My friend Toko is the best golfer I’ve ever known. He ordered new graphite shafts from a mail order company in Texas and reshafted his clubs by himself. When you hear these two facts you may think that he was using state-of-the art, custom-made equipment.

Truth is, he played the ugliest set of sticks I’ve ever seen. The no-name club heads were all blackened and the paint had been scorched off. He used the kitchen range to heat the club heads to break the epoxy bond—until his wife caught him and chased him out onto the patio. He finished the job by starting a fire in the BBQ grill and poking the golf clubs through the cooking grate until the heads got hot enough that he could remove the old steel shafts. His wife said he looked like he was roasting metal hot dogs.

Toko consistently shot in the low 80s with these nameless, nearly cremated golf clubs. He regularly beat guys who teed off with drivers that cost more than Toko paid for his entire set of clubs. You see, Toko had three things going for him: skill, training and practice.

You can guess where this is headed. It’s important to have modern, enjoyable camera equipment, but STP—Skill, Training and Practice—are the three most important accessories you can possess. The three make a circle that strengthens itself as it grows. Get some training, practice what you learn and you will develop skill.