Why you shouldn’t go to the driving range when you’re playing well

Sometimes it's best not to hit the range.

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If you want to improve your game, you have to hit the range. While playing on the course has tremendous value, there is no substitute for ironing out the kinks in your swing while beating balls. However, there is one instance when you shouldn’t be on the range quite so much: When you’re playing well.

On this week’s episode of Off the Course with Claude Harmon, he explained that this is an issue he runs into with star pupil Brooks Koepka. The four-time major champ loves to hit balls after his round, no matter if he played well or not. But according to Harmon, hitting balls after you play well does more harm than good.

“He’s been at the course for six hours. He’s already walked 18 holes and he’d hit a couple bad ones,” Harmon said. “You could see him as the player go into ‘I need to fix that mode.’”

Harmon explained that Koepka’s caddie would encourage his player to leave the range when he saw this start to happen. The more balls they hit, the more exacerbated the problems would become. After a great round, there was no reason to go tinker on the range and change something that might do more harm than good.

Harmon’s guest, Billy Harmon, shared another anecdote that corroborates the theory. He explained that Lee Trevino was a range rat, beating balls all day. During one marathon session, he saw Jack Nicklaus come hit balls for no more than 15 minutes and then leave.

Later on, when he asked Nicklaus why he had such a short practice session, Nicklaus’ answer was simple.

“I was hitting it good,” he said.  “I don’t practice a lot when I’m hitting it good. I practice a lot when I’m hitting it poorly. I know when to leave it alone.”

Check out more from Off the Course with Claude Harmon below.

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Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.