Every golfer can be single-digit handicap? Major winner thinks he knows a way

Padraig Harrington

Padraig Harrington hits a tee shot last week at the Cognizant Classic.

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You’ve seen the videos. (Or read about them. We’ve written about them — often.)

But if you haven’t yet taken a dive into the instruction treasure chest that makes up Padraig Harrington’s YouTube channel, Instagram account, Twitter feed or Facebook page, you must, if your aim is improvement. We’ll wait, though. You’ll be there for a while.

Good stuff, right? Harrington, who’s won three majors, captained a Ryder Cup team and performed countless other feats of golf wizardry over his 52 years, can perhaps lay claim to another title, one that he’s just as proud of: social-media sensation. This week, ahead of the Cologuard Classic on the PGA Tour Champions circuit, Harrington opened up on it all. He said he started recording various nuggets about four years ago, at the start of the Covid pandemic — and he didn’t stop. Harrington said he’d always been drawn to teaching, and posts were the perfect avenue for it. 

But they’re not frivolous, he said.      

In fact, he believed there’s a payout, should you pay attention.  

“I think I should be able to get every golfer in the whole wide world to a single-figure handicap,” Harrington said. 

“I think that’s a very reasonable goal.”

A notable exchange followed. 

The first question was perhaps obvious. 

Really? Single digits?

“Oh, yeah,” Harrington began. “It’s hard to be a scratch golfer, but to get to 9, it’s not that hard. When I say it’s not that hard, there’s some simple things you can do to get there and that’s what my videos are mainly focused on. I’m really just trying to help the weekend warrior get to a level where if you’re a single-figure golfer, you can walk into any clubhouse with your chest expanded. It’s a level of achievement.”

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Indeed. Did Harrington have an immediate fix for players? Some elevator advice?

He did. 

“When it comes to golf,” Harrington said, “people who come to golf, especially athletes who come to golf, they seem to have some crazy ideas about keeping your head still or keeping your head down or swinging slowly. God, they’re like 100 percent, I think. Won’t be 100 percent, but 99 percent of golfers would be better off doing the exact opposite of what they think would be better.

“Just swing away, that’s probably the best advice you could give. You’ll just get used to it and time it after that rather than to try and get good too quick, too early. We could talk about this all day.”

Many of us would listen, no doubt. Speaking of, what’s the feedback been like? 

“Yeah, all the time, all the time I get some great feedback, or one on one and personal,” Harrington said. “I’m sorry to say it is social media so you try not to read comments. I know my comments would be pretty positive, but still I think that can be — for the guys that get involved in social media, that can be the downside if you get too involved in what the feedback in the comments. So I have somebody else that goes through that and we kind of collate it.

“I love when people — it’s happening more and more when people come up to me and say they like my videos, it’s helping. One of the pros said it to me inside there, one of my fellow competitors said it’s really helped him.”


So what do fellow pros say?

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“Yeah, I was literally walking out the door, the pro said the step one is really helping him,” he said. “I just did a recent one with stepping in your swing, try and get the proper sequence in at the movements. Remember, I said movements. You don’t stay still when you’re swinging a golf club, you’ve got to move.

“Yeah, it’s nice when the pro, even though — I’m not trying to make these lessons for my fellow pros, I’m trying to make them, as I said, for beginners and people who are kind of stuck in the game, who aren’t improving and trying to get them across that threshold of, you know, being able to break 80, be a single-figure golfer.” 

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.

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