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8 Common Mistakes Made at the Driving Range That Could be Hurting Your Game

If you put in the time at the range, it will make you a better golfer, right?

Not always.

Many amateur golfers make mistakes at the driving range that hurt their game. These mistakes can include anything from rapid firing shots, to inconsistency in practice to not changing up the clubs you bring with you.

How many of these 8 common mistakes made at the driving range are you guilty of?

For an interactive guide on structuring your range session and drills to work on at the driving range, check out our driving range practice plan!

Key Takeaways

If you don’t have time to read the entire article with all of our strategies, here are the key 8 common mistakes that you will want to avoid at the driving range.

  • Skipping the short game and focusing too much on the driver.
  • Taking the same 3 or 4 clubs with you for each session.
  • Not doing your pre-shot routine.
  • Rapid firing out of frustration or to get more shots in.
  • Neglecting alignment and aim.
  • Practicing only your best shots.
  • Not tracking your progress.
  • Forgetting to incorporate technology into your practice.

8 Common Mistakes Made at the Driving Range

1. Not Practicing the Short Shots

It’s fun to head to the range and pump out 300 yard drives, but you only need a few of those to have a good round of golf.

However, you’ll need quite a few different short game shots to have a great round of golf.

Without practicing your short game at the range, you are making a mistake. Spend some time hitting all the shots from 100 yards and in.

Try to learn the distances for each wedge with a ½ and ¾ golf swing.

2. Always Bringing Your Driver, 7 Iron, and Wedge

Do you bring your entire bag to the range or do you bring the same three clubs to practice each time?

Many golfers get in the habit of bringing just a few of the same clubs with them every time. The next time you get out to the course, it may have been weeks since you hit your 5 iron or your 9 iron.

You’ll want to use the same swing for all of your irons, but you haven’t worked on ball position, setup, stance, etc. Take note of which clubs you practice with at the range and change them up as needed.

I knew a professional who would use only even number clubs on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and the odd number clubs the rest of the week.

A bit quirky, but it works.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

3. Ignoring Technology

Golf technology has come a long way, and if you are not using it, you may be doing yourself a disservice.

Incorporating technology into your practice routine at the driving range can really help you improve faster and lower your scores. A portable launch monitor can help you to get accurate measurements of your distance.

Technology like HackMotion will help you get your wrist action correct, add more distance, and hit straighter golf shots.

If you are investing your time on the driving range, it’s smart to invest in technology that helps you lower your scores faster.

4. Not Doing Your Pre Shot Routine

Practice your pre shot routine!

It’s not enough to go on the course and use it, you’ll have to practice on the driving range as well. When you don’t do your pre shot routine you may find yourself rushing your practice.

In addition, a great pre shot routine is how we train our brains to perform on the course. We recognize the signals that it’s time to hit a great shot and then complete the process.

This should be done on the driving range in order to maximize the benefit of the time you are spending.

Not sure how to create a great pre shot routine? Here are some ideas.

5. Rapid Firing Golf Shots

The most common mistake that amateurs make at the range is to just rapid fire golf shots.

They stand over the ball, never change their setup or stance, and just reach for a golf ball and hit it. This is made worse at facilities where golf balls are put on the tee for you and come up one at a time.

Rapid firing golf shots happen often when you are frustrated with something, but if it’s your consistent practice routine, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.

Although you’ll get your heart rate up, you aren’t practicing anything that can help you on the course.

If you tend to do this, put the bucket of golf balls a few feet away. Reach in there and get one golf ball out at a time.

6. Not Using Alignment Sticks and Aim

Driving ranges are wide.

If you think you are hitting straight shots while at the range, it may be best to confirm this by using alignment sticks.

What feels like a straight shot to you on the driving range may actually be ten or fifteen yards left or right of the target.

Set alignment sticks down on the ground when you are at the range. You’ll get much better at aiming and be able to use these as a guideline when you play the course.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

7. Practicing the Shots that You Love

Are you guilty of going to the range to look like a driving range professional?

You bring your favorite clubs, hit your target, and leave there feeling satisfied with how great you are at hitting the ball.

This doesn’t really help you take your game to the next level. In fact, it could be keeping you from getting to the next level.

Don’t worry about looking like you are struggling on the driving range.

It’s better than looking like you are struggling on the course. This is the time to break out the clubs that are difficult for you to hit and really try and hit them well.

If you don’t love your 3 wood or your 60 degree wedge, bring it with you to the range and work through it.

8. Not Tracking Your Progress

Finally, to know if you are improving, you must track your progress. It’s best to use technology in your practice, like HackMotion, which allows you to save sessions, label them, and then check in on improvement.

Without tracking your progress, you won’t know how to adjust your driving range practice plan.

Maybe you need to spend more time on the long game and less on the short or vice versa.

The key is to at least make some notes about what was achieved, what went well, and what didn’t, so you can pivot and make adjustments.

Consider tracking range sessions and golf course rounds to get the most benefit.


Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about mistakes made at the driving range.

How many golf balls is too many at the driving range?

Professional golfers can spend a day at the range, but they don’t necessarily hit hundreds of golf balls.

The most important part of driving range practice is keeping your routine and practicing intentionally. If you only hit 25 golf balls, you can still have a great session.

How long should driving range practice take?

Driving range practice can be as quick as ten minutes or take a few hours. Most amateur players do well with about 30 minutes of practice.

Is practicing two times a week at the driving range enough?

Adding in two golf practice sessions at the range twice per week is a great way to get better at golf. You’ll be able to complement the rounds you are playing on the course and hopefully take your game to the next level.

Can you get injured at the driving range?

Golfers who get injured at the range are likely not warming up as part of their practice routine. Hitting golf shots too fast can also cause injury at the range.

Final Thoughts

The fact that you are going to the driving range to work on your game is a great first step.

However, if you aren’t careful about your routine and the type of practice you get involved with, you won’t see any improvement.

Avoid these common mistakes and build out a perfect driving range practice plan that works for your golf game.

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Brittany Olizarowicz
written by Britt Olizarowicz

Britt Olizarowicz is a golf professional who has played the game for more than 30 years. In addition to loving the game of golf, Britt has a degree in math education and loves analyzing data and using it to improve her game and the games of those around her. If you want actionable tips on how to improve your golf swing and become a better player, read her guides.