While it may seem like a good idea to go and hit 100 or more golf balls at the range, the truth is that in most cases, this could do your game more harm than good. This applies equally to hitting too many balls before playing a round.
Golf is a game of quality, not quantity. Hitting too many golf balls will make you tired, potentially increasing the risk of injury due to fatigue, compromise, or even weakening your swing technique and focus as your ball striking and accuracy decline.
Let’s take a look at what could happen if you hit too many golf balls either at the range or before your round and what would be a good number of balls to hit for practice and warm-up.
Hitting Too Many Golf Balls Will Make You Tired
Sadly, many amateur golfers believe that the key to getting better is to practice, practice, practice, and this is only true if you are practicing the right things! Simply hammering 200 or 300 balls at the range without any focus or strategy is a waste of time.
The result will be exhaustion and frustration because as you tire, your ability to execute quality swings and ball striking will reduce, leading to more poor shots. You will end up sweaty and irritated.
While the pros may hit around 500 balls a day, most of their hitting is chipping and short game work, including putting. Actual full swing shots are only about 20%-25% of their total shots hit.
Making full swings is tiring, and to improve consistently, you need to have a purpose to your training, and 30-50 proper swings where you have done your pre-shot routine, aimed at a specific target, and varied the clubs you use, is far more productive than ‘chainsawing’ through 100 or more shots.
This approach will have far better results for your on-course game than hitting too many golf balls.
Hitting Too Many Golf Balls Before A Round Can Negatively Affect Your Play
While it is a good idea to warm up before a round, hitting too many golf balls can adversely affect your play, especially in the second half of your round.
Look at it like this, if you play an average round of 100 and out of this, 40 shots are full swings, hitting 40 or 50 balls before you play the number of full swings you’d have in your round.
You would have effectively made your entire quota of swings in a warm-up session, and unless you have good swing fitness, by the time you get to your second nine, you will be tired, which will affect the quality and consistency of your swing.
Hitting Too Many Golf Balls Can Result In Injury
The golf swing takes a toll on the body, especially the lower back, hips, and hands. One thing for sure is that if you are gripping the club too hard when you swing, you will get serious blisters on your hands.
Many amateurs don’t have accurate swing mechanics, and this means that your body is not moving the right way on every swing or using the correct sequence of muscles, which results in muscle strains and pulls.
So, when hitting many golf balls, you put your muscles and ligaments under extreme stress, especially if you are trying to swing hard throughout. Back spasms, lower back strains, and even groin and hip-related injuries can occur.
Picking up an injury by hitting too many golf balls could keep you out of the game for a few days to a few months, and that wouldn’t be worth it
Hitting Too Many Golf Balls Can Damage Your Swing
When hitting a lot of balls, you would usually start well, with some good swings and shots, but as you progress above 50 balls, you will start to tire, and then you will lose focus, leading to your shot quality decreasing.
When that happens, you may start to tinker with your swing even though there may not be anything wrong with it and end up creating problems in your technique where there weren’t any to start with.
When the shots go wrong, and you are looking to see why you don’t often attribute the errors to fatigue, you rather think that there is something wrong with the swing itself, and at the end of that session, you could come away with a negative mindset and then have to find ways to fix that.
How Many Golf Balls Should You Hit?
If you are going to practice, you should break up your practice session to cover all aspects of your game, from putting to driving. ‘Drive for show and putt for dough’ is well-known golf saying that if you want to play the game better, work on your short game!
Be realistic about how many full swing shots you NEED to hit, as, in a game of golf, you would be putting and chipping more than driving or approaching play. Another good idea when practicing is to practice as you play.
When on the range hitting full shots, aim at targets and don’t take ‘Mulligans’ if you don’t hit it well or on target as you don’t have that option on the course. Use your irons to hit specific targets at that club distance and aim at imaginary fairways with your driver.
This type of practice means you NEED to have proper target alignment and pre-shot process, which is the same as you would have on the course itself. Discipline in your practice routine means you know how many full swing shots you NEED, and the rest should be short gameplay.
Remember that your chipping and putting is far less strenuous, and you can make a lot more of those shots without tiring or risking injury.
Golf Is About Quality, Not Quantity
Getting better is not about how many balls you hit, but the quality of the swing and the strike of the ones you do hit. Hitting 100 balls with only ten good swings is not nearly as good as hitting 50 balls with 20 shots!
Take your time, go through your processes and produce good quality swings with good ball striking instead of the mass ‘shotgun’ approach that isn’t nearly as effective or efficient in improving your game.
To get noticeably better at the game of golf, you have to make every swing count, as this is how the game is played on the course, and hitting too many golf balls is not the way to go about it.
If all else fails, take a lesson from the very best, and even with their fitness and skill levels, they are only spending 20%-25% of their practice time making full swing shots, then perhaps you should too.