12 Practical Driving Range Tips for Beginner Golfers

golfer hitting driver at driving range

It would be great if golf were an easier sport to learn, but it is not. Unfortunately, golf takes time, patience, and persistence. If you are new to the game, putting in some time on the driving range is likely unavoidable.

Our top driving range tips for beginners will show you how to make your practice worthwhile, give you some ideas to make it more entertaining, and ultimately ensure you are not doing more damage than good by practicing on the driving range. 

1. Choose The Right Time 

If it is truly your first heading to the driving range, you will want to make sure you choose a time when it is not all that busy. You will likely be a bit overwhelmed and want some space to focus on your own game, not everything else going on around you. 

At most driving ranges, the middle of the day on a weekday is a good time to go. Golfers will be busy at work or out on the course, and you will have the place to yourself. 

As you become more confident in the game, you may find that heading to the range at busier times is actually social and fun. It takes a bit of time to get there, but it’s important to be smart about when you head to the driving range. 

2. Warm Up First 

It is essential to warm up before you start a round of golf, but you must also do it before a practice session on the range. Warming up will ensure that your body is ready to swing before you end up getting hurt. 

The warm-up for the driving range can involve some simple stretches. We recommend thinking about warming up the hips, lower legs and calves, shoulders, and upper and lower back. Some golfers stretch out their wrists and forearms as those also need to be used in the swing. 

3. Keep The Driver In The Bag (For Now)

The very first thing you do when you get to the driving range is taken out a wedge or a nine iron to hit. Too many players reach for their driver, which is not a good idea. 

The driver requires a big swing at full speed, and you are not there yet. The practice session can work up to a point where you can use your driver, but it takes time to get there. 

If you start with your wedge or nine iron at the beginning of your practice routine, your tempo and balance for the day is typical quite a bit better. 

Don’t worry; you will get to bomb some big ones at some point, but if you rush into this, you will never be the golfer you are trying to be. 

4. Use Alignment Sticks

If you don’t have alignment sticks, or the driving range where you practice does not offer them, I would recommend making an investment. Alignment sticks are a very affordable golf training aid, but they do help a beginner golfer with the driving range quite a bit. 

Most beginners struggle with where to put their feet and how far from the golf ball to stand. The great thing about alignment sticks is that you can adjust them slightly throughout practice to make sure they are in the right place. 

Don’t worry so much about things like swing plane or path; simply use the sticks to help get your feet and clubface heading to the proper location. Alignment sticks make aiming something that feels more natural and can be repeated. 

You don’t have to spend a lot of money here, but you can end up with a major benefit. 

junior golfer practing swing with alignment sticks

5. Be Purposeful

We get it, there is a big bucket of golf balls, and you just want to start hitting them. However, that won’t really get your golf game to the next level. If you can have a bit more purpose in your golf swing and the way you are hitting the ball, expect to see better results. 

We like to recommend choosing something to aim at or picking a goal, like getting the ball up into the air. Having something to work on and giving every shot a purpose will make the practice session much more effective. 

Effective practice is something you can then carry out on the golf course. 

6 Walk To The Golf Ball 

Some driving ranges are set up for the lazy golfer. Each time you hit a shot, another one appears on the tee. If you can help avoid this, you may have a better practice session. The key is to keep the golf ball just out of arm’s reach. 

When you do this, you force yourself to walk over to the ball each time you need one. Walking over to the ball forces you to regroup and focus on what you are doing. 

When you are standing on the range just firing one golf shot after another, that is more of a physical activity or exercise than true golf practice. If you walk to the ball and pick one up each time, it becomes much easier to take that to the golf course. 

Walking to the golf ball is also good for your back, so you don’t stand hunched over and practice the entire time. 

7. Hydrate and Protect Your Hands 

So many beginner golfers end up with a blister on their hands. Although this is common, you can usually learn to avoid it by purchasing a golf glove. Eventually, you may not need the glove because you will develop some calluses on your hands. 

One way to ensure that your hands are not developing blisters is to keep them dry. Always have a towel with you as you practice, and you will have an easier time keeping your hands blister-free. 

In addition to protecting your hands from the golf club, you will want to hydrate and protect yourself from the sun. Many driving ranges are without shade or coverage while you are hitting. 

