Instagram sensation Padraig Harrington: Every golfer should get to single figures


Padraig Harrington was a lockdown success story with his series of social media instruction videos. And there’s no sign of it ending

It was one of the best things to come out of the lockdown period, with tens of thousands of people tuning in each week for Padraig Harrington’s highly entertaining social media golf lessons.

The 2021 Ryder Cup captain, who has more than 65,000 Instagram followers, coaches golfers virtually on a variety of topics from putting, chipping, and driving, explains his motivation to help others improve.

“Golf is often misunderstood by the ‘weekend warrior’,” he tells the Open Podcast. “The person who plays once a week, the mid- to high-handicap golfer. I see these players every week in pro-ams. 

“I enjoy trying to work out over 18 holes why they are at the level they are at, and what I can do about it.”

Now lockdown restrictions have been eased, Harrington has no intention of canning his new side project. The Irishman believes no handicap milestone is unachievable. 

“Every golfer should be able to get to single figures,” he says. “I don’t think that is a difficult thing. It is incredibly difficult to become an elite golfer. 

“When I was growing up, if you got to a five handicap you were one of a few players, but it was really tough to get from five to one. You didn’t see any scratch players, there weren’t any around me as a junior player. Now, a lot of guys get down to that handicap. So plus-two, three, four is now considered elite. 

“Certainly to become elite or a pro is difficult, but getting to single figures is pretty much just about experience.”

Harrington is one of a number of pros, alongside the likes of Luke Donald and Nick Dougherty, who have embraced this modern method of remote golf tuition. And he’s even learned a thing or two himself.

“I have got to say I am not great on social media,” the three-time major champion admits. “I don’t want to make the videos really professional. I am just trying to be casual in showing people exactly what I would say to you if I was coaching you on the golf course.”

Padraig Harrington was talking on the Open Podcasts. Listen to the full episode below, on Apple Podcasts, or on the Open website.

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