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How much time do you really have to practice golf?

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Do you have the time you need to practice your golf?

I have had too many clients that come with the excuse, “I have no time with the golf training because of….” or “There are never enough hours in the day.”

Below, I have some statistics from SCB (Statistics Sweden) that shows the average time men and women, in the age span 20 to 64, spend on different facets such as labor, housework, personal needs, etc. I have only taken the statistics for workdays (Monday through Friday) because I think these days are toughest to find free time for practice.

Average women (Swedish) age 20-64 years, workdays:

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Average male (Swedish) age 20-64 years, workdays:

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These charts tell us that the average male and female have each day about four hours of “free time.” With four hours of free time, I think you can achieve a lot of quality golf practice. But in reality, most people will use their free time for activities other than sports. The research SCB did showed also what activities the general public spend their time on during the “free time,” see the statistics below:

Free Time Percentage Divided

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From this statistics we can easily see that most people use only 28 minutes per day for sports and 86 minutes watching TV. If you really want to be a better golfer, I would recommend changing your habits from watching TV to practicing golf instead. The only excuse to watch TV would be for the Masters at Augusta!

Of course, your day may differ from these statistics if you have children, are unemployed, a junior, etc. But the main thing is that you optimize your time for golf training if it’s important to you. The easiest way to do this is to monitor yourself on what activities you spend your time on. Then perhaps find some ways to get more time for golf. If you’d like to have a form to use for monitor your time, you can email me to receive it.

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Simon Selin PGA Club Professional in Sweden, extensive teaching experience coaching both amateur and professional-level golfers. Coached on the Ladies European Tour 2007-2010 TPI Certified Level 2 Golf Coach "Your swing should fit your body instead of your body to adapt to a type of a golf swing."

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Nick

    Aug 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    The Swedish life sounds awesome. I commute 2 hours (1 hour both ways), and work 9 hours. I have an hour lunch in that 9 hours that is sometimes work sometimes not, but rarely enought time to get to the course and back with much time especially if I’ll be sweating and need a change of clothes/shower. Best I can do is a bucket after work on a lit range and some hour long early morning practice sessions and rounds on the weekend.

  2. Brian

    Aug 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    When daylight permits, I play 9 holes at 7am every Tuesday and Thursday morning with 3 retirees (really solid golfers), including my father, then they continue playing 18, and I either head into work, or occasionally work from home. We usually play some form of a game to keep things interesting and moderately competitive. One evening a week I’ll play 3-4 holes once my son goes to bed, from 7:30pm-dark. I usually play devil’s golf, that is hit three balls, pick the worst shot, then play three balls from that location, and so on until the ball is holed. I try to play a full 18 every other weekend, usually 7am-10:30am so that I don’t feel like I’m neglecting my family, or occasionally a round with a more competitive crowd from 11am-4pm. I try to avoid the range unless I’m working on something specific with an instructor or warming up, but I do occasionally hit 1-2 buckets at the range and/or short game area on weekends that I’m not playing. I typically sign up for a six lesson package with my instructor every year, and take about one lesson a month during the season. I usually sign up for 3 events at my club (Club Championship, Member Member, and Member Guest), and 2 state am events every year.

    There are a few things that make this routine possible, and if any one of these things wasn’t true, I’d play significantly less golf.

    1) I have an amazing wife who supports my habit.

    2) I live in a golf course community. It takes me about 1 minute to walk to the club house, and 30 seconds to the 11th tee box.

    3) My wife is a stay at home Mom. Our son usually wakes up at 6am. I get him up, change diaper, and play with him for 30 minutes, then my wife wakes up and takes him on Tues. and Thurs. On other days, my wife doesn’t take him until 7am.

    4) My swing instructor is at a club about 10 minutes from my work, and he’s available during my lunch break, so it works out nicely for me to take an hour lunch break with a 30 minute lesson.

    This routine usually lasts from April-September, mainly due to daylight. I still play golf occasionally otherwise, but it’s not nearly as frequent or predictable.

  3. Chris

    Aug 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    According a book called the talent code approximately 10K hours or tens which ever-one came first. Interesting read. Most weekend golfs need to earn it like the ‘the chemist’ says. 4 hours is a great number and very doable. I still think amateurs still put to much effort into hitting it ‘long’ Get on the wedges and putting nothing like stuffing a 86 yard wedge into the pin.

  4. Corey

    Aug 4, 2013 at 6:49 am

    just setup one of those 6ft long, one cup, putting mats in front of the TV and do a little multi tasking

  5. Greg

    Aug 2, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Didn’t see “wrangling child” anywhere on there. That’s about 80% of my free time but i guess i could practice after i put him to bed at 830 till my 9 pm shower 🙂

  6. The Chemist

    Aug 2, 2013 at 8:27 am

    When I am playing my best golf I do this thing where I have to “earn my round”. By this I mean that for every 4 hours I practice I earn a round of golf. I’v found that I enjoyed golfing more because I was hitting good solid shots and making more birdies.

