I had some out patient surgery and did not pick up a club due to Dr. orders and rainy weather for 3 weeks. My first game back was horrific. I was making mistakes like just get the ball back in the fairway and then chili dip it 10 feet when I needed 30 yards. I also lost my driver swing and was duck hooking balls on critical fairways where water was in play. Second game I shot 4 strokes better and yesterday 6 strokes better than my first game but still 4 strokes above my average score. My driver and wedge play are the biggest problem so I know I will have to work on them but everything else has some rough edges too. I am thinking how many bad rounds do you play until you say to your self I am not playing again until I get the duck hook and the chili dipping under control ?
I'm a fan of play your way into shape, but sometimes reinforcing bad habits gets to be frustrating. I've not picked up a club since March 4th, and won't be able to until later this month. I fully expect my game to be rusty. I'll hit the range to see what I have and what I need to clean up. If I need to I'll schedule time with a pro to catch some flaws i'm not talented enough to see. Ultimately I will hit the course and work my way around and see what I need to focus on.
It's a fine balance and there is no right or wrong answer, but I think if you can have the discipline to work it out on the range I would start there. If you are like me, sometimes the range is boring and the course offers that aesthetic you need to visually see trouble, bail out areas etc...
When I feel my swing or game getting all out of whack I make a quick 30 minute lesson with my pro, it usually takes her about 5 minutes to discover and fix what I'm doing wrong. Then I spend another 30 minutes on the range to reinforce what I need to do right. Just that 1 hour of practice saves me many hours of frustration on the course.
@CarlT9704 normally I just play through everything but range time, for me, is extremely valuable. It enables me to work on specific items or simply go through the whole bag. I spent 1.5 hours at the range yesterday just taking my time and going through a large bucket of balls (probably 100 or so). When you have the time to take it slow and not wear yourself out you will see a real improvement from range time.
Very timely conversation @CarlT9704. I am just recovering after fractures to both my hands (got kicked in the hands while playing goalie during Indoor Soccer during the off season). So I have been to the driving range just to see how things were feeling but in terms of getting back I ALWAYS work everything out on the course. For me nothing compares to the variety of situations that I encounter on the course, from rough to sand and left side, right side, center, sounds, water. No matter how good the simulator I just need to be on the course to get my stuff fixed.
I've always lived by the motto that a bad day on the course beats a good day at work. When you play, learn as you go. Work on small goals hole by hole and build upon that. The main thing for me is to get out of my head and let my body have fun playing the game. Don't over think. If I hit a bad shot, make up for it on the next one. But keep it all in perspective and realize that you're out there to have fun, so have fun.
The Good Lord only put a certain number of swings in this old body. No one knows that number and when they will be used up. So, I can't see wasting the ones left on a practice range or with practice swings!!!
Over the years, I've returned to golf from a number of surgeries... all well before the doctor/surgeon advised. In each of those cases, I would take whatever showed up, gradually working my way back. It is tough for me to see how hitting range "rocks" to distance markers that may or may not be anywhere near correct will help me get the "feel" back.
That is only MY philosophy and I most certainly do not feel everyone else will see the same results. More than anything, I would say much depends on the condtion of the specific range you intend to use. Will you be hitting from turf or mats? Are you confident the yardage signs are correct? Is the range set up to where you can "see" a fairway and shape shots within a fairly tight dispersion?
Anyway, glad someone who has been "forced" off the course for a while is back playing this Great Game!
@CarlT9704 Im a big fan of a TOUGH practice routine atleast once a week , twice even better. Make it so its hard to complete so that focus and being deliberate is important. I have a practice routine that I posted not long ago and @ChristopherV1a1 is working on one too. Ive dropped from shooting 92 to hitting 83 pretty regular. I know practice is working. I will still sometimes have a bad round but practice works , it only makes sense. I copied a college practice routine that those players have to complete every day and it is super difficult which is super fun , haha. Good Luck and Hit Em Good !!