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What You Can Learn From The World's Best Golfers

By: | Tue 26 Mar 2024

The guys who play golf on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour are the best in the world. They play a game that is entirely different from the one we experience.

In the main, they know a few things that perhaps we can adopt and learn from. Although it also has to be said that some of what they get up to on a golf course should be avoided like the plague.

Here, we look at what we can learn from watching the world’s best - and what we should ignore.

Lining Up a Putter From Every Possible Angle Doesn't Work

When you see the likes of Keegan Bradley walking endlessly round a green, getting over his ball, standing up and repeating the process all over again you can be certain of one thing - there is absolutely no possibility that he is going to hole the putt. Do not try this at home. The best putters in the sport are instinctive - they do everything by feel. And they do not take forever and a day to do it!

Don't Play From a Water Hazard

You really would think that top pros would know better but every year we see them trying to play miracle shots from the water. Rory McIlroy was the latest to try and fail in 2024. If you end up in the water, simply accept your punishment.


Before going anywhere near the first tee, top professionals head to the practice ground and hit balls with every club in the bag. They then go to the practice putting green and hit lots of putts from different distances. Your average club golfer turns up, hits three or four putts and then heads to the first tee - and promptly duffs his opening drive. The pros know what they are doing. Get yourself properly warmed up before hitting your opening drive.


If you are a regular golf watcher you will know that there are times when even the likes of Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland decide that discretion is the better part of valour. If you find yourself in the rough with a water hazard between you and the green, do not go for the career shot. Pull out a wedge, lay up and rest easy in the knowledge that the worst you are going to do is drop one shot. Go for the green and you could end up with a cricket score on your card.

Develop a Pre-Shot Routine

I apologise for bringing up Mr Bradley once again but….a pre-shot routine is a good thing. It should be the same routine every time. Perhaps one practice swing, a couple of waggles and a slight forward press to get you going. Bradley’s routine drives me to the edge of distraction and has me switching for the remote because he simply takes far too long. Have you heard of paralysis by analysis? People get in their own way. Don’t freeze over the ball. If you want to know how not to do it, take a look at Kevin Na from around 10 years ago. If you want to know exactly how to do it, Google a certain Brandt Snedeker, who has been timed at 12 seconds on EVERY shot he plays. 


One thing that all Tour pros have in common is that they hold their follow-through, and the reason they do so is because they swing within themselves. You can learn from this. Try to keep your swing smooth. If you want a mental picture to focus on, just imagine Ernie Els when he was in his prime. The South African was one of the game’s longest hitters but he always looked like he was swinging the club in slow motion. Do not swing yourself off your feet. Try to hold that follow-through. If you think you need a seven iron, try reaching for a six iron instead and take something off the shot. You may be surprised by the results.

Take It In Your Stride

Ask yourself if Tyrrell Hatton is a better golfer because of his temper tantrums than he would be if he took it all in his stride. My view is that the likes of Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland, Tommy Fleetwood and Xander Schauffele, who simply shrug off bad shots and move on, play the game the way it should be played. Smashing clubs into the ground, swearing loudly enough for TV commentators to have to consistently apologise cannot be right. And all of this probably applies even more to club golfers. Don’t lose your temper - you simply look like a spoilt child. And it is not going to improve your game!

Viktor Hovland

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

Looking The Part

Have you seen those trousers that Erik van Rooyen wears? To me, they look like they have shrunk in the wash. There is a fine line to be drawn between tour professionals who look immaculate and those who look, well, just plain ridiculous. I have a couple of tips - do not turn up dressed from head to toe in orange and do not turn up wearing no socks. If you are going to wear outrageous colours you had either be a) a very good player or b) somebody who makes it clear you are doing it for a bet. 

Stay In The Zone

We have all seen top golfers lose their focus on the course. And when they do, everything goes downhill fast. Look and learn! Concentrate on the task at hand - you will benefit from it.

Sun Protection

All tour golfers apply lots of sun lotion before they get out on the course. It is common sense - and you should be doing the same thing. You know it makes sense.

Custom Fitting

The world’s best golfers spend a great deal of time with club fitters, making sure that every club in the bag is tailor-made to their golf swing. You should take this on board and do the same thing. If you really have any thoughts of becoming a better golfer you should get yourself sorted out with custom-fitted clubs.


As good as they are, every Tour professional has a teacher, somebody they turn to when things go awry. Many of them go as far as having those teachers accompany them all around the world. Or, at the very least, have them on speed dial. If Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy need a swing coach, then so do you.


Tour golfers will never use a golf glove for more than one round. In fact, if the weather is wet or humid, they will change gloves during a round. Now I am not for one minute suggesting that you do the same. Rory McIlroy hasn’t paid for golf glove since he was about 16. But you definitely should change your glove on a regular basis.

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