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Range-to-Rounds ratio?


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Do you put much thought into how much time you practice (range or just net in the yard) vs. playing a round?

Backstory: 2 kids with a net and 30-ish yard chipping area in the back yard that I use frequently. But with the cold weather (and especially kids) playing 18 is really tough. We have a 9-hole muni down the street that I think could be solid for practice this time of year. I'm a little worried about paralysis by analysis and developing a bad habit with the net that I don't notice right away. 

So, is there an optimal ratio for actually getting out and hitting shots on the course vs. practice? TIA.

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Never paid attention to it and for me it was practice when free after work or on weekends where due to non commitments or personal commitments I couldn’t play.

Played as many holes as possible after work periodically to practice certain shots on the course or testing clubs or balls and play on weekends when possible.

Dropped from a mid hdcp to single digit that way including some lessons.

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

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Ball: Titleist Prov1

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Everyone is different, however I noticed my scoring got significantly better when I spent less time at the range, and more time on the course. I prefer to walk nine holes on a par three course than bash balls at the range, and it usually works out to the same price as a large bucket and just a little bit more of a time investment.

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:cleveland-small: Hy-Wood
:cleveland-small: Launcher 5h
:wilson_staff_small: D200 6i-PW
:cleveland-small: CBX 54* & 58*
:cleveland-small: #10
:bridgestone-small: e12 Contact
 

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I practice as much as I can, I'm grinding hard.  That said I'm in the same boat as you one kid, busy work schedule, and other responsibilities.  I generally can't spend more than an 2-3 hours at the range per week (some weeks much less) and play 18.  So, I've really been learning to practice with purpose for the last 6 months or so to get the most out of  the hours that I do get.

 I spend a majority of my time at the range doing a lot of drills rather than just bashing away trying to groove my swing.    I'm working on teaching myself very specific 'feels'(for me that means overexaggerated portions of where I want to be at certain points in a swing) to build muscle memory and as of late I rarely hit more than a small bucket.  Of that I might hit 10 balls at full speed.  It seems to keep me from ingraining bad habits swinging full while also teaching my muscle memory the good parts that I'm aiming for.  I also spend a lot of time on short game pitching, chipping, and putting using a shag sleeve of 21 balls.  Same deal.  A lot of very specific drills focusing on feel.  When the grind and drills get to be too boring I'll switch it up and play practice rounds on a par 3 course or 9 hole exec.  It helps me work on my scoring clubs in real situations.  

I've dropped from someone struggling to hit 17 index scores to an average of 13 with the occasional 10-11 index round and it feels like I'm gaining speed.  The point of all of this is that it isn't the quantity of practice, its the quality of it.

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:taylormade-small:  Driver: 2016 M2 -- Fujikara ventus red  

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood RBZ Stage 2 -  Diamana Blue Board 

:taylormade-small: 2 Hybrid RBZ Stage 2 -- True Temper Elevate Tour (shares duty with 3I depending on the day)

:Sub70: 699pro - 3I Driving Iron KBS Tour (shares duty with the 2 hybrid depending on the day)

:Sub70: 699pro - 4I, 5I - 639CB 6/PW -- True Temper Elevate Elevate Tour

:taylormade-small: RSI2 -- 4/PW- Nippon Modus 115 (Testing)

:cleveland-small:Cleveland CBX2 48° & 54°-- TT Elevate Tour 

:taylormade-small: Hi Toe 58° -- TT Elevate Tour 

:bettinardi-small: Innovai 6.0 CTR

:srixon-small: Ball: Zstar XV Divide

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Typically I'm about 1:1 with range sessions to rounds. I play once on the weekend and do some range practice after work on one night. Though when I'm off work I play more rounds and my game gets better. It's hard to tell whether it's volume of golf making the difference or on-course play.

 

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that hitting into a net doesn't really give you much feedback on your ball flight without a launch monitor. You can hit what feel like incredibly struck shots, when in reality they were delofted hooks.

 

Depending on the age and interest of your kids, you could include them in your play. I'm sure there are heaps of stories on here of how we got into golf. Mine was going with Dad to the local course and playing as many holes as we could in the last hour of sunlight.

