So the big tournament is on the horizon, eh? For many novice golfers, tournament day is one they relish. What better way to show other players that you mean business?
However, this isn't the case for everyone playing. There will be winners, and there will be losers.
Luckily, you don't have to find yourself on the wrong side of a round.
With a little planning ahead, you can make sure that your tournament day is a success.
In this blog post, we do just that. So buckle up, and get ready for the tournament of your life.
Make Practice Rounds A Must
You didn't actually believe that you were going to get away from your practice rounds, did you? Not regularly practicing your round is the fastest way to make a horrible showing at a tournament. The key to properly practicing isn't just playing the same course over and over, it's also practicing different shots. This way, you can be prepared for anything that comes at you on the big day.
Even if you are unable to make it to the course you'll be playing beforehand, try to find similar courses that will help you practice the same shots.
Or, as a last resort, even a home course can help you practice the different shots.
Time Spent On The Green Is A solid Investment
How much time can you say you spend on the practice green? If it's not a lot then chances are you're doing yourself an injustice.
The putting green is where you can really fine-tune all the smaller details of your game, like reading the break on different putts. You'd be surprised how much time this will save trying to make that same putt on the actual course. Plus, it is always important to remember that you can easily spend more than 50% of your time playing golf on the green.
So make sure you are taking the time to properly practice your putting skills, no matter how long it takes.
Provide The Right Fuel
You can't expect to perform at your best if your body is running on empty. So make sure you are fueling up with the right foods before a big tournament.
Eat a balanced breakfast consisting of protein, slow-digesting carbs, and fruit. This will ensure that your body has the energy it needs to perform.
Also, make sure that you stay hydrated throughout the day. Dehydration is one of the quickest ways to ruin a good round, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water before and during your tournament.
But what happens if you get hungry mid-round? Good question! And that's exactly why we formulated the Whole In One Bar; a highly nutritious real food bar to keep you powered up to take on the back nine.
Take The Day Before The Tourney Off
Do you remember when you were in college (or still are), how cramming too hard the night before was not a good idea? You would end up choking and not be able to recall the information.
Unfortunately, this same concept applies to golf tournaments as well. We know you want to make sure that your game is dialed into the tee, but it's important to not overdo it.
The key here is to practice just enough so that you are comfortable with all of your shots and clubs. And then take the day before the actual tournament off to allow your body to rest and your mind to relax.
It works for muscle memory the same way as it does for your brain, so don't be afraid to take it easy after you feel like you've done enough to prepare.
Slow Things Down On The Big Day
Again, high-pressure situations lead to choking up. So make sure you take the day of the tournament slow and don't rush around trying to have everything be "perfect".
Take a few moments to meditate, stretch, and do some light warm-up activities before you tee off. This will help you stay relaxed and focused throughout your round, as well as clear your head and keep you in the moment.
And most importantly, remember to have fun! After all, golf is a game and it should be enjoyable. So don't let any pressure get to you and make sure that you're having a good time out there.
Expect The Nerves; Don't Allow Them To Better You
Your nerves will get the better of you, especially if this is your first time playing in a tournament.
But remember that everyone gets jitters, even the pros. The important thing is to recognize this and not let it take over who you are as a golfer.
Take a few deep breaths when you start to feel too overwhelmed and focus on your game plan for each shot. Deep breathing techniques are one of the most effective ways of calming your body and mind down, so make sure you're taking the time to breathe.
Focusing on the moment will also help take away some of the nerves, as it forces you to concentrate on just one shot at a time.
Focus On Your Big Goal
When you're about to play a shot, you usually set a clear goal. But what about when it comes to an entire tournament?
It's important to have a goal for the overall tourney, as this will help you stay focused and motivated throughout. Maybe your goal is to break 80, or maybe it's to just make sure that your performance improved from your last tournament.
Whatever it is, make sure you are setting tangible goals and making a plan of action to get there. This will help you stay on track throughout the tournament and give you something to strive for. Good luck!
