Clear Your Mind
Jack Nicklaus (AKA The Golden Bear), winner of 18 career major championships, once said: “Golf is 80% mental, 10% ability, 10% luck” — and he’s right. Try to clear any and all non-golf thoughts from your head and focus strictly on the game. I know this is easier said than done, however, this is an important component of maximizing your golfing potential.
Scout The Course
If possible, spend some time scouting the course on which the tournament will take place. Pay attention to the terrain, bunkers, trees, hazards, greens, and distances to holes. Knowing the gold course will give you the upper hand on tournament day.
You can also check to see if there’s a map of the course online. Some courses offer online digital maps, which can be printed to use as a reference tool when preparing for a tournament.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Head over to the local driving range and polish up your swing before the tournament. In addition to increasing your power/distance/control, this will also help to stretch all of your “golf muscles” and keep them in peak condition. Try to focus the bulk of your practice swings on holes which are similar to those at the tournament course.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
You can’t expect to play a golf tournament at 100% unless you get a good night’s rest. Sleep improves memory and cognitive function, regulates metabolism levels, improves reaction times, protects against cardiovascular disease, and gives your body the energy it needs to battle through 18 holes. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a minimum of 10 hours of sleep daily for “school-aged” children, 9-10 hours for teenagers, and 7-8 hours for adults, so make sure you go to bed on time the night before a big tournament.
Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your golf tournament. The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition reports that drinking water helps fight fatigue and heat exhaustion by lowering athletes’ body temperature. H2O is also responsible for transporting nutrients to vital organs, flushing out toxins and waste, and maintaining healthy bodily functions.
Contrary to what some may believe, water isn’t necessarily the best beverage to consume. Granted, water will hydrate you, but it doesn’t offer beneficial electrolytes, which you will need plenty of when playing 18 holes under the hot sun.
Check out the Junior Players Golf Academy Blog for more golf tips!