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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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The Gear Dive WITB Edition: Ping Tour rep Kenton Oates talks Viktor Hovland

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In this WITB Edition of The Gear Dive, Johnny chats with Ping Tour rep Kenton Oates on the ins and outs of Puerto Rico Open Champion Viktor Hovland’s golf bag.

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

They also cover Jim Wells Putters and the legendary Ping Eye 2 wedge.

Viktor Hovland WITB

Driver: Ping G410 LST (9 degrees @ 8.5; flat standard, CG shifter in draw)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Black 6.5 (44.5 inches, D3 swing weight)

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees @ 14.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Blue AV 85 TX

Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (21 degrees), Ping i210 (4-PW)
Shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-85 X Hybrid (21), KBS Tour 120 X (4-PW)

  • Standard length, .5 degrees flat, D2+

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 (50-SS, 56-SS @ 55, 60-TS)

  • 50SS (35.25 inches, 1-degree flat, D3, “Half Moon” Grind)
  • 56SS (35 inches, 1.5-degree flat, D3+)
  • 60TS (34.75 inches, 2-degrees flat, D4)

Shafts: KBS Tour-V 130 X

Putter: Ping PLD Prototype “Hovi”

  • 36″, 20-degree lie, 2.5-degree loft, stepped shaft

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride MCC White/Black 58R

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The Wedge Guy: Realistic expectations

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(Today’s post is one I actually wrote nearly eight years ago, but I’m using it to start a series about “thinking your way to better golf.” I hope you enjoy the next few weeks.)

One of the great regrets of my life is that I missed the fatherhood experience, never having had children of my own. As I get older, I find that I gravitate to the younger folks, and offer my help whenever I can, whether on the golf course, on the water fishing, or just life in general. One of my joys is working with younger kids on their golf. That includes instruction, of course, but what I think is more important for them in the developmental stages is to learn to manage
their expectations. Actually, we all could benefit from that bit of advice.

On Sunday, I had the joy of playing with the 16-year-old son of one of our partners at SCOR Golf. Kyle is a tremendously talented young man who I’ve worked with quite a bit, but he really hasn’t committed himself to golf yet. I’m talking about the kind of commitment that keeps him working hard at it as long as there is daylight. He might not ever get that, and that’s OK, but he hasn’t figured out yet that your expectations can only rise from your achievements, and not from your desires.

On a core level, Kyle has great strength but hasn’t learned to harness it yet. He wants to choose his clubs based on his maximum distance with that club—if everything falls exactly into place. Like most golfers, and especially young ones,
he’s enamored with the power game. When we play, I show him that throttling back and controlling the shot is much more reliable.

What I discovered Sunday is that Kyle has very unrealistic expectations about what a round of golf should really be like. He, like most of us, expects all the shots to be struck solidly and fly like he imagined. So I explained that he hasn’t
earned the right to have such expectations yet. His scores average around 90-95 and his best ever is an 85.

So, here’s my point (finally)

Kyle was off to a good start with three pars and two bogeys in his first five holes. He kind of “fat-pulled” a 4-iron approach on a 200-plus yard par three. His shot left him only 10-15 yards short and left of the green, but he wheeled around, dropped his club and expressed his disgust with the shot. And I got on him about it. “What’s wrong with that? It’s a difficult par-3 with a 20 mph crosswind and you are in good position to get up and down or at least make no worse than bogey on one of the hardest holes on the course.”

I went on to explain that he was only two pars away from tying his best round ever, and if he just played for bogeys – and stay excited—he would probably make twice that many or more. And I seemed to get through to him of the reality
of golf, or his golf at least. He stayed in the moment, with only a little more cajoling from me, and shot an 86—one shot off his best ever! And I MADE him congratulate himself on his accomplishments. Instead of focusing on those few
shots that were bad, and the 2-3 doubles he made, I told him to focus on the good that came out of that round.

So, here’s my point (or points) for managing your expectations, too.

  1. If you are a low single-digit player, you’ll still only hit 2-3 shots a round just like you wanted.
  2. If you play to a 12 or higher, any shot that keeps you in the game isn’t really all that bad.
  3. Regardless of your skill level, there is no such thing as a “birdie hole” when you are standing on the tee. A “birdie hole” can only be claimed when you have executed an approach to makeable putt range.
  4. If you are a 12-15 handicap player, you only need to make 3-6 pars to beat your handicap, as long as you don’t chop up any holes. Bogeys are good scores unless you regularly shoot in the 70s!

So, the next time you are on the golf course, try to set and manage realistic expectations. Your golf will be better for it, and you’ll have a ton more fun.

NOTE: I read a great article this morning by Geoff Ogilvy about the quality of golf being played on the PGA Tour. It reflects what I’ve often said about how the modern tour professional plays the game. Here it is.

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Mondays Off

Mondays Off: Does Viktor Hovland deserve a Masters invite for his win?

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Viktor Hovland won a side event in Puerto Rico against a limited field, so does he deserve the Masters invite? We can’t have a show without talking about Partick Reed. He got a huge win at the WGC Mexico and was it a revenge win against the media? Knudson was out on the range testing some new gear.

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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