Who Is He?
A three time major champion, a six time Ryder Cup player and a long term fixture on both the European and the PGA golf tours, Padraig Harrington is also known as one of the most likeable players on the circuit. His Irish charm and his relaxed demeanour on the golf course make him a firm fan's favourite.
He is also one of only a few major champions who have sought to completely rebuild their golf swings whilst playing the best golf of their lives. Other notable examples include Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.
What He Does
Harrington has worked hard in rebuilding his golf swing under the tutelage of Bob Torrance. He has strived to become a lot more connected with his golf swing by using the larger muscle groups more, and trying to reduce the influence of using his hands and arms. Torrance has also worked hard with Harrington to ensure that his legs are an active part of the golf swing and are helping him to provide a stable base for an active upper body.
A superb work ethic and tireless dedication to practice often sees Harrington completing nine hour practice sessions until he feels that his new moves are becoming more ingrained, so that when he plays, his new movements are reliable and repeatable.
What Can You Learn?
Harrington's commitment to improving his technique, even when many felt that he was playing the best golf of his life, is admirable. His coach Bob Torrance is quoted as saying "you must strive for perfection; you will never reach it but you must strive for it". Harrington is the epitome of the ethos.
If you can approach each practice session with a similar mindset to Harrington's, that is to say, that regardless of how you are playing currently, you can improve your technique and you can get better, then you should get the most out of every practice session.
What Should You Avoid?
Conversely, some analysts of the game have accused Harrington of tinkering when nothing was wrong. The old adage of 'if it isn't broken then don't try to fix it' could ring true for Harrington. Many golf analysts felt that he has never quite reached the highs of winning three major championships in a two year stretch because he has tried to change a swing that didn't need changing.