  7. Paul

    Aug 1, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    my practice is playing at 5:45 in the morning and taking my sweet time. replaying shots to learn and taking 3-5 shots from a bunker then moving to the next hole. when things get serious with friends then im ready to play.

  8. yo!

    Aug 1, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    i play about one round every 2 weeks, no practice in between
    im happy with shooting in the low 80s
    to break 80 would require way too much practice and not worth it especially since golf is just a hobby

  9. Rod

    Aug 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Either this info is Swedish specific or grossly inaccurate. Most Americans spend over and hour commuting to and from work every day. If you work a 6.5 hour day chances are you can’t afford to play golf. When you think you have this tight of control on your schedule, life will teach you otherwise.

  10. MWS92

    Aug 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Would be interesting to see this for Americans. Pretty sure most people are at work a lot longer than 6.5 hours a day M-F. Whether or not they are actually doing work while there is irrelevant – they aren’t at a golf course or practice facility.

    • tocino

      Aug 1, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      I think the 6.5 hours is for actual labor. If you work a traditional 9-5 job, you have anywhere from a 30 min to hour lunch with 2 15 minute breaks and whatever other distractions that may occur during the work day that have nothing to do with actual “work” (i.e. water cooler talk, hitting on the hot admin assistant, bathroom breaks, etc…). In fact according to the stats i track for my phone reps, they really only work for 6 to 6.25 hours

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Opinion & Analysis

Top 5 wedges of all time

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Wedges. They are the “trusted old friends” in our golf bags. They inspire confidence inside of 100 yards and help us get back on track when we hit a wayward approach.

There was a time not too long ago when a bunker was considered a true hazard, but over the last 80 years, as agronomy has evolved on the same trajectory as club an ball technology, wedges have changed a great deal along the way—from the first modern prototype wedge built by Gene Sarazen to clubs featuring various plating and coatings to increase spin and performance. There are a lot of wedge designs that have stood the test of time; their sole grinds, profiles from address, and performance bring back memories of great hole outs and recovery shots.

With so many variations of wedges in the history of golf (and so much parity), this is my top five list (in no particular order) of the most iconic wedges in golf history.

Original Gene Sarazen Wedge

An early Gene Sarazen wedge. (Photo: USGA)

Gene is famous for a lot of things: the career grand slam, the longest endorsement deal in professional sports history (75 years as a Wilson ambassador), the “shot heard around the world”, and as mentioned earlier—the creation of the modern sand wedge. Although not credited with the invention of the original  “sand wedge” he 100 percent created the modern wedge with a steel shaft and higher bounce. A creation that developed from soldering mass to the sole and flange of what would be our modern-day pitching wedge. Born from the idea of a plane wing, thanks to a trip taken with Howard Hughes, we can all thank Mr. Sarazen for the help with the short shots around the green.

Wilson R90

The next evolution of the original Sarazen Design, the Wilson R90 was the very first mass-marketed sand wedge. Its design characteristics can still be seen in the profile of some modern wedges. Although many might not be as familiar with the R90, you would almost certainly recognize the shape, since it was very often copied by other manufacturers, in their wedge lines.

The R90 features a very rounded profile, high amount of offset, and a great deal of bounce in the middle of the sole, with very little camber. Although not as versatile as modern wedges because of the reduced curve from heel to toe, the R90 is still a force to be reckoned with in the sand.

Cleveland 588

You know a name and design are classic when a company chooses to use the original notation more than 30 years after its initial release. The 588 was introduced as Cleveland’s fifth wedge design and came to market in 1988—which is how it got its name. Wedges were never the same after.

The brainchild of Roger Cleveland, the 588 was made from 8620 carbon steel—which patinad over time. Not unlike the Wilson before it, the 588 had a very traditional rounded shape with a higher toe and round leading edge. The other part of the design that created such versatility was the V-Sole (No, not the same as the Current Srixon), that offers a lot more heel relief to lower the leading edge as the face was opened up—this was the birth of the modern wedge grind.

Titleist Vokey Spin Milled

The wedge that launched the Vokey brand into the stratosphere. Spin-milled faces changed the way golfers look at face technology in their scoring clubs. From a humble club builder to a wedge guru, Bob Vokey has been around golf and the short game for a long time. The crazy thing about the Bob Vokey story is that it all started with one question: “who wants to lead the wedge team?” That was all it took to get him from shaping Titleist woods to working with the world’s best players to create high-performance short game tools.

