On the Range: Practice with Purpose and Enjoy the Preparation
By Abby Parsons, PGA
Tiger Woods hits a tee shot during Monday's practice round.
All eyes were on Tiger Woods on the range at Southern Hills Country Club. Coming back from making the cut at the Masters after a long hiatus from the center stage, Woods looks confident on the practice tee.
It is always a good sign to witness energy and enthusiasm from a player when they are still days away from round one, and that is what everyone saw out of Tiger Woods. With the entirety of the golf world waiting for his first tee shot on Thursday, he doesn’t look fazed. Being a Past Champion at a course comes with a lot of advantages. One of which is being able to replicate shots on the driving range that were previously performed on the golf course.
Practicing with a purpose on the driving range before a tournament is extremely beneficial, but even more so if you are visualizing shots you will see on the golf course. Woods was seen trying out his 2-iron on several occasions during his warmup. Experimenting with alternative clubs that better-suit a golf course while on the driving range is a great way to expand your golf course imagination prior to an event.
Additionally, when practicing, it is all about balance of focus and enjoying yourself. At minimum, there are 36 holes of golf ahead of you and you need to be sharp, so give yourself a break on the driving range. This balance was on display with Tiger Woods. He was seen smiling, joking with fellow competitors, then zoning-in when the ball was in front of him. Saving mental energy for a major championship is pivotal for players. Overthinking and over utilizing your brain directly before a tournament can cause a lazy and exhausted mental game on the golf course. Work on simple things on the driving range and build up confidence for the event.
Have a club in mind for the first tee, and let that be the last club you hit on the range. Visualize the shot you need with that club, stripe it, and walk off the range with confidence like Tiger Woods.