Friday, August 8, 2014

How do I get ready for a golf tournament?

Every time I have some tournaments coming up I get messages or emails asking me what I do before those 1 , 2 or more days tournaments.

Over the years I read many articles, books and also watched many videos about this matter. The entire issue sounds way more complicated than it really is. There is several basics which are definitely a must and are consistent with many professionals and to amateurs.

Note: Those actions are after you played any practice round. I am talking about the day, afternoon and evening before the competitive round of golf.

1. Get all equipment ready
2. Get clothing and back up clothing ready ( watch weather report)
3. Study yardage book if available ( google earth is certainly a good options as well)
4. Play the course in your mind before sleeping
5. Rest as much as possible the day before the weekend starts

In addition to those things there is all kinds of different ideas people have to get ready and it would be a book full of writings to cover them all. So I will go through the basics first and then add what I personally do on the day before play.

1. Get equipment ready

To me that is one of the easiest parts of the entire deal. Mine is pretty much always ready to go. But I check if all clubs are clean. Then I check my grips and make sure they are in order have no unwanted fat spots or so.

Next I put enough balls in the bag for the round. Usually I take 1 dozen of balls. I mark them all, so I do not have to do it on the course. Make sure you check the rules if you play the one ball rule. But most amateur tournaments do not.

2 fresh towels is what I attach to the bag. My cleaning tool and an extra brush for the clubs. I have a little bag with plenty of golf tees, pencils, markers and ball repair tools. Depending on the weather I put a rain cover for the bag in the side pocket. Attach the umbrella.

This is it. My bag is ready. Simple and fast. For the most part my bag looks like that at all times.

Last I make sure my pin seeker has a full battery and my GPS watch is fully loaded.

2. Clothing

My clothing I pick depending on the weather. So in the evening I put out two sets of clothing. One for hot weather without rain and one for hot weather with possible rain. I live in Florida and so I mostly do not prepare for cold weather unless it is winter time.

In addition I put out a couple bracelets which I wear to balance my ions etc.

Last thing is my hat, which I pick matching to my clothes. It may sound funny. But all has to match. If I do not feel good about what I am wearing it has a direct impact on my game.

3. Study yardage book

If I have one I go through it a couple times the night before the tournament. But it does depend on how good I know the course. There is many courses I know very well and I might or might not go through it. If I do not have one I use Google Earth to take a look at the course. I basically check distances and look at traps and water.

4. Play course in mind

When I go to bed I actually play the entire round in my mind. That includes all 18 holes. Every club I will use I picture. I picture every practice swing and the actual shot. Some times I go through alternate options. I only have positive outcomes in those rounds.

5. Get good rest

The day before the tournament I rest as much as I can. That does not mean I do not do anything. I work around the house, write and get little things done. But I keep it slow. I do not want to be exhausted or get a muscle ache. That would not make any sense.

There are days on which I meditate or listen to certain music. I do all kinds of things to get my mind in a positive and calm state.

That is it. There is not anything more to it. I do not work out like crazy or take all kinds of supplements. The key is to feel good. Feel good about yourself, your body and what you do on the day before playing.

If you fall asleep in a relax state of mind and your body is relaxed as well, there is a very good chance, that you wake up relaxed and in a positive state of mind.

Those above things I do and can control. Certainly I can not control what goes around me. However, I can control how I react to it and how I deal mentally with it.

So today I did what I just wrote and now I will do some additional work. I feel great. Rested well and my mind is in a positive state. Tomorrow I will play a track which I have played many times. So I know the course.

That is a huge benefit. There is not yardage guide. So I will look at it online. Just check some hole for distances and develop a little game plan.

What I game plan I will pick tomorrow morning I do not know yet. It depends on how I feel. I want to win , that is for sure. But the approach on the course I only know after hitting my first warm up shots.

Waterlefe CC is a tough track. Tight and lots of water. But I like it because you need to be accurate and length is not the issue here.

The challenge of this weekend is the Sunday round. There I play a course I have never played. So I will rely on Google Earth and my playing ability to navigate through this tournament. However, I will prepare myself just as I do today in all other aspects.

Colliers CC in Naples has another challenge. It is 2 hours away from my home. This is always a tough one. Driving and then trying to settle down, warm up and play a round in full focus. I did it many times and will do it again. It is not my favorite to do, but at this point of my career there is no other choice.

We will drive and play, travel and play, sleep less and play and so on and so on. On the good side , we will be able to be productive and talk about the round, the goal, other golf related and business related things. Very important to use this driving time. After all this is a business and time is money.

Next big thing I am working on: total balance. After watching Sergio Garcia changing over the past 18 months I know, that I need to be in balance. In balance with golf, business, relationship, family and friends. If I can accomplish that , I will have the same leap like Sergio had. Ok, now I really need to get into 5 :).

How do you get ready for a one day or two day tournament? Any suggestions? Any ideas? Really would like to get some comments here.

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