Luke Kerr-Dineen

23 August 2021

Keep it simple during the tournament weeks.

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The newly minted GOLF Top 100 teacher Justin Parsons acts as swing coach for Louis Oosthuizen, Harris English and Brian Harman, among others. Needless to say, he’s had a pretty good season.

He’s also a really good follower on Instagram – you can follow him right here – because he’s full of practical advice. On Monday when he was traveling to the next FedEx Cup event in Caves Valley, Maryland, he quickly shared some interesting and helpful advice via an Instagram question and answer. A quick recap is below, and again, check it out right here on Instagram.

1. Keep it simple when you play

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

2. Ball flight and body

The ball is not lying and is the most important thing in golf. Amateurs tend to focus on things that are just a step away from what the golf ball is doing. Pros, says Parsons, stay laser-focused. Study what the ball is doing and work backwards from there.

3. Get fit, juniors

This last point is particularly important. When you’re a junior, your body and swing change quickly. Having clubs that don’t suit you can lead to bad habits that can take a lifetime to break down.

4. Play to win

Some interesting insights here that you can only get from a coach who spends so much time flipping players within the ropes. Forget the event before you. Play to win.

5. Short game, awareness, patience

Notice that two of the qualities Parsons mentions here are mental? Golf is primarily a game between the ears.

6. Closer to eliminate premature renewal

As we mentioned earlier, it can often work wonders for golfers who tend to extend early.

7. Beware of the driving range

As Parsons recently said on an episode of Claude Harmon III’s Off Course podcast, the driving range can be a dangerous place for golfers to go. If you change your swing, you won’t be on the range all day. Play around with it and practice your move in various ways when you can’t.

8. 5-6 hours

Attention, junior golfers. If you want to go on tour, you have to put the work into it.

9. Work during the non-working weeks

Louis Oosthuizen is the prime example of a player who excels at the biggest events. As? Because of what Parsons said earlier, keep it simple during tournament weeks and organize your schedule so that you work on any technique changes in the weeks in between.

10. Posture changes

An interesting and important note to conclude, while there is generally a standard way to adjust the golf ball, it all depends on what your unique body can and cannot do. Golf is not a universal sport. A good coach will find out what works best for you.

1. Keep it simple when you play 2. Ball flight and body 3. Get fit, juniors 4. Play to win 5. Short game, awareness, patience 6. Closer to avoid early overtime 7. Beware of the driving range 8. 5-6 hours 9. Work in the non-working weeks 10. Changes in posture

Luke Kerr-Dineen contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor for GOLF Magazine and In his role, he oversees all of the brand’s service journalism in the areas of teaching, equipment, health and fitness on 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 put them at number 1 on the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to do his Masters in Journalism from Columbia University and was named in 2017 “Rising Star” of the News Media Alliance. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek, and The Daily Beast.