FAQ: How do PGA Tour golfers practice?

The beyond-the-scenes work you don’t always see: players grinding for hours on the range. Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Through our readers and social media followers here at The Caddie Network, we often receive questions related to the caddie profession. We’ve collected the most frequently asked questions from our readers and followers and tasked actual PGA Tour caddies to serve up the answers based on their experiences. Here are the answers — from PGA Tour caddies — to the questions we most often receive from you.

The old adage, “if you want to be great at something, you’ve got to be willing to put in the work,” fits perfectly when you’re talking about players on the PGA Tour.

Sure — you see them hit great shot after great shot Thursday-Sunday each week in tournaments, but do you have any idea how much work they put in when the cameras aren’t there to hone those skills? Vijay Singh is legendary for the amount of time he puts in at the range. But there are so many others who put in the time as well. Sometimes it’s hours on the practice green, or hours of shots with just a sand wedge.

When a reader asked us how PGA Tour players practice, we turned to Eric Meller, longtime caddie for Jerry Kelly on both the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions for the answer.

How do PGA Tour golfers practice?

When it comes to practice, these guys work on everything.

Remember, this is their job, not a hobby. They are constantly working to improve weaknesses in any department. You will see any number of gadgets and aids on the putting green. Helping improve contact, rhythm, target lines, you name it. Analytics come in the form of portable Trackman devices that measure clubhead speed, ball speed, launch angles, ball spin numbers and carry distances, to name just a few.

These can be seen up and down the range that Tour players practice on. Often they will be accompanied by a swing coach. Video is a common practice tool as well. It’s often subtle changes that produce very different results. Video helps players to see those changes and also relate them to how they “feel” in different positions.

The total time put into practice varies from one pro to another. It’s safe to say all of them put in a lot of time practicing. I also believe most of them incorporate a balance of rest time, during which they won’t touch a club at all.

Do you have more caddie questions? We have more caddie answers. From “How do PGA Tour golfers warm up?” to “How much free stuff do you get and what’s a random expense that annoys you?,” our pros have you covered with loads of answers to these FAQs – just click here.

COMMENTS

  1. What basic steps do pros take to recover from injury? How do they manage pain such as elbow or other joints considering so much repetitive motion?

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