In order to improve your game you must first know how to practice. A majority of players think that practicing means beating balls — wrong! First of all , their are two types of practice – mechanical practice and playing practice.
Mechanical practice helps you groove your motion. You are working on parts of your swing. First, always put a iron down on ground to help you align yourself to your target, and review your posture, grip and alignment. Start by loosening up with your sand wedge. This is the heaviest club in your bag. Hit little chips and pitches to help you loosen up your muscles. The biggest mistake I see people do is starting their practice session with their driver. You will hurt yourself because your body is not warmed up nor loose enough to handle that large of a swing at the beginning of your practice session. Next, focus on what you are going to work on. Is the pitch shot, or hitting irons off the fairway? Whatever it is, just focus on that for a half and hour.
After half and hour, take a break! When you start getting tired, you lose your focus and then get sloppy with your practice. Go practice another part of your game — like putting, as this is not as tiring as hitting golf balls. If you need to work on your pitching more than your chipping, focus on your pitching. I would rather you practice for a half hour and accomplish your goal for that practice session, than to hit balls for 1 hour and not get any goal accomplished – (the old adage “Quality not Quantity”). Make the most of your time and your practice session by picking a goal and working on that one goal. You work on your game and groove your motion on the range so you can take that out to the golf course and just play without thinking of mechanics. Like I tell my students, the key is to turn those mechanics into feel; when you accomplish that, you will become a better player.
Remember, Practice with a Purpose!