Honorable mentions for design goes to the first 200 and 400 series wedge, which caught golfers’ eyes with their teardrop shape—much like the Cleveland 588 before it.

Ping Eye 2 Plus

What can you say? The unique wedge design that other OEMs continue to draw inspiration from it 30 years after its original conception. The Eye 2+ wedge was spawned from what is undoubtedly the most popular iron design of all time, which went through many iterations during its 10 years on the market—a lifecycle that is completely unheard of in today’s world of modern equipment.

A pre-worn sole, huge amount of heel and toe radius, and a face that screams “you can’t miss,” the true beauty comes from the way the hosel transitions into the head, which makes the club one of the most versatile of all time.

Check out my video below for more on why this wedge was so great.

Honorable mention: The Alien wedge

To this day, the Alien wedge is the number-one-selling single golf club of all time! Although I’m sure there aren’t a lot of people willing to admit to owning one, it did help a lot of golfer by simplifying the short game, especially bunker shots.

Its huge profile looked unorthodox, but by golly did it ever work! Designed to be played straight face and essentially slammed into the sand to help elevate the ball, the club did what it set out to do: get you out of the sand on the first try. You could say that it was inspired by the original Hogan “Sure-Out,” but along the way it has also inspired others to take up the baton in helping the regular high-handicap golfer get out of the sand—I’m looking at you XE1.

That’s my list, WRXers. What would you add? Let me know in the comments!

 

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The 19th Hole: Meet the world’s most expensive putter and the man behind it

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Host Michael Williams talks with Steve Sacks of Sacks Parente Golf about the idea and implementation of their revolutionary Series 39 blade putter. Also features PGA Professional Brian Sleeman of Santa Lucia Preserve (CA).

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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A day at the CP Women’s Open

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It’s another beautiful summer day in August. Just like any other pro-am at a professional tour event, amateurs are nervously warming up on the driving range and on the putting green next to their pros. As they make their way to the opening tees, they pose for their pictures, hear their names called, and watch their marque player stripe one down the fairway. But instead of walking up 50 yards to the “am tees,” they get to tee it up from where the pros play—because this is different: this is the LPGA Tour!

I’m just going to get right to it, if you haven’t been to an LPGA Tour event you NEED to GO! I’ve been to a lot of golf events as both a spectator and as media member, and I can say an LPGA Tour event is probably the most fun you can have watching professional golf.

The CP Women’s Open is one of the biggest non-majors in women’s golf. 96 of the top 100 players in the world are in the field, and attendance numbers for this stop on the schedule are some of the highest on tour. The 2019 edition it is being held at exclusive Magna Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario, which is about an hour north of downtown Toronto and designed by noted Canadian architect Doug Carrick. The defending Champion is none other than 21-year-old Canadian phenom Brooke Henderson, who won in emotional fashion last year.

From a fan’s perspective, there are some notable differences at an LPGA Tour event, and as a true “golf fan,” not just men’s golf fan, there are some big parts of the experience that I believe everyone can enjoy:

  • Access: It is certainly a refreshing and laidback vibe around the golf course. It’s easy to find great vantage points around the range and practice facility to watch the players go through their routines—a popular watching spot. Smaller infrastructure doesn’t mean a smaller footprint, and there is still a lot to see, plus with few large multi-story grandstands around some of the finishing holes, getting up close to watch shots is easier for everyone.
  • Relatability: This is a big one, and something I think most golfers don’t consider when they choose to watch professional golf. Just like with the men’s game there are obviously outliers when it comes to distance on the LPGA Tour but average distances are more in line with better club players than club players are to PGA Tour Pros. The game is less about power and more about placement. Watching players hit hybrids as accurately as wedges is amazing to watch. Every player from a scratch to a higher handicap can learn a great deal from watching the throwback style of actually hitting fairways and greens vs. modern bomb and gouge.
  • Crowds: (I don’t believe this is just a “Canadian Thing”) It was refreshing to spend an entire day on the course and never hear a “mashed potatoes” or “get in the hole” yelled on the tee of a par 5. The LPGA Tour offers an extremely family-friendly atmosphere, with a lot more young kids, especially young girls out to watch their idols play. This for me is a huge takeaway. So much of professional sports is focused on the men, and with that you often see crowds reflect that. As a father to a young daughter, if she decides to play golf, I love the fact that she can watch people like her play the game at a high level.

There is a lot of talk about the difference between men’s and women’s professional sports, but as far as “the product” goes, I believe that LPGA Tour offers one of the best in professional sports, including value. With a great forecast, a great course, and essentially every top player in the field, this week’s CP Women’s Open is destined to be another great event. If you get the chance to attend this or any LPGA Tour event, I can’t encourage you enough to go!

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