How can we gain the most benefit from our practice sessions?

Whenever possible do your practice in a controlled environment. By this I mean if your course allows you to hit your OWN balls at practice ....DO IT. The experience of hitting your own golf balls out into the distance can really help fine tune your learning experience. Growing up I had 100 balls in my shag bag. I would hit this entire bag of 100 balls with my wedges and then the same amount with my short irons and then onto mid irons and then long irons and ultimately the woods, which adds up to a lot of balls in a day. After each 'repetition' of 100 balls I would have to go pick them up. Knowing I had to retrieve my own balls zoned me in to taking more time between shots. It made me zone into my target. It made me be much more precise in my practice because I didn't want to have to walk too far off the beaten track to retrieve the balls. And God help me if I lost one and came back to start the next batch with only 99 or 98 balls in my shag bag.

I know many golf clubs supply range balls for revenue and for ease and people regard this as the easiest method, but hitting unsentimental range balls provides a different environment in the mind. From my experience I become less attached to the shot knowing I didn't have to retrieve the ball I was about to strike. However if you can get out to a field or hit balls on an unused hole (as Hogan did at Shady Oaks) and know each ball means something when the time comes for 'pick up' then you will be amazed at how much more in tune we become with our swing and mental capacity.

Read more: How To Practice Your Way To Better Play

How many strokes per round does the average golfer waste due to poor decisions? If I told you a 20 handicap player could be a 15 handicap player within a month only by making better decisions would you believe me?

While we all want to improve our golf swings so we can hit longer drives and straighter irons and we all want to chip it close and one putt every green- the truth is a good golf swing and short game is only a part of being a successful golfer. The major area of improvement that is available for ALL golfers is to learn the art of manging themselves better around the golf course. 

Course management. We hear that phrase all the time. Do we listen? We love to quote Sam Snead's famous line "you have to dance with the gal you brought" but how many golfers actually bring those words into context with their actions?

Over my years as a professional golfer plaing in pro am events before the tournaments I have witnessed countless poor decision making from golfers. The shot selection and the things they try to attempt almost always play a much bigger bearing on the disastrous scorecard they hand into the scorers hut at the end of play than their golf swing could ever do.

We all have a standard ability- this is based on our handicap. To go outside this standard or level of ability and attempt shots we have no right in attempting is every golfer's downfall. We compound the mistakes by venturing farther into trouble when trying to escape a predicament.

Read more: How To Play The Odds To Lower Scores