When practicing, there are three methods that will improve your golf game: repetition, random and competition.
Repetition practice is when you are trying to learn a new move in your swing. Whether it is improving your follow through or swing path, this is the type of practice is needed to train your muscles to perform differently then they were before. This practice is where we say “practice makes permanent” as we allow our muscles to learn a new move through repetition. This practice requires constant feedback and not just from your ball flight.
Using training aids during this type of practice is very effective. This could include using alignment sticks to improve your clubhead path or a weighted club for higher muscle memory. Also, having a trained eye to correct the movement as you practice can help you receive the positive feedback when you are performing correctly. This practice would include hitting the same club to the same target time after time. It is most effective to change clubs between practice sessions but to stay with one club during a session. After your muscles have had an opportunity to learn and perform this new skill, you want to introduce random practice.
Random practice is the time you want to change not only clubs but also targets from shot to shot. When on the range, find six targets along with six clubs to hit at those targets. Then, go through your pre-shot routine before each shot as you prepare to take your new move to the golf course. This practice is unmatched in getting you ready for the first round on the course after making a swing change.
Last is the competition practice where you are getting ready for a tournament or weekly money game with you golfing buddies. Here you are setting out to accomplish something. It could be hitting to an imaginary fairway on the range ten times in a row or, if there is a green on the range, trying to hit seven out of ten on the green. This will allow you to add some pressure to your practice. Only after experiencing pressure during practice will you be able to cope with an intense situation on the golf course.
By recognizing what you are trying to accomplish with each practice session, you can choose which type suits you needs best.