How To Prepare For A Golf Tournament


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Preparing for a golf tournament, as golf instruction explains, is one of the keys to playing your best golf. If you play in golf tournaments, develop a pre-tournament routine that prepares you for the day ahead.

One challenge when preparing for a tournament is time. You might not have much before teeing off, so make sure you get to the course early as possible. A pre-tournament routine gets the most of the time you have and lets you work on a lot of things in a short amount of time. Structure in practice is something that golf lessons preach anyway.

Many routines start with stretching. It warms you up. It helps prevent injuries. And it loosens the muscles. Many golf tips describe stretches you can incorporate into a sound stretching sequence.

Include stretches that focus on those muscles receiving the greatest stress during your swing. Target areas are your trunk, thighs, arms, shoulders, neck, and back. The sitting trunk rotation stretch and the shoulder-and-thigh stretch are two good stretches to include in your routine. These stretches may not lower your golf handicap, but they will help you avoid some common injuries as you get older.

A pre-tournament routine also includes time on a practice tee. Before hitting, take two or three clubs from your bag and swing them a few times, just as many golf tips suggest. This exercise warms you up and prepares your muscles before hitting a ball. Next, start hitting balls. Begin with a wedge to get a feel for your swing, then move to a mid-iron. Work on swing technique while you hit the wedge and mid-iron. Concentrate on your swing trigger, if you have one. Approach it the same way you would your golf lessons.

After a few minutes of working on your swing, start hitting the ball. Imagine yourself out on the course and in a specific situation. Use your pre-shot routine. Visualize each shot. And hit it as if the shot counted. Note the distances you hit each shot that day. Knowing how well you’re hitting a club helps during the tournament when it’s time to choose a club.

Select specific targets and try to hit them. It’s important to play target golf, even on the practice tee. In fact, play target golf whenever you hit a golf ball, unless you’re working on a specific swing fault. It helps you get the most out of each practice session, as many golf lessons explain.

Work on those shots that you might encounter during the tournament —punch shots, fades, and draws. Practice any type of shot that you think might help during the tournament. Hit a few of each. Use the same techniques emphasized in golf instruction manuals.

Finally, a good pre-tournament routine includes putting. The star drill helps you get the most out of your time on the tee. Find a hole on the practice green that has a slight slope to it. Then take five balls and spread them in a star pattern around the hole about 3 feet away. Practice putting from this distance. Them move the balls out to 4 feet, always keeping them in the star pattern.

By spreading the balls out in a star pattern, you get the most common putts you’ll face on the course. Pick out a target line. Visualize the ball going in before putting. Then putt the ball. Do it just the way golf lessons recommend. Also, try lagging a few long putts, just to get the feel for it. Spend about 15 or 20 minutes putting, if you have time. There are other drills you can use in place of the star drill. The key is finding one that works for you.

Golf lessons tell you to keep your head down when putting. Use your pre-tournament routine to work on keeping your head down on putts 5 feet or less. The earlier you look up on short putts, the more likely it is you’ll miss. Many professional golfers, including Nick Faldo, wait until they hear the sound of the ball hitting the bottom of the cup or know the ball has definitely missed the cup before looking up. It’s a good way to force yourself to keep your head down.

Another challenge when playing in a tournament is that you might be playing a course for the first time. If that’s the case, find someone who has played the course and ask him or her how it plays. Find out as much information about the course as you can. That knowledge will help you during the tournament. Actually, this is good advice anytime you play a new course. Good course management can help you lower your golf handicap.

Playing in golf tournaments is fun. It’s a chance to play different formats and different courses, ones you might not play otherwise. It’s also a chance to play against golfers with a variety of golf handicaps. To play your best golf, develop a pre-tournament routine and follow it the day of the event.


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