PRACTICE!! It’s that one word that’s always brought up when you want to become better at something. Practice makes perfect. We’ve all heard that once or twice in our lives before too. I’m not going to go on and on about how you need to
practice, practice, and then when your done practice some more. That’s a given everybody realizes that. Hard work, dedication, passion, all of these things you know already allow you to succeed and reward you with greatness. What I’d like to do is educate you on what else you can do to prepare for a tournament along side practicing.
Preparing mentally for a tournament, I believe is far more important than going on the driving range for five hours and beating balls until your hands bleed. You want to have a game plan going into your tournament, and you want everything set and ready to go before your tee time on the big day so that all you have to worry about is playing golf.
A good start to getting a game plan is to play a practice round at the course your tournament will be held. There’s a few ways to play a practice round. You can hit a lot of different shots on each hole to see where you want to be and where you don’t, or you can treat it like a real golf round. It’s all about being comfortable. If you are more comfortable making a lot of notes to yourself do that, if you just want to go out and play just to get a feel for the setup then do that. Ultimately your goal in a practice round is to feel prepared and ready for when it counts.
Some things that I have found helpful in preparing for a tournament are to write notes down for myself. Any kinds of little mental or statistical notes are helpful. I’ve written things down like: stay positive, make a good swing, keep your head down (believe it or not that always helps me). I’ve also written down distance notes: stay left on #3 or avoid the front left bunker on #12. These things mean so much because when your under pressure and become stressed out, you can refer back to the little notes you have, it has a calming affect. I don’t know about you but I play my best when I’m very calm and cool headed not worrying about anything.
The day before the tournament I like to get some little housekeeping chores together and prepared for the next day. Things like: food, water, yardage book, all my notes, clean my clubs, make sure I have enough golf balls, tees, gloves. That way all I need to do the next day is get to the course, and worry about playing some great golf. When you have all your essentials prepared and ready to go, I really encourage you to rest. Watch movies, take your mind off the tournament for a while, enjoy time with your friends. Also remember to put things into perspective and be realistic. Your upcoming golf tournament is supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to give you a rush that you become addicted to that you enjoy. If you stay positive and confident I guarantee you that not only will you have fun and want to play in more tournaments, but you will play well and there’s no better feeling in the world if your a golfer.