If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result then ask yourself, why am I taking this lesson in the first place? To make positive changes that will help you improve your golf game, should be the answer.This is how you will get the most out of your golf lesson.
The time that you spend practicing after the lesson is crucial for changes to sink in to your muscle memory banks. Lets say that you take an hour golf lesson and after about 45 minutes you really start to hit the ball well. The new swing thought or feeling that you are focusing on is brand new. If it feels different, and you are getting a desirable result, that is awesome! You must spend as much time as you can to make the new swing stick. Often people will leave immediately after the session is complete or go and play 18 holes.
When you leave the session immediately, hop in your vehicle and head elsewhere, you may have a new swing thought or feeling. However the only way that thought or feeling is going to really take hold is by practicing with a purpose and putting in a high volume of reps. The more time that you spend after the session is complete the more your brain and muscles will be in sync with this new feeling.
If you choose to play right after your golf instruction, it can sometimes be detrimental to your game and thought process on the golf course. When you are on the course you should have one thing in mind, get the ball in the hole, visualize your shot and send that ball at your intended target. When you are thinking about swing mechanics on the golf course it often blocks the sensory perception and true purpose of the shot.
Swing mechanics and developing a comfort level with your new swing should take place during a purposeful practice session. By purposeful, I mean quality vs. quantity. Take your time between your reps, stand behind the ball and visualize your shot. Practice your pre shot routine and be consistent for each and every shot you hit on the range. This will lead to consistency on the golf course.
In an hour of practice it may take you 30 minutes or more to find the feeling that you had during your golf lesson. However long it takes you to begin striking the ball the way you did during the lesson is considered warm up. Once you start to really start to strike the ball properly, that is when the practice session actually begins and the muscle memory banks are ready to be shaped and molded. You will know when you reach that point, and you must take your time with each shot to shape your new golf swing and routine. Once you are warm and really starting to see results, the time you spend preparing for each shot is not something that you should rush. Its not how many shots you hit during the practice session its how many good shots you hit. I feel that more than 40 balls in an hour of practice is too many and counter productive.
Between your reps, feel free to take a break, grab a drink, a snack or even sit down for a moment. Beating balls until you are tired will help you to achieve nothing except a sore back and frustration.
The next time you have the opportunity to attend a PGA Tournament. I suggest you take at least an hour to watch the professionals practice. You will see that they pay close attention to their setup and they stay focused while they are over the ball. Between reps, they may talk to their caddie, or swing coach. They might have a laugh or chat with a nearby professional to break up the grind that sometimes makes even professionals into mental cases. There is a switch that they can turn on and off, to focus on the task at hand (each golf shot) there must be breaks in concentration so that when you really need to focus, your mind is in a healthy state.