10 simple pieces of golf advice from a top PGA Tour coach

golf balls on the range

Keep it simple during tournament weeks.

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Newly-minted GOLF Top 100 Teacher Justin Parsons doubles as swing coach to Louis Oosthuizen, Harris English and Brian Harman, among others. Needless to say, he’s having a pretty good season.

He’s also a really good follow on Instagram — you can follow him right here — because he’s full of handy pieces of advice. On Monday, while traveling down to the next FedEx Cup event at Caves Valley in Maryland, he was dishing out some interesting and helpful pieces of advice rapid-fire via an Instagram Q&A. A quick roundup is below, and once again, check him out directly on Instagram right here.

1. Keep it simple when you play

One of those intuitive pieces of advice that so often fall by the wayside when we actually put it into practice. There’s a time and place to work on your technique, Parsons says, and that time is not during a tournament week or before a round. Don’t underestimate the power of keeping it simple.

2. Ball flight and body

The ball doesn’t lie, and it’s the most important thing in golf. Amateurs tend to focus on things one-step removed from what the golf ball is doing. Pros, Parsons says, stay laser focused on it. Study what the ball is doing, then work backwards from there.

3. Get fit, juniors

That last point is especially important. When you’re a junior, your body and swing is changing rapidly. If you have clubs that don’t fit you, it can create bad habits that can take a lifetime to undo.

4. Play to win

Some interesting insight here that you can only get from a coach who spends so much time around tip players inside the ropes. Forget about the event in front of you. Play to win.

5. Short game, awareness, patience

Notice how two of the qualities Parsons mentions here are mental? Golf is first and foremost, a game played between the ears.

6. Closer to eliminate early extension

As we wrote about earlier, standing closer to the ball can often work wonders for those golfers who tend to early extend.

7. Beware the driving range

As Parsons said on a recent episode of Claude Harmon III’s Off Course podcast, the driving range can be a dangerous place for golfers. When you’re changing your swing, don’t stand on the range all day. Play with it, and practice your move in different ways when you can’t.

8. 5-6 hours

Take note, junior golfers. If you want to get to the tour, you have to put in the work.

9. Work in the off-weeks

Louis Oosthuizen is the prime example of a player who peaks in the biggest events. How? Because of what Parsons says earlier: Keep it simple during the tournament weeks, and organize your schedule so you’re working on any technique changes during the weeks in-between.

10. Posture changes

An interesting and important note to end on: While there’s a generally standard way to set up to the golf ball, it’s all relative to what your unique body can and can’t do. Golf is not a one-size-fits-all sport. A good coach will find what works best for you.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.