PGA Professional Ian Clark shares some great tips at making some genuine progress away from the course

Firstly, stop practising what you’re already quite good at. Most people use the range as a bit of an ego massage. and hit an 8-iron from a perfect lie and hit it well, and think that they’re helping their game. That has a purpose but that gets overdone.

We don’t like the idea of practising shots where we might not do very well and that is probably the best form of practice session. I will try and get my students to use Arccos or something similar, which tell you three things that you're good at and three things that you're not so good at, and get them to spend time on what is a weakness. If you're very good from 150 yards then there is no point doing that for an hour when you might be poor from 100 yards.

Have a plan before you practise. Not many of us plan out the hour so think about either what you're going to do with your time or ideally the number of balls. With my students I like counting out the balls – so 25 tee shots, 25 pitch shots, 25 mid-irons and then pick 25 of whatever you’re the worst at. Have to have a plan and get away from everything being so random.

Balls is good as people start clock watching when doing 15 minutes on something. When you have 25 balls in front of you have to change clubs so that adds an element of pressure.

Another good idea is to work on your pre-shot routine. If you are working on a mechanical move, eg where the club is halfway back and you do that for half an hour, maybe with a mirror, see that as your block practice.

For the second half apply that and that’s where pre-shot routine kicks in. Try and hit every shot with a purpose.

Most ranges now have something that will measure shot dispersion. This is a good one to work on; if your 7-iron carry is 140 yards take 10 per cent of that distance = 14 yards. Now times that by three and convert that to feet (42) and then hit 10 shots and you have to hit them within that tolerance of 42 feet left and right of the flag.

Log your figures on your phone or on paper and now you're grinding. Try and hit so many shots inside that range before you can go home or have a coffee. You've gone from block practice and positions to executing shots – this is an easy benchmark to calculate and is a good blend of the right practice to help you transfer your game out onto the course.

If you've found this article helpful read "How to improve your golf even when you're not playing"

Ian Clark

I am the owner of the Ian Clark Golf Academy based at the World of Golf driving range in Surrey. I coach all levels of players and use some of the latest game improvement technology like Trackman, BodiTrak, Hackmotion, K-Vest and Hi Speed cameras to help us rectify any problem you may be having with your golf swing.

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