Practice does not make perfect!
Hitting a huge basket of golf balls at the driving range does not practically make you a better golfer if you do not have a plan or idea of what you want to achieve during the practice session. The best practice sessions are the ones where you actually hit fewer balls but have better quality. Split your practice session into four sessions as listed below. You will find your time spent at the driving range or on the practice ground will be much more valuable. You will learn more and improve at a much faster rate.
Warm up - This is a key part to any practice session or round of golf. Make sure you have warmed up. Here is a quick and easy pre-round warm-up routine to help you avoid those big numbers on the scorecard.
Hip swings: Simply swing your knee back and forth for 30 seconds per leg. This movement will help loosen up your muscles and joints and elevate your heart rate. These muscles are typically tight especially if you sit all day.
Squats: Squat up and down for 60 seconds. This is an excellent overall exercise to build strength, but it will also get your heart rate up to warm up muscles and make them more elastic so they will move easier.
Cross-crawl: Hold the club parallel to the ground and raise your knee to the opposite elbow for 60 seconds. The simple motion of crossing your elbow to the opposite knee activates the core muscles for better rotation. You should feel your heart rate getting faster.
Core warm up: Put the club behind your back and loop your arms around it. Practice shifting your weight back and forth for 60 seconds. This is to practice the motion that you are going to be doing for the day. Shift your weight to the back leg and then to the forward leg. This exercise will activate core muscles used in the golf swing.
Shoulder warm up: Put the club behind your shoulders and practice making a good shoulder turn for 60 seconds. Try to get your shoulder under your chin on the backswing and practice finishing in balance.
At this point, your muscles are loose, your joints are lubricated and now you can hit a few practice shots without feeling tight. From that point, hit five practice shots with a 80% pitching wedge to finally loosen up.
Technical aspects - Spend some quality time working on any technical aspects of your golf swing. Hopefully, you have regular lessons with a PGA Golf Coach who can help you iron out any faults and give you something to work on to improve your golf swing. It is important to hit less golf balls in the lesson as you can practice your swing more working on the key aspects you are aiming to fix.
Shot Shaping - This is a very important part of your practice. This can be done by any standard of golfer as the shot shaping ability can be altered. If you are highly skilled and can shape the golf ball left to right and right to left, then spend time working on this skill by aiming at different flags and targets, trying to shape the golf ball. If you are not as comfortable shaping it on demand, then do practice aiming to hit the golf ball higher, lower, left and right on demand.
Challenge - Make sure at the end of the practice session you challenge either yourself or a practice buddy. This way you will be practicing under pressure and this will be vital when taking your practice to the golf course.
Aim at different flags and targets and keep a noted score of your results.