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Lower your scores by practicing with more purpose

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Have you heard the old adage that "practice makes perfect"?

You probably have, and you've also probably been told that "practice makes permanent."

While there is no such thing as perfection in golf, there is a perfect way to practice for each individual and it includes having a purpose.

Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of your practice time:

1. Set short- and long-term goals for your game. An example of a long-term goal might be to break 90. To achieve this objective you must establish short-term goals, such as improving your lag putting, better driver accuracy, stronger course management, etc.

2. Know your practice plan before arriving at the course. For example, if a short-term goal is to be a better putter, enlist your local instructor to help you create a comprehensive written plan to improve. This plan might include exercises related to green reading, practicing from various lengths for speed development and putting under pressure. This plan will help give you focus for each putting practice session and you will then be able to measure your progress.

3. Use your pre-shot routine. The best way to transition your game from the practice area to the course is to execute each shot with the same routine. There will never be a time on the course where you rapid fire a large bucket of golf balls. Take your time, focus, and hit each shot like it means something.

4. Switch clubs often. This applies to not only full-swing practice but also chipping and bunker shots. On the course we rarely hit the same club twice in a row. Yet during a practice session we will hit the same 7-iron for half an hour. For purposeful practice, change clubs and targets as often as possible.

Whether your clubs are collecting dust from a period of inactivity or you are playing on a regular basis all year round, make sure that you are creating practice plans that include short- and long-term goals.

Write your plans down, check your progress often and know what you're going to practice before you arrive at the course. If you do, you'll enjoy more success.

For more tips from Golf Channel to help you improve your practice sessions, click here.