:cobra-small:            Cobra F9 9.5° (Hzrdus Yellow X)

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:mizuno-small:                    T20 51°, 8° (KBS $ Taper 120S)

:mizuno-small:                    T20 55°, 9° (KBS $ Taper 120S)

:mizuno-small:                    T20 59°, 9° (KBS $ Taper 120S)

:scotty-small:                          Phantom X 5.5 34"

:srixon-small:                     ZStar XV

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Probably 8:1 range over course.

Driver: :cobra-small: Speed Zone 9* HZRDUS Smoke Yellow Shaft

3 Wood: :cobra-small: King Speedzone 13.5* HZRDUS Smoke Black Shaft

2 & 3 Hybrids: :cobra-small: Speedzone Recoil 480 ESX Shaft

Irons: :cobra-small: Speedzone 5-GW Recoil 460 ESX Shafts

Wedges::callaway-logo-1: PM Grind 54* & 58*

Putter: :odyssey-small: Dual Force Rossi II

Ball: Whatever I find in the woods

:Arccos:

HCP:18

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I get to play twice a week with one of the days being a 27-36 hole round depending on time. Get to the range 3 days a week,b it only do full swings one day. I spend a majority of the time chipping and putting. My favorite is when the couple is not busy and I can practice around the green on course. There is no way at the practice area to replicate some of the situations you get into when playing.

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During the season, I play almost every day. My practice is on the chipping and putting for 10-15 minutes a couple times per week. My typical warmup before a round is five or six chips and the same number of putts. Loosens me up and gets the green speed. If going on the road to play one of the tough Clublink courses, I double the warmup shots and May hit a few drives on the range to loosen up.

It’s I have aged, I would rather play than hit range balls. My older range rat friends get hurt far too often from hitting so many balls. 

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Play everything from the hickory era to modern equipment.

 

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I rather play than hit the range. Maybe three to four times a year I hit a bucket of balls. Typically it is because I'm trying out a new club. Typical golf day is get to the course, hit three drives on the range and if they are good right to the tee. My course is consistent on green speed so know the speed on chips and putts. 

A different course requires some chipping and putting before I head to the tee to get a feel for the greens.

I'm not a fan of hitting the range. Best practice is playing.

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:titleist-small: Driver, TSi1 10* Stiff Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: 939x 5 hybrid

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (6 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

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30/70 range/playing unless something is broken. 

Mavrik Max Driver

M2 5W

818 hybrids

Steelhead XR Irons

ZipCore wedges

SeeMore PR M7X

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10 minutes ago, Riverboat said:

One more comment... if you are going to spend time on the range, you need to do exactly the opposite of what most people do... they hit a few shots with each club, then hit 87 drivers. At least 1/2 of range time should be dialing in partial wedge distances. Then, when you are done, however much time you spent on the range should be spent chipping and putting. 

Yes, chipping and putting.   

There is a practice green I go to a lot and I spread 6 balls around it and have to get up and down with all 6 or I have to start over.   Spend a lot of time doing this.   Adds a little tension too, which is good.

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I use to have practice to play ratio of 0.  I never practiced.   Then I got a SkyTrak and changed that ratio to 2:1  averaging about 10 hours of practice and 1.5 rounds a week during the pandemic.    I dropped my handicap 4 and was down by up to 7 for a while.   I do spend about 1/2 of my practice chipping, pitching and partial wedges.   I find practicing with a launch monitor way more effective than hitting into a net or even a range session with range balls. 

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  • 99422724_Screenshot2021-12-24001914.jpg.e67bdb8f7e6eea7baa71ca677594bbde.jpgEpic Flash 3 Wood 17° (15°+2) w/ Project X Even Flow Green 60 stiff
  • 943183396_Screenshot2021-12-24001914.jpg.391f8ed5e36869c949eb3a241d2a750d.jpgSuper Hybrid 21° (20°+1) w/ Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 80 stiff
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18 hours ago, russtopherb said:

Everyone is different, however I noticed my scoring got significantly better when I spent less time at the range, and more time on the course. I prefer to walk nine holes on a par three course than bash balls at the range, and it usually works out to the same price as a large bucket and just a little bit more of a time investment.