Plan For Setbacks
Can one bad shot derail your entire tournament? Unfortunately, yes.
But don't worry; there are ways to handle bad shots and still stay on track for the rest of the game. In fact, you MUST make a contingency plan for a bad shot situation. That way, you can get back on track quickly and not let it ruin your entire game.
Set up techniques such as visualization and positive self-talk that will help you to move past the mistake quickly and get back into the flow of the game.
You should also practice scenarios like this during practice rounds
By acknowledging your mistake, and not letting it throw your mental game off balance, you'll be able to recover quickly and make the most of your round.
Don't Let Adrenaline Ruin A Good Thing
Adrenaline could be a good thing, as it could help energize you and give you a boost of confidence, but it can also be your enemy if you let it take over too much.
If you find yourself feeling like your heart is racing and your thoughts are starting to be all over the place, try taking some deep breaths or doing some stretching exercises to help calm your body down.
The adrenaline rush can cause nerves as well, so try not to over-caffeinate too much before the tournament to avoid this.
Take The Time To Study The Course
Reading the green is an excellent first step to success, but it takes much more than that.
Study the course and make sure you familiarize yourself with each of the holes. Learn about the hazards, tee boxes, fairways, and greens. Knowing this information will give you a better idea of what to expect and how to approach each hole.
Also, make sure you look at where the pin is located for that day. It's always a good idea to know where you should be aiming for each shot.
Finally, practice playing the course multiple times before tournament day if possible. This will give you an opportunity to see how the wind and other elements affect your shots, as well as get used to any undulations on the green. Doing this will help you gain the confidence you need to play your best on tournament day, and if you're lucky- an unfair advantage!
Resist The Urge To Change Your Swing Or Anything Else Just Before The Big Day
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Wiser words have never been uttered in all of golf history. However, where golfers do get caught up is trying to make something good, even better. One of the most common faux pas golfers make is making swing changes right before a tournament.
It’s important to remember that it takes time and practice to perfect any new move or technique, and you will likely only end up frustrated if you try to change something right before the big event.
Focus on the things you have been working on in your practice sessions and have confidence that your game is ready for the tournament.
If you must adopt a new swing style, do so during the off-season when you have enough time to properly adjust and perfect it before tournament season.
A Positive Attitude And Mindset Always Wins
When it comes to golf, attitude is just as important as skill. Having the right mindset can help you stay positive and focused during your round.
Take some time to visualize what success looks like for you and remind yourself of the goals you have set. Remember to stay in the present moment instead of worrying about future shots or past mistakes.
Try to keep your composure even if things don't go as planned, and focus on the positive aspects of your game.
Finally, be sure you take time to enjoy the experience. Golf tournaments are meant to be enjoyed, so have fun and relish in the journey of competing!
Remember; nobody enjoys playing with someone who has a bad attitude, so make sure to be an uplifting presence for your group and fellow competitors.
Don't bring a knife to a gun show. Similarly, don't come to a golf tournament without the appropriate equipment.
Make sure you have all the necessary items such as tees, balls, divot tools, extra gloves, and enough club heads to get you through 18 holes.
Also, be sure to bring along some water and some snacks in case you need them. It's always better to be prepared than caught off guard.
Give Yourself Enough Time To Settle In
Don't be that guy. You know. The one who shows up to the tournament five minutes before tee time, ready to scramble and stress out all involved.
Show up early enough so that you have ample time to warm up, practice putting, and get some mental preparation in before your round.
The more relaxed you are when it comes time to tee off, the better your focus will be.
Having a game plan for the day and a strategy for each hole will also help you stay organized and calm.
Calm goes completely out the window if you don't allow yourself enough time to prepare for your round.
Tournament day can be a nerve-racking experience, but if you come prepared and have the right mindset, you will greatly increase your chances of success.
Be sure to get enough rest the night before and put your game face on when it comes time to tee off.
Above all else, try to use the opportunity to enhance your skills and gain invaluable experience from playing competitively.