The Best Things in Golf are Free

Yes, I know that the title is a little much, but give me a chance. This isn’t a touchy feely piece about how golf is good for your soul. This is a lesson about how you can get better at golf without emptying your pockets. In fact, it’s about how spending money is often counterproductive if you want to improve. Let me explain…

This Lesson Is For You If:

You want to improve your game
You’re sick of expensive training aids and lesson programs

Stop Wasting Money

We’re all familiar with the cheesy, formulaic infomercial. “Are you tired of (insert common problem)? Stop doing (thing that works but is hard/time consuming) and buy (insert product name)!” Why do they keep making that same commercial over and over? Because it works!

There is no easier way to make money than to sell people quick fixes. But here’s the thing: quick fixes don’t work. If they did, everyone would be fixed.

Am I Being Hypocritical?

“But Matt, you review tons of training aids and other stuff that costs money!”
Yes, I do. In fact, I have a training aid review coming out tomorrow. And I’ve given my seal of approval to numerous training aids and instructors and books, and will continue to do so. But I’ve never promised anyone a quick fix.
My point in writing this lesson is twofold. First, to tell you that buying a thing is not what will make you better. There are great lessons, books, and trainers out there, but owning them isn’t what makes you improve. Putting in work is what makes you better. My second goal is to break golfers out of the mindset that improvement necessarily costs money. If you’re reading this article, you have the tools to improve your game. Here’s how:

Free Ways to Improve



I know I just lost a lot of readers with this one. Oh well. As Morpheus told Neo, “Most people are not ready to be unplugged.”
If you want to get better at golf, you need to practice. That might be putting, hitting balls at the range, slow motion drills in a mirror, or chipping in your yard. Spending time on the putting green or short game area is free at every course I know of. Hitting balls costs money, but there’s no law against hanging out on the range and hitting the balls people leave behind. A pack of limited-flight balls costs a few dollars but you can hit them back and forth in a park for an entire summer. If you want to put the work in, there are options available to you.


Golf is loaded with outstanding books about improving your game. While I don’t recommend diving neck-deep into books on swing theory – you’ll end up being pulled in fifteen directions – you can get a lot out of books on the mental game. Anything by Dr. Bob Rotella or the Vision 54 team would be a wonderful place to start. You can also look into books on strategy and scoring such as Lowest Score Wins and Every Shot Counts.
The links above are Amazon affiliate links, but if you want to stick strictly to the concept of free, get the books from your public library.


This is unquestionably the number one untapped resource for golf improvement. We all know that golf is a mental game, but very few of us train our mind. Take five minutes a day to work on breathing and being present. You’ll see the effects on the course and throughout your life.
If you want to go a step further, visualize your performance on the course. If you can visualize intensely, there is no difference between imagining an experience and actually having it, because, to quote Morpheus again, “Your mind makes it real.” Smell the grass. Feel the club in your hands. Sense the excitement of the moment, and see yourself pulling off the big shot. When that opportunity arises on the course, you’ll be better prepared because your mind will have already lived it, and succeeded.

Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He’s worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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