Preparing for your club’s championship

It’s May and we’re right in the middle of the major championship season on the professional circuits. For amateur golfers, the club championship is their major competition of the year. They circle this special date on their calendars and hope that all their hard work of the summer season will culminate with a few magical days on their home course.

Many club members seek the expertise of their PGA Professionals for year-round player development courses and programs, while others reserve the learning experience for the weeks leading up to their championship. club. The latter is often ill-advised, unlike working with your pro on a long-term regimen that assesses your needs, develops a plan, understands remedies for your shortcomings, and is put to the test on the golf course.

All last minute coaching sessions should focus on the mental game and the course management process. Full swing changes take time to become a regular part of your game – save that time for the off-season and non-tournament months.

Here are the top ten tips for preparing for your club championship:

  1. Don’t try to do too much – golf is an endless pursuit of perfection, so better than yesterday is always good enough.

  2. Work on your short game and putting – literally spend 75% of your practice time on and around the practice green.

  3. Use your beach training time wisely – random training tests you in the moment – block training provides the reps to build confidence.

  4. Hit the course – manage your time between the practice green, short game area, driving range and golf course.

  5. Develop routines – practice, pre-shoot, pre-round and post.

  6. Know the rules of golf – or at least know where to find them in the rule book. You don’t want to waste moves on reckless rule violations.

  7. Be good at course management – know when to take your medicine and when to grab and tear it.

  8. Sink every putt – there is no gimme in your club championship. Sink the one and two feet in your usual games as if it were the winning putt.

  9. Focus on fitness – eat well, stay hydrated, exercise, sleep and breathe.

  10. Plan ahead – none of these components happen on their own. Plan your practice. Plan your food and drink intake before the big event. Plan ahead to relieve the pressure once your name is announced on the first tee.

Don’t be fooled into thinking your weekly Sunday game is enough practice for your club championship. Recreational golf and tournament golf are most definitely two different things.

Real tournament preparation comes from putting yourself in pressure situations. This is where time on the course comes in. When practice on the course is not an option, you can create pressure situations on the range and practice area. Nothing beats the real thing, but paying attention to these details will be vital when you’re faced with that pressure on tournament day.

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