The time spent on the range can really help your game if done properly, however if done incorrectly could really harm it. Part of the problem is that golfer’s usually just show up and hit balls until they run out of time, ideas, golf balls or simply patience! Try and have a premeditated structure to the days session to get the most out of your time.
I’d like to suggest simple alternatives that can make your practice sessions more enjoyable and productive next time you head to the range. You can do the following during the same session or make it a theme for the day.
Block Practice is effectively repetition of the same movement, from the same lie all the time, in other words what golfers traditionally see as practice! If you are planning to do this type of practice using an external reference like a training aid that will help you to make the correct move you’ve chosen to work on. What you think you’re doing and what you are really doing are rarely the same thing, so a training aid can provide some helpful feedback when it comes to matching up "feel and real". It’s important here to understand that the objective here is to improve the swing or technique you are trying to create. Block practice sessions are best done during the off season and the beginning of practice.
Random or exploratory practice is designed to help you mimic shots that you will see on the golf course, and try to find the best solution for certain situations. Go through your full routine and hit shots to a defined target. Change the target, distance and club on each shot. Be only target oriented. This aspect is important because it mimics our attitude and objective on the course. This works best leading into a tournament or finishing a session.
Compete with a friend
Competing with a friend can be hugely beneficial as when we are on the golf course, we are always competing in some way, shape or form. Keep score on different putting, short game or range challenges and be creative with the tasks and forfeits to make the session competitive. Even a simple short game par 2 challenge where you keep score for a chip and putt can do wonders for your confidence on the golf course
Try setting yourself certain challenges that create pressure. For example:
Putting: Hole 10 putts in a row from a 4 foot circle or make five 2 putts in a row from outside 30 feet
Short game: Try holing a shot to complete a challenge or hit a certain number of shots inside 3 feet to finish.
Long game: Use a variety of clubs. Give yourself a target gate and try and hit 3 balls in a row inside the parameters to complete.