High-handicap golfers beware! News has been released warning golfers that "rake-and-hit" syndrome has been seen sweeping through local driving ranges and plaguing unsuspecting golfers everywhere. Rake-and-hit syndrome is a serious problem that has been known to create numerous negative side-effects in a golfer's game including bad swing habits, a lack of confidence, minimal improvements, and worst of all scorecards you can't bear to look at. Many are suffering the effects of rake-and-hit syndrome and don't even know it.

What is rake-and-hit syndrome? It is when a golfer at the range takes a shot and they don't wait to see the result before quickly raking up another ball and whacking away again. After taking 5-10 quick shots, followed by 5-10 bad results, they change their club and repeat the same raking and hitting process all over again. This negative habit of so many golfers can be more destructive than beneficial, and can result in a golfer grooving bad swing habits into their game.

What is the cure to the rake-and-hit syndrome? An effective remedy to overcome this negative tendency at the driving range is to follow these four simple steps for each shot.

  1. Think: Instead of just mindlessly hitting a shot, take a moment to think about what you want to achieve such as the approximate distance, shot trajectory, ball flight, and so on. Jack Nicklaus has a famous quote, "I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head." If you don't think about your shot how do you know if it was successful or not? Thinking about each shot is a simple but crucial step to preventing rake-and-hit syndrome from creeping into your practice session.
  2. Hit: The next step is to do your pre-shot routine, address the ball with confidence, and execute your swing. Practice simulating performance on each shot so you can create habits of success for the golf course.
  3. Hold The Pose: After you completed your swing, hold the pose for a few seconds to ensure that your swing was executed with proper balance, weight transfer, and tempo. You will never see a tour player falling out of balance when they finish their swing. Work on maintaining perfect balance all the way through your finish.
  4. Feedback: Besides taking the time to think about each shot, getting feedback is the other crucial step to preventing rake-and-hit syndrome. Many golfers after a poor swing, don't want to watch the result of the shot and just quickly rake up another ball to hit. This is a big mistake too many golfers make. When you are at the range it is highly recommended that you follow this guiding principle to success - There is no such thing as failure only feedback. Getting feedback is vital for improvement to occur. If you don't wait to see the result of a bad shot or take time to think about what just happened then how can you expect to make the appropriate adjustments or learn how to be better? Make it a rule to always watch your ball until it lands. That way you can get the feedback you need to fine tune your swing.

This four step approach to enhancing your practice time requires more effort and energy than the rake-and-hit' way however, it produces results. Don't be surprised if it takes you a little longer then usual to hit a bucket of golf balls. This is a great sign that you are having a quality practice session and following the four steps to success.

Remember quality is always better than quantity and less is often more at the driving range. Hitting less balls but devoting greater focus and concentration into each shot is a more effective way to practice. This approach will better prepare you to go low next time you tee it up on the golf course.

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