Concentration has never been my strong point.
When I was 6, my teachers wanted me on Ritalin, but my free-thinking parents resisted. I could not focus for long, which made the driving range a boring endeavor. However, over the years, I learned various range games. They optimized my training and made it more exciting.
Instead of aimlessly whacking golf balls, you practice with a purpose. As a result, your game is better for it, and the range becomes a place of enjoyment rather than boredom. The practice range games in this post are ideal for friendly competition and betting folk.
Before we fall into game mode, you might want to review our golf alignment stick drills to ensure you are set up correctly. There is no point in playing games if you are not executing the tasks correctly.
Long and Mid Range Games
1. Longest Drive
This is a simple challenge where a launch monitor is a handy accessory. Determine the boundaries of your imaginary fairway, and start bombing drives. You could use the naked eye to determine the winner, but a launch monitor offers the most accurate results.
The idea is to hit 5 drives each, and the longest yardage inside the boundary wins. Those struggling to maximize distance off the tee can find solutions in our golf driving tips guide.
2. Fastest Ball Speed
The fastest ball speed range game allows you to channel your inner Kyle Berkshire and reign supreme over your buddies. Like the longest drive drill, each player swings 5 times, and the golfer with the fastest ball speed takes the crown.
Unless your superpower is a doppler radar, you need a launch monitor to provide feedback on the numbers.
3. Fastest Clubhead Speed
This challenge also requires a launch monitor to determine the velocity of your clubhead. Everybody bombs 5 drives from the hitting bay, and the player with the quickest clubhead speed is the victor.
A driver should produce the fastest clubhead speed, but your party can use a variety of clubs. As long as you are on equal terms. For example, if one player hits a fairway wood, everyone should use the same club. Otherwise, the results will be wildly erratic and defeat the purpose of the drill.
Golfers with slower swing speeds may find that a change of equipment can slightly boost velocity. Start with these golf balls for players with slow swing speed.
4. Play The Dogleg
Just because you are an adult, it does not mean you cannot channel your imagination. I use this drill to work on my shot shaping and boost my creativity on the golf course. I picture a dogleg hole on a link I know well and pretend that I am playing the hole.
If it is a dogleg right, I attempt to fade the ball off the tee and land it in a zone the size of the fairway on that hole. Depending on the distance of my drive, I use the relevant club for the approach shot. Obviously, I cannot putt. However, it helps you with positioning and distance control.
Learning how to play different types of shots also trains you to escape trouble. When you drive it into the trees during a round of golf, you have options at your disposal to recover and limit the damage.
You can play horse in a variety of forms and even switch out the letters for points. That is what my buddies and I do. The game I play is a variation of the original but offers twice the enjoyment. The only downside of this version is that a launch monitor is required for data on select challenges.
Each player hits a total of 10 shots. However, before you hit the next shot, the winner of the previous point chooses what to do. We usually include the following challenges:
- Longest drive
- Ball Speed
- Clubhead Speed
- Straight Shot
- Biggest Draw
- Biggest Fade Curve
- Highest Apex
- Closest To The Pin
The winner of each challenge gets a point, and the highest score after all the tasks are complete wins. You will need a launch monitor for these drills to avoid any debates or uncertainty among your mates.
6. Flagstick Challenge
Another elementary golf drill that does not require any technology. If your driving range contains flags, it presents the perfect opportunity to test your iron accuracy game. Pick out the various locations you wish to hit, and away you go.
Each participant hits 5 shots to get it as close to the flagstick as possible. The closest to the mark wins the round while the others receive zero points. You can offer extra points for hitting the stick, but that complicates matters.
The best approach is to pick 4-flags and hit a 4, 7, 9-iron, and pitching wedge.
Short Range Games
7. Closest To The Pin
Moving out of the hitting bay and onto the putting and chipping green. These drills lead to better golf, a lower handicap, and fewer total strokes. Closest to the pin works similar to the flagstick challenge.
Pick 5-holes on the green, and try to get your ball closer to the cup, and claim a higher score than your opponents. Every golfer chips five balls to each hole, and the closest earns a point.
You can also use the same hole but chip from varying distances. It is irrelevant whether you use a sand or lob wedge for this drill.
8. Around The World
Around the world is a putting challenge, similar to a basketball drill I did in high school. You place ball markers around the cup, approximately 5 to 7-feet away. The participants decide on the start and end point, and you are all set.
You cannot progress to the next marker until you have successfully drained a putt in your current position. The player to successfully journey around the world first claims top honors.
Our guide to improving your putting stance could boost your performance in this challenge, helping you dominate your mates.
9. Manilla Folder Challenge
Place a folder or piece of paper on a specific point, and attempt to get the ball to stop on the marker. Every player has 5-putts, and each time your ball stops in the zone, you claim a point. The player with the most points wins.
10. Down The Drain
I love this challenge, and it boosts your confidence on the putting green. Place markers down at 3, 5, 10, 20, and 30-feet intervals, and start with the closest point. This time, every player putts 1 ball. If you drain the putt, you card a birdie, and a 2 putt is a par. 3-putts are bogey, and a 4-putt is a double.
Tally up your scores, and the player with the lowest round is the champion with the flatstick.