The topic for this post comes via a suggestion from my Assistant, Dennis Rysz. If you have a suggestion for an upcoming post, please leave it in the comments below or use the form on the contact me page. Dennis thought it would be a great idea to help golfers with how to properly prepare for a round of golf.
There is no perfect routine or step-by-step guide that must be followed. There is, however, a list of things that I feel you should do before a round of golf and a list of things you should not do before a round of golf.
- Do Inventory: I don’t mean check to see if you have all your clubs. Do you have water and a snack? Keeping hydrated and nourished during a round can mean the difference between a solid finish and a back nine collapse. Too often do I review players scorecards and watch them fall apart around the 14th hole. Although you aren’t running, golf is a sport and can be taxing on the body. This is especially evident on hot summer days.
Additionally, do a physical and mental inventory. Do I need to hit some balls at the range to loosen up? Would I feel better about my round if I hit a few putts before teeing off? Little things like this will go along way to ensuring you’re comfortable before heading to the tee.
2. Review Your Improvement Process: Are you working on anything in your swing? Are you making any changes? It’s critical to understand those adjustments before bringing them to the course. Nothing ruins a shot quicker than a change or doubt in “swing thought” right before you pull the trigger. Once you understand that change, it’s important how you apply it to your routine. My favorite procedure to handle this I credit to Vision 54 and their Think Box/Play Box approach. For more info, I recommend you pick up a copy of their book Every Shot Must Have a Purpose.
3. Be Happy: I can’t emphasize this point enough. Enjoy the fact that you’re at the golf course and are having a good time. It may sound cliche, but leave life’s distractions behind for a few hours. I guarantee your scores will reflect it.
- Show up Late: This one just drives me nuts. It’s almost inevitable that when I’m reviewing a player’s round and see they got off to a slow start that I discover they were running late or showed up just prior to their tee time. I recommend leaving yourself at minimum the time to complete all of the items on “The Do’s” list. Just because you arrive on time doesn’t guarantee you’ll play well, but it certainly won’t hurt.
- Hit Long Putts (Greater than 30 feet): How many of these putts do you plan on having during the round? For most players they don’t hit enough greens to face that many long putts and if they do hit a lot of greens they are skilled enough to hit them inside 30 feet. Putts from this length prior to the round hinder your ability to control speed and have any tempo to your stroke.
- Stress about the Pace of Play: I’ve yet to meet anyone who enjoys slow play, but it’s bound to happen. Don’t let it ruin your round and experience. If you followed “The Do’s” on this list, you should have a clear understanding of your process. Use the slow play to benefit your improvement, awarding you more time to rehearse the changes to your golf swing. Sometimes we’ve just got to make the best of a bad situation. Plus the golf staff will REALLY appreciate your understanding!
These guidelines are intended to benefit all players from the high-caliber competitive player to the beginner playing his first round. I guarantee by implementing these steps, you will have more fun and PLAY BETTER GOLF!
I’d love to hear from you…
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I’d love to hear some things you do or don’t do before a round, that help you play better. Use the comments section below to share your best pre-round routines.
*Disclosure: The above link recommending Every Shot Must Have a Purpose is an affiliate link. This means that I receive a small compensation if you purchase the product using that link. This book can also be purchased by doing a simple Google search.