Getting the most out of practice . . . that is a question posed to me quite often. The answer is quite simple. Practice should be broken down into equal parts of driving range and short game. If your schedule allows for an hour of dedicated practice a half hour should be spent on the driving range and half an hour on the chipping and putting greens.
On the driving range it's important to stretch first, then hit half of your shots with a wedge or smaller irons to get shorter targets. The bulk of the range balls you hit should be targeted to 150 yards and in. Lastly, hit a few long irons, fairway woods and a few drivers.
After the range session head over to the short game area with a few balls, the clubs you usually chip with and your putter. Use a "realistic" practice where you chip 3-5 balls to various targets from different lies and then try to make your putts. The technique makes your practice more realistic and will help shave strokes off of your game.
“If I could only hit my drives 10 yards further” is a statement I’ve heard countless times over the years of instructing golfers of all abilities. It’s a tough proposition to add yardage to a drive, but not impossible. In the pro tips below I will share a few ideas on how to add distance.
Distance does not come from a forced golf swing or trying to swing harder. In reality you maximize your distance by taking a nice smooth tempo swing and timing it out so the ball hits in the center of the club head. An off center hit is never going to go as far as a centered hit, no matter who is swinging the club.
Flexibility, strength, shaft selection, and centeredness of contact is the formula for longer drives. Flexibility is important because it allows you to “coil up” on your backswing allowing for greater energy transfer to the ball. Strength is important as well, but you don’t want to get too bulky or it may interfere with your ability to make a full backswing. Shaft selection is crucial to maximizing your distance because if a shaft is too stiff, distance may be sacrificed. And finally working on your swing to increase the likelihood of hitting it in the center of the club face will certainly add distance. Your PGA professionals can help with your swing, but they certainly can’t make you stretch!