Two years ago, at age 30, Dan McLaughlin quit his job as a commercial photographer in Portland, Oregon, hoping to become a pro golfer — despite never having played a full round of golf in his life. Since then he’s been learning to play, six hours a day, six days a week. His goal: cracking the PGA Tour by 2016.
1. A Game of Golf Begins Before You Hit Your First Ball
“For a long time, the first two holes of a round were my worst because I wasn’t mentally there yet. I found that if I sit down and visualize the first two holes, walking through them in my head, by the time I get up to the first tee, it feels like I’ve already played a couple of holes.”
2. If You Walk Slow, Swing Slow
“Base the tempo of your golf swing on the way you walk. If you’re a slow stroller, never in a hurry, you’ll probably have a nice slow swing. If you’re like me, overly excited, you probably have a faster swing. One’s not better than the other, but one will probably come more naturally. If you’re off-tempo, your swing will be out of sorts.”
3. It’s Not About How Good Your Gear Is, It’s Getting Your Gear Tuned
“All modern equipment’s good. The important thing is not which clubs you get, but getting them fit for your body type and your swing, to see where you’re making contact with the ball. If your clubs are too short, you can add inches to the club or bend them — every one degree you bend is about an inch on the club.”
This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Men’s Journal.