You should practice wisely, just like the expression "working smart."
After you've warmed up, you should approach your practice session in the same manner you would a round of golf. You want to hit practice shots the same way you would hit shots on the course. You need to train yourself on the range to do what you expect on the golf course. Use the same routine to hit shots on the range that you would when playing.
You're trying to achieve a conditioned response on the range, so you don't have to think about it on the course. Some people may refer to this as muscle memory; I call it conditioned response.
Practice the way you want to play, if you're serious about playing well. Use your time well and you will enjoy the game much more. Determine what kind of preshot routine fits you best and do it while practicing. Work on your mechanics and technique on the range so you don't have to think about it on the course.
The range is for work and course is for play. Develop a program for success on the range and let the program run on the course. Don't interfere with it. It's called "getting out of your own way" while you play. You're not out there to play golf mechanics; you're playing golf. Practice with intent. Go out with a goal and try to accomplish it. Don't just beat balls. If that's what you're doing, you might just as well find a gym and pump some iron. Work smart and use your time wisely. Who knows, you just might start to like practicing and your golf game will definitely improve.
Tim Peightal is a PGA Pro, general manager and director of golf at Pelican Bay Country Club - north and south courses in Daytona Beach. He also owns Summit Driving Range in Port Orange. Mr. Peightal can be reached at (386) 304-4774 or by sending an e-mail to GypsyPro12@ aol.com.