Blocked Or Random Golf Practice

  • Author: Iain Highfield
Facebook Twitter Share Email Print


The debate rains on? No! not the Trump Vs Clinton one, this debate is way bigger and has been passionatley debated by golfers and golf coaches coaches for many a year! 


Golf Practice Blocked or Random?? 


Blocked practice


Blocked practice is basically when you repeat the same task over and over in the same manner, under the same stresses and conditions.


It can actually be a really useful tool for beginners, as they learn the unfamiliar movements and interactions of posture, grip and even just getting a golf ball into the air.


But as soon as you are hoping to learn and develop anything approaching an advanced skill, blocked practice is actually a barrier to that learning.



The GLT definition of a truly learned golf skill is this: “Golfing skill can only be classed as learnt when it is retained over time and transferred into multiple environments.”


Skills acquired through blocked practice are not typically retained for any significant period of time and rarely transfer easily.


Random practice


Compared with blocked practice, in which a skill is learned by fixed, repetitive drilling, random practice, with its frequently modified routine, results in better retention of the skill after training is completed.


So, for a player to ‘learn’ golfing skill in line with the GLT definition, those skills need to be developed through practice structured in a more random manner than blocked practice creates.  Team GLT love to create what’s called an interleaved practice environment.


Free Download of GLT's Book - Golf Practice, take your range game to the course


Interleaved practice


While blocked practice involves only one task being completed thoroughly before moving to another, interleaving is a process where students are forced to randomize practice through mixing , (or interleaving), multiple tasks while they practice in order to improve their learning. 


See interleaved practice in action below 


It’s designed to challenge golfers to access and complete motor processes,the commands by which humans use their brain to activate and coordinate the muscles and limbs involved in the performance of a motorskill, such as a golf swing.


So, by stopping you from simply repeating the same task for a short-term performance gain, interleaved practice creates a cognitive and physical relationship with what you are practicing. 


To better illustrate its effect, think back again to school and cramming for an exam. How many of those last-minute facts about Thomas Jefferson or cumulus clouds can you recall now? 


Unless you’re currently a golfing historian or meteorologist, we’d imagine not a lot, probably because the way you attempted to develop that retention was too blocked, and therefore not robust enough to last.


By forcing golfers to self-diagnose and complete motor processes, interleaved practice makes us our own best coach, as solutions to the total problem of hitting a golf shot are self-discovered. 


Through interleaved practice, players not only retain what they learn much longer, they increase the chance of those learnings to transfer onto the golf course.


If you want to learn more about effcetive golf practice listen to the expert Dr Tim Lee Click Below.