Same here.  Other than using a chipping and putting green, I prefer to play a couple of the par 3/exec courses in the area for tuning up.  I'd say my ratio is 20:1 

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During reasonable temperatures for playing I probably average a 5 / 1 ratio of 'range' sessions / rounds played just because of time constraints.  The actual time spent on practice vs playing is much closer because my practice sessions are only about 1/2 hour at most.  

My range breakdown is probably 50 / 25 / 25 between 40 - 65 yard wedge practice in the backyard / 4 iron net session / putting.  

Very few driver sessions on a real range.  Maybe 5 - 10 range shots before playing to get loose and see what shot shape to play off the first tee.

In the cold winter months I will go for a month or more without playing but still do some net sessions to keep the swing flexibility and brief putting or wedge sessions if the temps touch 40 and we have sunshine.  I will also do indoor putting in the evenings to remember the setup / stroke routine and keep from being too bored.

Modern Bag: :Sub70:  849 Pro 9*, Hazrdous Smoke S Flex;   :titelist-small:  915F 3w, Diamana S+ 70 S flex;  Snake Eyes 15*, & 23* Hybrids; :mizuno-small: JPX 900 Forged 5 - PW, PX LZ 6.0;  :cleveland-small: Tour Action 49*, 53*, 57*; PX LZ 6.5 ;  :ping-small: Heppler Fetch;  Ball - :Snell: MTB-Black; Bag - :1590477705_SunMountain: H2NO 

Shot Scope H4, MG600 Rangefinder

Classic Bag:  Driver - :wilson_staff_small: Persimmon; 3w - :Hogan: Speed Slot; 5w - :wilson_staff_small: Tour Block; 3 - pw - :wilson_staff_small: Dynapower; sw - Ram Tom Watson;  putter - bullseye standard or flange.

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15 hours ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

I rather play than hit the range. Maybe three to four times a year I hit a bucket of balls. Typically it is because I'm trying out a new club. Typical golf day is get to the course, hit three drives on the range and if they are good right to the tee. My course is consistent on green speed so know the speed on chips and putts. 

A different course requires some chipping and putting before I head to the tee to get a feel for the greens.

I'm not a fan of hitting the range. Best practice is playing.

Maybe I should qualify a bit more. If I am posting for handicap I play with that in mind. Play it as it lies. If I am not, I am playing the course but in practice mode. Sometimes I will intentionally hit the ball into an area that will give me a challenge on the next shot. If I hit into a bunker I will sometimes move it to a harder location in the bunker or when chipping move the ball to a short sided downhill location. So in essence I am practicing but in real world conditions, not on a range with a bucket full of opportunities and marginal at best range balls. I have one shot at it this way and therefore a higher focus on the outcome.   

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:titleist-small: Driver, TSi1 10* Stiff Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: 939x 5 hybrid

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (6 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

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Similar to what has been said, I think playing on the course simulates real world conditions (uneven lies, pressure, etc) that you can't always replicate on the range. I am fairly technical (read: obsessive) about my swing and I work with an instructor so I am typically trying to ingrain a feel or movement which requires range time. If your swing is more "feel" based and/or you don't often make changes to it then you are probably better served to get out on the course. When I am playing well and not working on something specific in my swing I try to play more. I also have two children under 3 so I had to get a net because I basically get 4 hours a week to play golf. I am likely to spend that as two 9 hole rounds or one 18 hole round rather than 4 hours at the range or even 2 hours at the range and 2 hours on course. 

19 hours ago, Blueberry_Squishie said:

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that hitting into a net doesn't really give you much feedback on your ball flight without a launch monitor. You can hit what feel like incredibly struck shots, when in reality they were delofted hooks.

So far that hasn't been my experience. Albeit, I am only about 2 months into my net journey, I tend to favor using a set of 1970s blades (not my gamers) into the net because I can feel EXACTLY where I hit those on the face. True, I could be pulling them or hooking them but I am also filming my swing and tracking my path. So not perfect but I think you can get to a certain skill level and feel when you are hitting it like crap or flushing it or somewhere in between.

