You can be lulled into a non-productive practice session if you start getting sloppy with swinging the same club 10 times in a row. You start losing focus and the next thing you know you start hitting them faster and there is no focus on setup, target, etc. When you go to the practice range you should have some sort of plan. An all around session for your full game would be at least 60% of your time spent on the short game and the rest on long game (full swings with irons and woods). But not all of you have the time for that – so plan on a specific goal for that practice session. For example, for full swing practice, I like to switch using either my ‘odd’ numbered clubs for one session and my ‘even’ numbered clubs for the next. Mix it up! Don’t get stuck into just using a 7 iron.
A few tips to make practice more productive:
- Place the practice bucket of balls away from you. That way you have to step away and then walk back into your setup. This allows for a sense of being on the golf course – not rushing to hit. Do your preshot routine every single time.
- Pick out a target – on every single swing. Always visualize the ball flight and the landing area and get in your zone.
- Play a round of golf on the range. Imagine your favorite course starting from hole #1. Play the hole using a different club on each shot as you do on the golf course. Remember to make a practice swing! Play 18 holes and review your results. Does your tee shot need improving? Your mid irons?
You will find that if you practice with a purpose, your bucket of balls will last longer as you will be practicing your quality, and not quantity, of balls hit. As I tell the juniors, it is important not the number of balls you hit, but how you hit each one.
Practice with a purpose.