Golf is hard, no doubt, but most of us hit several good-to-great shots per round. That’s what keeps us coming back, right? But taking your game to the next level requires hitting good shots in succession. It’s the only way to improve your scoring.
The problem many amateurs face is that golf poses shifting requirements from one shot to the next. After hitting driver off a tee, you must hit an iron shot from the fairway. Next you might face a chip onto the green, then a putt – and each shot involves a different club and technique.
Of course, the more you play and practice, the more proficient you’ll become. Your swing will get more consistent, and you’ll develop a feel for distances. But mixing up your practice routine can help you adapt to the variables you’ll encounter on the course.
The vast majority of golfers practice using the “blocked” method, hitting a series of shots with one club, then repeating with another club and so on through the set. While this builds muscle memory and ingrains proper technique, it doesn’t mirror the flow of an actual round of golf.
“Random” practice can do just that. Instead of hitting shot after shot with one club and moving on, random practice involves changing clubs after each swing. For example, start by hitting your driver, then an 8-iron, then a sand wedge. Or go 3-wood, then 5-iron. Visualize holes on your home course and “play” them on the range, using the same clubs you typically use on those holes.
Random practice works for the short game, too. Rather than chipping for 15 minutes before switching to the putter, emulate how it works on the course – chip onto the green, then finish out with the putter, and repeat.
You should absolutely devote some of your time to blocked practice, working on specific drills to develop a consistent, repeating swing. But mix in a few random practice sessions and you’ll better translate those skills to the golf course.