LESSON PLAN: How to properly prepare for your next big match

If you find yourself heading to the golf course before a competitive round simply hoping for the best, it’s time you developed a game plan. Here are 5 things you need to know before teeing it up.

By Scott Heyn, PGA
By Scott Heyn, PGA

1) Develop a pre-round routine. The best players all have a routine before a round of golf. Some work out before, some stretch for hours. Many players putt first, then warm up on the range, while others work up a sweat on the range before rolling some putts. There is no right way for everyone. So how do you find the right way for yourself? Experiment. Try different routines. See how you feel before, during and after your round. I know Tiger has a routine that he believes in. Shouldn’t you?

2) Prepare for the chess match. This means spend time before you get to the course thinking about how you are going to play the course. Many times it is your home course and you can do this from memory; other times you may have to do some homework on the Internet and find a course guide. The key is to do this the day before the round. It must be done in a peaceful environment where you are not subject to the emotions or elements of the day. If you go in with a plan and a purpose, you have a chance to win.

3) Warm up, don’t practice. Before your round, make sure you know the difference between a warm-up and a practice session. Prior to the round it is important to feel what is going on for that day so you can make adjustments to your game plan. If you are slicing the ball on the range, plan on playing that shot around the course. You may not shoot your best round ever, but you will be able to shoot the best round you can with the swing you brought to the course that day. You don’t have time to fix your swing before a round. Look how long it has taken Tiger – and he has time and Sean Foley. What do you think you are going to do with a small bucket?

4) Have an itinerary. Any successful company will have an itinerary for each day so that its team stays on schedule and is as efficient as possible. Your round of golf should have one, too. Prior to the day of your round, make sure have an outline for the following day’s pre-round events. What time are you going to wake up? What is for breakfast? What time do you have to leave for the course? And how long do you have to warm up? Finally, make sure you can fit all of this in with a few minutes to spare so that you never feel rushed. This will help your mind will feel relaxed and prepared.

5) Be on time! Enough said.

Scott Heyn is the PGA General Manager at Black Gold Golf Club in Yorba Linda. Learn more at www.blackgoldgolf.com.

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