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February 28, 2020

Glenn Hansen: Don’t Be Afraid to Use Professional Range Drills With Young Students

Glenn Hansen is a PGA Teaching Professional at the Twin Lakes Golf Course in Goleta, California.

Glenn Hansen on the importance of not being afraid to use professional range drills with young students:

While there’s sometimes a tendency to think that a drill used by the best players in the world is only fit for them and may be too much for ordinary golfers to handle, I’ve found that sometimes the most effective drills are ones which have already been tried and tested by those seen on TV every week. Take a wedge drill used by Zach Johnson where his longtime coach Mike Bender puts out concrete blocks, four feet by four feet, at various increments between 30-100 yards to help dial in his wedges. I translated that for my students by buying carpet squares from the dollar store – two feet by two feet – mounting them on wood, and putting them up at an angle from 60-100 yards. It’s had the same impact and been great to have an easy to use drill already approved by the pros to work on with my students.

Glenn Hansen on the business impact of not being afraid to use professional range drills with young students:

I heard about this from Bender directly while at the Methodist University PGM program and put it into use as soon as I got to a facility. Over the last six years at three facilities, it’s been especially effective amongst students looking to play on the high school or college level and needing an effective wedge game to make that leap. On the whole, I’ve seen half of players in our youth camps or clinics becoming recurring students of mine, partly because this drill makes it more like a game than just another boring, monotonous drill. At my previous facility, we had around 20 young golfers who had aspirations to play at a higher level. Using our facilities and this drill, four got Division 1 scholarships and a handful of others got scholarships to either D-2 or D-3 schools. My favorite story is a golfer who went from having all sorts of distance control issues with their wedges to now getting a college golf scholarship after dramatically lowering their proximity to the hole and getting more birdie chances. As part of a monthly academy program, many used our facility on a recurring basis, utilizing the wedge drill and our practice facility to help their games grow faster. So, don’t be afraid to use drills the pros use with your youngest students. You may see the same impressive results.

If you would like to contact the author of this Best Practice directly, please email ghansen@pga.com