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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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Equipment

Should you be using a blade or mallet putter?

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‘Should I use a blade or mallet putter?’ It’s a frequent question, and here we will provide you with our essential guide to help you decide.

Blade vs Mallet: Which style suits you?

As far as golf equipment goes, your putter may be the most critical item in your bag. That’s why it’s crucial to know the key features of both blade and mallet putters and what they are designed to provide so that you can closely identify which style of putter your stroke and game require to help you lower your scores.

Blade Putter

Scotty Cameron Blade Putter

The traditional blade putter features a sweet spot positioned closer to the heel and designed to offer maximum feel to golfers on the greens

A blade putter contains a traditional head shape and is a favorite amongst golf ‘purists’. Blade putters are heavily toe-weighted with a sweet spot positioned closer toward the heel. This sweet spot position is because the shaft connects to the club head of the blade at the heel or sometimes center of the blade. This heavy toe-weighting and heel sweet spot means that blade putters will typically suit players who have an arc in their putting stroke.

Mallet Putter

TaylorMade mallet putter

A mallet style putter gives players stability and balance in their stroke.

The more modern style mallet putter is a flat-stick with a larger head. The heads come in various shapes and sizes, and because of the size, a lot of the weight is often distributed away from the clubface so that players find plenty of stability and balance in their stroke. 

The ‘game improvement’ style of the mallet putter means that the larger sweet spot will help players who struggle to strike the ball directly in the center of the face, and the added weight in the clubhead is designed to prevent the putter twisting during the stroke.

Mallet putters also offer additional aid when it comes to alignment, offering more prominent features than a blade such as longer or added lines and can also benefit golfers who struggle to hit putts hard enough due to its heavier weight.

Do pros prefer blade or mallet style putters?

With the 2020 season in the books, we can take a look at who were the top-10 performers in the Strokes Gained: Putting department for 2020 and see what style of putter they used:

  1. Denny McCarthy: Scotty Cameron Tour-Only FastbackMallet
  2. Matthew Fitzpatrick: Yes C-Groove Tracy IIBlade
  3. Andrew Putnam: Odyssey White Hot RX No. 5Mallet
  4. Kristoffer Ventura: Scotty Cameron NewportBlade
  5. Kevin Na: Odyssey Toulon MadisonBlade
  6. Matt Kuchar: Bettinardi Kuchar Model 1Blade (Wide)
  7. Ian Poulter: Odyssey Stroke Lab SevenMallet
  8. Mackenzie Hughes: Ping Scottsdale TR Piper C Mallet
  9. Maverick McNealy: Odyssey ToulonBlade
  10. Bryson DeChambeau: SIK Tour prototypeBlade

Blade style 60% vs Mallet style 40%

Should I use a blade or mallet putter?

Typically, this choice comes down to feel and stroke. Your stroke, just like the stroke of a professional, is unique, and your stroke will determine which style of putter will help you perform best on the greens. Like any other club in your bag, fitting and testing is a key element that shouldn’t be overlooked.

That being said, there are two prominent strokes and identifying which category you fall into can help identify where you fall in the Blade vs Mallet putter debate..

Square-to-square stroke vs Arced stroke

Square-to-square stroke

A square-to square stroke is when the putter face is lined up square to the target, and the stroke is straight back and through. If you possess a natural square-to-square stroke, you may be more suited to a mallet putter. The reason for this is that a mallet putter is face-balanced with the center of gravity positioned toward the back of the club meaning the club is designed to stay square to the putter path all the way through the stroke.

Arced stroke

An arced stroke is when the putter face will open and close relative to the target, and the stroke travels on a slight curve. Should you possess an arced stroke, then a blade putter may be more suited for you because of the natural toe-weighting of the blade-style putter.

Other factors to consider

Feel players will also usually opt for a blade-style putter, due to the desire to feel the way the ball reacts off the putter face which allows them to have more control over their putting and to gain confidence. Mallet putters make ‘feel’ less easy to attain due to the softer inserts on the clubface.

Don’t put aside the issue of aesthetics when considering the issue too. The look of a putter can inspire confidence, and each individual will feel different when placing either a blade or mallet-style putter behind the ball at address, so choosing a style which makes you feel comfortable is an important aspect to consider.

Hopefully, you’ve now got more knowledge as to how you can find the right putter shape for you and your stroke. At the end of the day, the right putter for you, whether it’s a blade or mallet, will be the one which helps and inspires you to make more putts.

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Podcasts

The Gear Dive: Back to show #1 with Larry Bobka: Tiger Woods’ irons myths and facts

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In this throwback episode of TGD brought to you by Titleist, Johnny and Larry Bobka chat Tiger, Duval, and Davis and put the Tiger’s irons rumors to bed once and for all.

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Opinion & Analysis

“There is no magic bullet in club fitting” – On Spec podcast

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On this week’s episode of the “On Spec” podcast on the GolfWRX radio network, the discussion was focused on all things club fitting and what it can and can’t do to help golfers.

One of the most important take-aways was about some of the misconceptions around how much a club fitting can help improve the results of a less than ideal swing.

“There is no magic bullet when it comes to fitting… It’s not to stop you from doing anything (in your golf swing) … But by going through a proper fitting, and process you can help reduce a miss (improving consitency)” 

You can listen to the full show below, the above quote starts at 41:38 

You can check out other episodes of On Spec, as well as the entire collection of shows on the GolfWRX Radio Network here: GolfWRX Radio on SoundCloud

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