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Agree with all the guys saying short game practice is very important.

24 minutes ago, vandyland said:

Similar to what has been said, I think playing on the course simulates real world conditions (uneven lies, pressure, etc) that you can't always replicate on the range. I am fairly technical (read: obsessive) about my swing and I work with an instructor so I am typically trying to ingrain a feel or movement which requires range time. If your swing is more "feel" based and/or you don't often make changes to it then you are probably better served to get out on the course. When I am playing well and not working on something specific in my swing I try to play more. I also have two children under 3 so I had to get a net because I basically get 4 hours a week to play golf. I am likely to spend that as two 9 hole rounds or one 18 hole round rather than 4 hours at the range or even 2 hours at the range and 2 hours on course. 

Definitely agree on play being better for real world conditions and learning how to score.  One of the reasons I've really started to enjoy the Par 3 courses for practice, beyond the fact that they seem to be the only courses that are not fully stacked, is that it's all scoring clubs with very small greens.  140 yards max on the one near me.  Which means 9 iron or lower on ever hole. 

Also, it's worth trying the Tiger worst ball practice method during a practice round.  Hit two balls.  Pick the worst shot.  Hit two balls from there.  Pick the worst shot.  Rinse repeat.  

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:taylormade-small:  Driver: 2016 M2 -- Fujikara ventus red  

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood RBZ Stage 2 -  Diamana Blue Board 

:taylormade-small: 2 Hybrid RBZ Stage 2 -- True Temper Elevate Tour (shares duty with 3I depending on the day)

:Sub70: 699pro - 3I Driving Iron KBS Tour (shares duty with the 2 hybrid depending on the day)

:Sub70: 699pro - 4I, 5I - 639CB 6/PW -- True Temper Elevate Elevate Tour

:taylormade-small: RSI2 -- 4/PW- Nippon Modus 115 (Testing)

:cleveland-small:Cleveland CBX2 48° & 54°-- TT Elevate Tour 

:taylormade-small: Hi Toe 58° -- TT Elevate Tour 

:bettinardi-small: Innovai 6.0 CTR

:srixon-small: Ball: Zstar XV Divide

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32 minutes ago, vandyland said:

......I tend to favor using a set of 1970s blades (not my gamers) into the net because I can feel EXACTLY where I hit those on the face. ......

I have been using my late 70's Palmer Standard 4i for net sessions and I can tell you exactly where the strike was on the face!  If i hit it thin enough my fingers will really feel it in this cold weather!!  😱  Using the longer iron helps my concentration level to get a good swing / strike and the blade gives great feedback.  I sometimes hit my gamer 7i with the Mevo to get club speed and ball speed patterns and to see where my swing is at in relation to mid season speeds.

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Modern Bag: :Sub70:  849 Pro 9*, Hazrdous Smoke S Flex;   :titelist-small:  915F 3w, Diamana S+ 70 S flex;  Snake Eyes 15*, & 23* Hybrids; :mizuno-small: JPX 900 Forged 5 - PW, PX LZ 6.0;  :cleveland-small: Tour Action 49*, 53*, 57*; PX LZ 6.5 ;  :ping-small: Heppler Fetch;  Ball - :Snell: MTB-Black; Bag - :1590477705_SunMountain: H2NO 

Shot Scope H4, MG600 Rangefinder

Classic Bag:  Driver - :wilson_staff_small: Persimmon; 3w - :Hogan: Speed Slot; 5w - :wilson_staff_small: Tour Block; 3 - pw - :wilson_staff_small: Dynapower; sw - Ram Tom Watson;  putter - bullseye standard or flange.

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20 hours ago, Blueberry_Squishie said:

 

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that hitting into a net doesn't really give you much feedback on your ball flight without a launch monitor. You can hit what feel like incredibly struck shots, when in reality they were delofted hooks.

This ^^ 

I would say hitting in to a net is better than not swinging at all, but be very careful to avoid practicing bad habits.

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