There is a critical stage when learning new movements of the body.
In his book, Body Mind Mastery, Dan Millman discusses the proper way to develop muscle memory.
He says (and I completely agree) that in order to learn a new bodily movement, we must be patient in the early stages, and ensure that we are learning the movement correctly rather than quickly. If we try to form muscle memory quickly, we end up developing poor habits that are reinforced by our high repetitions.
Instead of trying to improve your backswing by checking it once in the mirror, and then going to the range and practicing it 100 times in a row without feedback, do the exact opposite.
Hit 10 golf balls in an hour.
Stand in front of that mirror, and practice the appropriate movement, CONSTANTLY checking to ensure that you are performing it correctly.
Every five minutes or so, see if you can perform the movement while hitting a golf ball.
Only when you can do the correct movement with ease and without conscious strain may you hit golf balls in high repetitions.
By abiding to these simple truths of learning, you will spend a lot less time correcting, and a lot more time ingraining good habits.
Don’t be ashamed when you go to the range, hit 10 golf balls, and go home.
Just because you bought 50 golf balls doesn’t mean that you must hit all 50. If you hit 10 balls with the discipline that I am talking about, it will pay much greater dividends than hitting 50 without an acute kinesthetic awareness for what you are trying to learn.
If you’re a penny pusher like me and want to still get your money’s worth, hit the rest of your bucket to specific targets and go through your entire pre-shot routine on each.