This means you have to protect yourself if you plan to be at the driving range for some time. Bring water, wear sunscreen and sun protective clothing such as sun sleeves or sun glasses or sun hats.

There is nothing worse than spending 20 minutes at the driving range and having it do more damage than good. 

8. Ease Into It 

As we mentioned, you will want to make sure that you start slow and then work your way up through the golf bag. If you are in a real rush to get to the driver, at least try to hit twenty golf balls before you take a driver’s swing. 

If you can hit a few irons first and then the hybrid or something, it’s a good warming shot for your body that the bigger swings are coming. 

golfer at the driving range

Even when you do make it up to the driver, we would recommend taking three or four shots with the driver and then switching to something else. You can go back to the driver in a few minutes; it’s just best not to over-extend your body that many times in a row. 

In addition, you will not find situations on the golf course that require you to hit five drives in a row, so it doesn’t make sense to practice them. 

9. Bring A Few Clubs

Just because you have 14 golf clubs in your bag, it does not mean you need to practice with each one during your next session. In fact, it’s better to just bring a few clubs. Pick between three and five clubs to bring to the range with you; it’s not necessary to bring more than that. 

The swing you use with your 8 iron will be the same one you use with your 7 iron. In addition, something like a 3 hybrid should be the same as your 5 hybrids. When you practice on different days, feel free to change up the clubs, but you don’t need to worry about it if you don’t hit every club at every session. 

It’s also just much less cumbersome to walk to your spot on the driving range with just a few clubs in your bag. 

10. Choose One Thing To Work On

Practicing on the driving range does not mean that you need to rework your entire golf swing and hit every club. In fact, your practice sessions will be much more effective if you just work on one area of the game. 

For most beginners, this can be as simple as staying balanced on a golf swing or trying to create a proper angle of attack and take a divot with your golf swing. 

Some golfers find that working on aim or trying to straighten out a slice is the best way to spend their time. You should go to the driving range with something specific in mind to work on and make that the main focus of your session.  

11. Play Golf On The Range

One of our favorite driving range tips for beginners is to pretend to play golf on the range. 

After you have warmed up, you can start hitting one drive and then aiming at a flag and trying to hit an iron to that flag. If you hit the green, that is great; you can repeat the process. If you miss the green, practice a small chip shot that would resemble the one you would have to hit on the course. 

The key is to make your practice session feel like a true warm up for a round of golf. The next time you go to play, you will be shocked at the difference it can make. 

12. Record Your Practice Session 

Last but not least, making notes about your practice session and what you learned at the driving range that day is a great idea. Maybe you found that standing further from the golf ball is better for you or that keeping your head still creates more solid shots in your game. 

golf record swing

The key is learning and adjusting and eventually taking your golf game to the next level. 

In addition, it is also fun to take a few videos of your golf swing. There are ways to save these videos and then view them over time to ensure your golf game is progressing the way it should be.

Frequently Asked Questions

As a beginner, it’s good to ask questions; the more you ask, the quicker you can improve. Here are a few questions that often come up about beginners and the driving range. 

How often should a beginner go to the driving range?

Beginners should try to go to the driving range at least once a week. If you can get into a good routine, your chance of getting good at golf will be significantly higher. If you can fit in two shorter practice sessions each week, that may be even better. 

What club should you start with at the driving range?

The best club to start with at the driving range is a wedge or a short iron. 

Do you have to be quiet at a driving range?

It’s often best to be quiet at the driving range because golfers are working on their game and trying to change their swing. This takes a certain amount of focus and concentration. 

How many balls should I hit at the range?

Beginners may only be able to hit 25 golf balls before they get tired. A more accomplished player may be able to hit hundreds of golf balls before it causes issues for them. It’s best to hit anywhere from 50 to 100 balls if you can. 

How many clubs should I take to the driving range?

Taking four clubs to the driving range should be enough. Bring a club like a driver or a fairway wood, two irons, and a wedge. This should give you some variety in the type of shots you are practicing. 

Final Thoughts

If you take the time to work on your golf game and get yourself to the next level, you may as well maximize your potential by doing this the right way. It doesn’t take long to implement these driving range tips for beginners. In fact, you could put them all into place today when you head out for your practice session. 

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Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli is the founder of TopRankGolf, a passionate golfer with decades of experience playing this amazing sport. He's dedicated to helping golfers learn, improve and enjoy the game of golf.