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CAN YOU PLAY LIKE THE PROS?

By Matt Keel
As a golf instructor, I am often approached by students for my opinion on certain things tour players do in their golf swings.  The next question I am asked is, “Is that something I should be doing?”  My answer is always, “Is that something you can do?”  Tour players are on the tour because they play golf at the highest level.  Although you may not be able to play golf like tour professionals, you can emulate tour players in several areas to play golf at YOUR highest level.  Improving your technique, practice, and physical fitness can go a long way toward playing golf at YOUR highest level.

Even on the professional tours there are no two golf swings that are exactly alike.  Everyone’s swing is individual to some extent and alike to some extent.  There are certain components of the golf swing we  must have in order to make good impact and hit the ball consistently.  Every tour professional incorporates these components into their swings.  Through golf lessons and learning anyone can create new habits with the necessary techniques to maximize results.  When we make swing changes, all we are doing is creating new habits.  Learning the necessary swing components will put you on the path to hitting more like a tour pro.

Another area where we can emulate tour pros is in our practice.  I’m not suggesting that you practice 8 hours each day, but you can probably practice a little more.  Increase your practice time by practicing at home and at the course.  You can accomplish quite a bit when you practice at home.  You can do drills and practice swings at home to help make your swing changes become new habits.  When you practice at home, practice a little each day.  It is more productive to do your drills or practice swings 15 to 20 times per day than it is to do them 100 times once per week.  You can also maximize your practice at the course.  When you are at the course, practice after your round of golf.  After each round, spend a little time practicing the area you struggled with the most on the course.  If you struggled off the tee, practice your driver.  If you putted poorly, practice your putting.  One habit common to tour players is to practice after their round.

A third area where we can emulate tour players is in their physical fitness.  Today, tour pros are athletes and have a physical capacity above most of us.  Again, I’m not suggesting you work out 8 hours each day, but just like practicing, we can do a little more.  Two areas you can improve to get better results are flexibility and nutrition.  As we age, flexibility is one of the first areas to decline.  Low flexibility results in lack of motion and an inability to execute the necessary movements of the golf swing.  I would recommend exploring a golf stretching program you can incorporate at home or in a class setting to improve your range of motion.  A second area that often gets overlooked is nutrition.  Good nutrition can aid in more energy and endurance.  Energy and endurance are necessary to finish the last 4 or 5 holes without getting too fatigued.  Nutritional supplements can often help fill your nutrition needs if you are not getting good nutrition from your diet.  Spend some time researching good nutritional supplements.  If you would like to know what I recommend for trainers or nutritional supplements, email me at the address below.

As we watch in awe tour pros making birdie after birdie in person or on TV, it’s clear that most of us will not reach that level of golf.  We can, however, reach OUR highest level of golf.  Tour players are where they are because they are the best.  However, there is much we can learn from them.  By emulating the critical components of the golf swing, practicing more like the pros, and getting into better physical condition you can play golf at YOUR highest level.

Matt Keel is the Director of Instructor at Wildfire Golf Club located at the JW Marriott at Desert Ridge.  For any questions or information about golf lessons, email Matt at Mattkeel@pga.com or visit the website www.Mattkeelgolf.com.