golf course

The perfect swing—it’s something that every golfer aspires to, and the reason why many players enjoy spending so much time at golf driving ranges. And while standalone driving ranges are a convenient way to hone your swing, the advantages only increase at golf course driving ranges:

  • Lower your score by warming up not just by doing a few stretches, but by hitting some balls before teeing off.
  • Take a lesson with a PGA professional and bring your improved grip, stance and swing directly to the fairway.
  • Invite some friends to hit a bucket of balls before heading to the clubhouse for lunch.
  • Spend some quality time introducing the kids to the game while you work on your swing. Then play nine holes of golf together as a family.

Driving ranges are an often overlooked value of the Big Summer Golf Card. Sure, the card’s participating country clubs, golf clubs and tee times offer cardholders preferred rates on green fees and carts, with some extending rates up to 50 percent below those offered to the general public. But most courses also feature driving ranges, as well.

If you’re new to golf, make sure to make the most of your time at the driving range. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Start by warming up and stretching both your upper and lower body to help give yourself a fuller range of motion and prevent injury.
  • Next, pull out your sand wedge and find your alignment. Take some practice swings without hitting any balls, and when you’re ready, use your sand and pitching wedges to hit several balls at a specific target.
  • Once you have a smooth rhythm, move through your five, six and seven irons while aiming for fixed targets. But more importantly, focus on striking the ball solidly and with good aim, alignment and speed.
  • Finally, switch to your woods and driver. Hold back on your urge to use full power, and instead concentrate on rhythm, balance and making solid contact with the ball. Visualize yourself on the fairway and again aim for specific targets.

These tips will help you maximize your time at the driving range and will translate into better scores on the course.

Suncoast Golf Center & Academy in Sarasota is an exclusive practice and learning facility for BSGC members, and many courses have dedicated golf practice centers where players can work on their swing.