COMMUNITY: Practice like you're playing

Golf tip by Steve Charters

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Editorís note: Steve Charters is in his 11th year as a pro at Twin Pines Golf Course. Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Charters competed at Central College in Pella and has been a pro for 18 years in Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.

Too often I hear the comment ďIím hitting it pretty well on the driving range and practice all the time, but I just canít take it onto the golf course.Ē

So how could one hit it so well on the range and not on the course?

On the golf course we usually have a few minutes between shots and rarely hit the same club or shot two times in a row. So while itís important to work on specific things on the range, you want to try and balance that with taking your time and mixing up your practice routine.

Sometimes it helps if you practice like youíre playing a golf course.

Pick your favorite course and play each hole in your head while youíre on the driving range. For example, letís say the first hole is a 400-yard Par 4. Pick a target on the range, line up and hit your driver like itís your tee shot. Then imagine youíre 150 yards from the green and hit your seven iron, taking the time to aim, and set up to each shot like you would on the course. Imagine youíre a little short and have to hit a pitch shot, etc.

If you practice taking your time between shots, picking targets, going through your routine and switching clubs regularly you should have a better time transferring practice onto the course.

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