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Manage your misses by understanding your ball flight

Big Break Academy Range
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Kevin Sutherland on the 18th hole during the second round of the AT&T Classic held at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, GA on May 18, 2007. PGA TOUR - 2007 AT&T Classic - Second RoundPhoto by Mike Ehrmann/  - 

We have all felt at times like our range game just fails to show up when we go out to play.

While many golfers believe they are accomplishing an objective by working to hit each ball of a jumbo bucket a bit more crisply than the last, most are doing nothing more than exercising.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with this type of activity but expecting it to transfer to better on-course results is somewhat unrealistic.

I often see higher-handicap golfers working on the range to overcome their most natural shot rather than practicing to control it.

But does that really make sense?

A crucial aspect in managing the shots you hit on the course is to understand how much curve you tend to put on the ball with each club. And with that in mind, here’s a great game you can play the next time your practice.

The next time you head to the range, pick a target that makes sense for the club you want to hit and count out 10 balls. If you usually hit a left-to-right shot, you earn one point for every ball that lands to the left of the target. If you curve the ball right of the target, however, subtract two points.

Conversely, for right-to-left shots, you earn one point for every ball that lands right of the target and subtract two for every ball that lands left of it.

This will teach you to understand the curve being created with all of your clubs and enable you to better manage your way around the course.

If you’d like, you can choose to give higher values to shots that land closer to the target but makes sure you double the penalty for missing further from the target or curving the ball in the wrong direction.

If after 10 shots you can finish with a positive point total, you are doing quite well.

Go out and track how many points you can earn with each club in the bag. Before you know it, that jumbo bucket will be turned into a fun and productive game that’s guaranteed to transfer to better on-course performance.

Take an online lesson with Jason Sedan.