Before the invention of modern driving ranges and
high-tech ball sweepers, golfers or their caddies had to
retrieve their own balls. Because they supplied the balls on
their own dime, golfers would try to hit them in tight
circles to keep from losing them.
Golf history is rich with stories of caddies barely
having to take a step to retrieve golf balls on the range.
Creamy Carolan, who caddied for Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer,
used a baseball glove to catch balls on the fly. These
caddies were the launch monitors of the past, and
information flowed between caddy and player on accuracy and
distance. I imagine that some of the language would have
been quite colorful if the caddy was made to run around and
Driving balls to a precise spot on the range helped
players improve both their directional accuracy and distance
control. Because todayís players donít have to worry about
finding their own balls on the driving range, they practice
hitting the ball straight, but donít work as much on
controlling the distance.
Improve your distance control by practicing like some of
the all-time greats and picking up your own balls. Although
finding a driving range that will allow it may not be easy,
some clubs that still arenít modernized will let you can
shag your own balls. You may also consider an empty park
with multiple sport fields. Football fields are great, and
distance marked every 10 yards is a huge bonus. Start aiming
for small circles, and your iron play will get sharper than
it's ever been.