9 Things Tour Players Do That You Don't

Golf Monthly's Neil Tappin takes a look at nine things tour players do that you don't...

9 Things Tour Players Do That You Don't
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Not only have the top pros been blessed with a natural ability that allows them to do the unthinkable time and again, they also take care of the little things, making sure their job is as simple as it can be. In the video and article below, Neil Tappin takes a look at some of the things tour players do that you don't...

9 Things Tour Players Do That You Don't

1. Properly Warming Up

We all know how important a warm-up is but how many of us actually do it? How many of us also warm-up before heading to the range or practice ground? We guess not many. The pros warm up before they start hitting golf balls on the range. This means they don't waste a single shot or lose confidence hitting poor shots as they get loose.

2. 100-Yard Pitching Technique

The pros will rarely hit a flat-out pitch shot with their most lofted club in the bag mainly because it takes away some of their flight control. What the pros do is take a little bit of speed off the swing, which reduces the spin and flattens out the flight. So when required to hit a pitch a shot, it makes sense not to play to the limit of your speed. Take an extra club if you need to and keep the tempo nice and smooth.

3. Knowing Where They Cannot Miss

Another reason amateurs don't get better at golf comes down to strategy, or lack of. When plotting their route, the best players in the world are very good at knowing where they absolutely cannot hit the ball. This is how they keep the big scores off their cards. Identify where the big number comes from and then build a strategy that takes it out of play!

4. Start Lines When Putting

Louis Oosthuizen putting at The Open

Louis Oosthuizen, who ranked first for putting last season, uses a gate when practising to hone his start lines

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The pros are meticulous about making sure that when they are putting, they are starting the ball on the right line. They do so by using training aids and training techniques to make sure they aren't pulling or pushing putts and you can do the same with simple gate drills and aids. Learning how to practise putting will be an invaluable tool to add to any golfer's arsenal.

5. Understanding Your Game

Top pros performing at the highest level will all have a clear idea on what their strengths and weaknesses are, which gives them a framework for what to work on in practice and helps them make key strategy decisions in the heat of competition. Amateurs could do with understanding their games more and then implementing what they know into practice on the range and on the course.

6. Mental Game 

These days pros have a clear idea on how important the mental side of the game is because it controls everything and has an impact on performance on the course. The question is - are you doing work to try and improve your mental game? There are lots of things you can do to train yourself, such as pressure practice, performance practice and also looking at how you process a round of golf. Also, if your standards are too high, it might be worth considering why par doesn't matter and how it could be ruining your game.

Collin Morikawa hitting a fairway wood at Riviera

Working on your mental game will help you execute shots under pressure

(Image credit: Getty Images)

7. Visualising The Shot You Want To Play

Seeing the shot in your head is something the pros do on every single shot they are faced with, but amateurs rarely do this. Doing so can help narrow your focus and give you a clear idea on the shot you want to play. It can also be hugely beneficial to your game because it acts as a positive mental rehearsal for your shot.

8. Practising With Purpose

Going to the range and just hitting balls without any clear objective is pretty much a waste of time. The pros are very good at making sure their practice sessions have a point to them and a clear idea on what they are trying to achieve. Whether you want to stop slicing the driver or are just looking to improve your rhythm, don't hit balls away aimlessly. Additionally, performance practice can help create the same pressure situations that you experience out on the course too.

9. Cleaning Clubs

The pros clean their clubs after every shot they hit, not just the wedges. They know that anything trapped between the face and the ball will affect the outcome in terms of spin, distance, and so many other variables. And not only will learning how to clean your clubs before you hit help create a more reliable and consistent outcome, but it is also one of the best ways to ensure your gear lasts longer.

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X