The degree of your preparation will depend on your GOAL for the day. Some of
you will see the day as an opportunity to get out from behind the desk and into
the great outdoors. You will have little expectations of your golf game and
simply want to have a bit of fun.
Others will be eyeing off a trophy or two and will be taking their game a little
bit more seriously. Regardless of your goal for the day and your playing ability
I am sure you will enjoy the day a bit more if you can connect cleanly on a
shot or two. To do this requires some pre-round preparation as opposed to the
"grip it, rip it and hope for the best" approach.
All the top professionals have a ROUTINE they follow religiously before a round
of golf. This routine will be developed over many years and has the aim of getting
the player to the first tee knowing they are ready mentally, physically and
technically. You don't need to be as meticulous as the Pros but there are a
few things you can consider to get the most out of your day.
The Day Before
Know the Course
Pros will walk and play the course prior to the tournament to know what to
expect and to plan their strategy for each hole. You don't have the luxury of
doing this and you don't really need to for that matter. But you can visit the
course and obtain a hole-by-hole summary through the Find a Golf Course section
on the GOLFSelect web site.
If you haven't played for a while it may be worth digging the clubs out and
giving them a clean and to ensure all the clubs are in the bag. Many a player
has taken the putter out to practice on the carpet and forgotten to put it back.
Put the clubs in the car or at least in a place that will be visible as you
leave the house. Even the Pros have forgotten to take their clubs to the course
at least once.
On the Day
Know what time you are playing and leave more time than you think is necessary
to get there. If you are rushing to get to the course you will be rushing your
first few shots also.
Tips for Afternoon Players:
- Book in some free time prior to departure to allow for any unexpected business.
- To ensure you don't take your work with you to the course make a list of
people you need to contact and things you need to do before you leave the
- Use the journey to the course as an opportunity to leave the office stress
behind. Take the opportunity to do some deep breathing at any red lights and
listen to a favourite tape or CD.
There are three parts of your game you need to warm-up:
Here are two simple suggestions to help get the right feel and focus before
hitting any balls.
This drill involves doing practice swings without the ball varying your muscle
tension on a scale of 1 (very relaxed) up to 5 (tight). Start by doing 3 swings
at a level of 1 where it feels like you will almost let go of the club because
you are so relaxed.
Next do 3 more swings at a tension level of 5 where you are really gripping
the club tightly and feeling tension in your whole body. Continue this process
moving to a tension level of 2 then 4, and then finally to 3. For most people
this 3 level is ideal. Refer back to this 3 feel throughout the day if you lose
To ensure you have a narrow focus on the ball do more than just look at the
ball, actually pick a part of the ball to focus on, e.g., the logo, a dimple,
a dirt mark, or mark it with a texta. If you are looking at this mark then you
will definitely be keeping your eye on the ball.
Once you have completed the warm-up you are now ready to move to the first
tee and start your round.