as they should.
So one of the major benefits of a backyard driving is that you work on drills without wasting money losing driving range balls and no one will be watching you.
Another great benefit is that when you are hitting short range wiffle balls, you are less concerned with “results” of your swing and are able to focus more on the “process” of your swing. This will make a dramatic difference on your improvement.
Finally, you can video tape your swing as much as you would like. Compare your video next to the pros on youtube and pinpoint the differences.
How to NOT Use the Backyard Driving Range
You should NOT use the backyard driving range like a normal driving range. In other words, don’t just hit balls aimlessly. Without seeing the actual flight of the golf ball, this will bore you to death!
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Instead, use your backyard driving range to work on specific game improvement techniques and drills. For instance, if I am struggling to get my lower body working in my swing, I would work on the Pelvic Punch Drill (this drill was described to our email subscribers this past week). I would hit 10 balls using the drill and then take a couple of full swings to see if I can incorporate the motion into my swing.
Week after week, I see golfers pounding balls at the driving range. Repeating the same mistakes over and over again until they are so solidified in their swing, that it becomes super difficult to change them.
The best way to improve is to identify the fault, find a drill that will train your body to swing correctly and work on the drill in your backyard driving range. Then take it to the real driving range. That is how you get better…
Thanks for reading!
Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist