What is practical golfing? My Manifesto of Gulf Improvement

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Recently I listened to Annika Sorenstam who describes what made her such a great golfer. What struck me the most was that her comments about golf are like a puzzle. Annika says to be successful, every golfer has to find out which unique pieces fit into his own game. It's not about taking other people's pieces, like their swing mechanics, but going on your journey instead to see what will be right for you.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, she believes that there are endless combinations to make every golfer's puzzle work.

Since I started Practical Golf four years ago, my primary goal is to help you all to make the puzzle pieces fit. In this article, I want to address some of my most important philosophies. Think of it as my manifesto. For those of you who are new to the site, this is a great introduction. If you have been reading for a while, here is the "whole enchilada" in case you have missed something.

In general, I hope that Practical Golf can be your golf coach. This website is not an instruction location, where I talk about the operation of the golf swing. Instead, it is a tool that helps you learn how to play this game more effectively and have fun.

Why Golfers have been led astray

I believe that the majority of golfers have focused on the wrong things for many reasons. The industry has decided that sales equipment and an endless range of sway tips is the best way to market themselves. What once were different magazines that spread the information are now hundreds of thousands of videos & articles on different websites and YouTube. Moreover, golfers of all levels will share this information in a dangerous game of telephone.

There is more information than ever about the golf swing. Do not get me wrong; there is a lot of knowledge and expertise available – the problem is relevant . If you are looking for swing fixes, there are so many voices and philosophies to choose from. But which fit well with your learning style and swing inclinations?

On top of that there are equipment companies, training tools and many other products that promise the quick solution for your game.

I believe they are all ignoring the right path to improvement. That is why I started Practical Golf. I want to give you the straight story.

I want to guide you through various subjects that are the cornerstones of my philosophy. My goal is to give you new ideas and you can explore them further in related articles that I will link to. Improving as a golfer is usually about self-discovery; I want to help you go in the right direction!

Managing expectations

Your expectations largely determine your experience in this game. This is a fundamental part of golf that you should have good, otherwise nothing else can fit. Unfortunately, expectation management is part of golf that is rarely taught, and for golfers like me, you learn through a lot of pain and frustration.

The expectations come in different forms. Some golfers think they are entitled to lower scores, but do not understand what kind of work they need to do to get them. Other golfers have a completely distorted sense of what a good or bad shot is for their skill level. Often viewing the highlight roles of professionals on TV is the main culprit.

The only thing I know for sure is that your luck and performance as a golfer are mainly determined by how well (or badly) your perspective can be maintained.

As you know, golf is a challenge. Each player must shape his or her unique relationship with the game to be successful. Some golfers try to lower their handicap and compete. For others it does not have to be that serious. Be that as it may, if you do not have a clear idea of ​​what you want from golf, the game can be a way to torture you.

Expectations are a subject that I discuss again and again, because it is so important for your happiness and performance on the course.

Related articles:

The 2/3 rule and what it means for your game

What is considered a good golf shoot?

The formula for golf luck

How PGA lap times can give you a game perspective


I am convinced that the majority of golfers are able to score lower scores with their existing swings. That does not mean that the swing is not important, or that you do not have to work on improving it. The key is to be as efficient as possible with your technique, and your decision-making about the course is a way to do that.

Strategy or course management exists in different forms. It is a combination of evaluating the architecture of the course and choosing suitable goals based on your skills. Whether it's a tee-shot, approach shot, recovery shot or putting green – your decisions will affect your score.

Many golfers approach the course without any plan. Moreover, players choose goals and club selections that are unnecessarily aggressive, or in some cases too conservative. It is one of the main reasons why golfers are plagued by double bogeys (or worse).

If you can learn the right strategy for your game, follow the course with a plan and have the discipline to stick to it, I can almost guarantee that your scores will drop . Strategy is one of the most important topics on this website and I have a multitude of articles that can help. You can also sign up for our newsletter to receive my e-book on course management.

Related articles:

Double Bogey Avoidance – The key to a successful wave

Stop making Birdies

Fat Side Wins – A simple strategy to lower your scores

Studying a course before you play

Making smart decisions regarding tee-shot

Stop aiming at the pin!

DECADE wave overview


The appearance of the driving range or practice facility during your course does not entitle you to become a better golfer. For years I made the mistake of believing that hitting hundreds of golf balls would lower my scores.

The main ingredient that I missed (and many others) is with a purpose . It is not necessary to work harder; it's about working smarter.

99.9% of golfers play this game recreational. We do not have unlimited time to practice because of work, family obligations and many other things in life that stand in the way of golf. What time we also have to practice, must be spent efficiently, if we want to see results.

Generally speaking, I think that the practice should be spent on working on technology, building skills and challenging yourself. Regardless of what you're working on, every photo should have some meaning . Numerous golfers show up in the range and start to rummage balls time and again with the same club, and not even think about a target. That is not the way golf is played on the track, and if you fall victim to these kinds of exercises, you would not expect to improve much.

There are many ways in which you can give your practice more meaning. Arranging objects randomly, playing games, using skills-based exercises or working on technical problems in your swing are a few ways to get it done.

Practice is another topic that I have spent a lot of time on Practical Golf, and I have discovered a number of sources outside the site that I think can help. My friend Adam Young is one of the best sources in this field – I highly recommend his book The Practice Manual or his online course The Strike Plan. We also have an extensive library of practice games and videos for our practical golf inspectors.

Here are other articles I wrote about the practice on the site:

Your practice sessions probably miss this

The 20/20/20 practice session

How I practice with the SkyTrak start monitor

The complete guide for maximizing the distance of the driver

5 games to improve your golf skills

The spiritual game

You have probably heard all the clichés that are there when it comes to the mental game. Yes, golf is a game that & # 39; in between the ears & # 39; is being played. However, this is the most difficult subject to quantify, because we can not (yet) enter the brains of every golfer and see what is going on.

I can tell you from personal experience that working actively on your mental game is a necessary part to become a better golfer. Controlling your negative emotions, having a mental routine for every shot, grit and staying positive are all skills that need to be worked on consciously.

Do not forget why you are there in the first place … to have fun! This simple realization has evaded me for years. I took the game too seriously and lost the reason why I played the game. If more golfers could concentrate on enjoying themselves, many other problems with golf would take care of themselves.

Here is a reservation that I would add. You can never fully control your mind on the golf course, it is impossible. You will become angry, frustrated, nervous and anxious. Every golfer on this planet goes through this, even the pros. If you can respond better to these emotions step by step, I believe you will see progress.

If you like books, I believe that Dr. Bob Rotella offers some of the best mental game advice available.

Related articles:

The true force in wave comes from letting go

3 ways to save a round that does not go well

Make this one commitment and your game will flourish

Can a pre-shot routine lower your scores

5 reasons why you should never give up your round

5 mental mistakes that you should never make

Golf clubs and other products

Since I started Practical Golf, I have reviewed hundreds of products in almost every category: equipment, training tools, clothing and technology. I have also learned a lot about the golf industry and the truth about whether or not to help your game.

Here are a few pearls of wisdom that I can tell you:

There is no such thing as the right golf club for every player. Every major OEM now makes high-quality equipment, but is not the victim of their marketing claims. Your best chance to find the right mix of equipment for your game is to work with a professional club fitter who is brand conscious. By tailoring clubs for your swing, you can become better (do not expect magic).
Many training tools are messy. There are few that I recommend for all players. This article covers the subject more and lists products that I recommend.
Keeping track of your statistics is a great way to measure your progress and see which parts of your game need help. There are several products available that can help you automate the process for you and offer a great analytical insight. Here are a few that I recommend.
If you have a sort of remote measuring device on the track, you can make smarter strategic decisions. For most golfers I recommend a GPS, but distance meters are also very useful. The costs have dropped dramatically in both categories in recent years and you can buy a lot of products for less than $ 90- $ 200. If you like to use a smartphone on the job, there are also a lot of free apps.
Launch monitors can be great practice partners. I have been using a SkyTrak launch monitor for more than a year now. There is also an emerging market of affordable products with a price of $ 500 and lower than that of your practice sessions.

Technique and your swing

I do not want to minimize the importance of technology and your golf swing. However, it is not something that I discuss on the site, because the swing of each golfer is unique and requires different solutions. If you want the best opportunities to improve, I think you should seek professional help.

Cruising YouTube (or elsewhere) for swimming tips can work for some golfers, but the problem is continuity . Each instructor has his style and views on the golf swing. If you start watching videos from multiple teachers, you probably get conflicting information. I do not believe that you will be able to make meaningful changes or self-confident fluctuations on the course with multiple voices in your head.

If you are not satisfied with your current swing and want to improve, I think it makes sense to take lessons. An instructor can give you a customized plan to improve, and if you stick to that plan, your chances of success are much greater.

Related articles:

Why you should consider taking lessons

Do you have to buy new equipment or attend classes?

Working efficiently with your swing coach

Preparing for your next lesson


I have covered a lot! For those of you who are new to the site, or if you have been a reader for a while, I think this gives you an overview of what Practical Golf is all about.

Becoming a better and happier golfer is a unique journey for all of us. There is not one good answer for each of you, and I hope that various topics in this article will help you get ideas that you can work with.

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