Tips for keeping a level head in tough golf tournaments

By Brendon Elliott
Published on
Tips for keeping a level head in tough golf tournaments

Flipping through channels, as I took a break from watching the carnage that is the US Open, I stopped at a Road Runner and Wildly coyote cartoon...I watched the old gag of a small pebble rolling down a hill and as it picks up speed, become a large bolder. How appropriate of an analogy for this piece. 

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There are plenty of things that I could address in terms of preparing for a difficult round of competitive golf. Have appropriate attire and other gear, snacks and water, stretch, pre-round practice, and countless other items and ideas to check off the list.

However, even with the best thought out preparation, rounds of competitive golf in rough conditions or on nasty and difficult courses can go astray very quickly. Tour Pros, competitive amateurs or those in my niche, junior golfers, all can fall victim to this one crippling thing...

Personal Expectations.

We all want to do our very best while competing. There is nothing wrong with this at all. That in and of itself is definitely not the problem. However, in the heat of competitive golf, combined with difficult conditions, our personal expectations need to match up with what the course may be giving, or not giving that day.

Tempering our goals or expectations for the day is not necessarily what I’m talking about. It’s more of the idea of being OK with stumbling and taking say, a double bogey or a four putt for what it is, and moving on and adjusting the game plan.

Far too many golfers will continue on after that stumble and act as the small pebble rolling down the hill… turning into a huge bolder. Don’t complicate the misstep by getting too much inside your own head. Accept the fact that it is a tough day and most competing will also have missteps. The golfers that ultimately succeed are those that can manage their expectations the best during the course of the round...

You can be the coyote and get crushed by the boulder, or you can be the road runner and race to victory.

Beep, Beep…

Brendon Elliott is a PGA Professional in Central Florida. He is the owner of Little Linksters, LLC, the Little Linksters Golf Academy @ Wekiva Golf Club and is the founder of the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development (501c3). In addition, he is an Instructor and Director of Career Development at the Golf Academy of America in Orlando. 

He is the winner of 20 plus prestigious awards for his work in youth golf including the 2017 PGA National Youth Player Development Award, US Kids Top 50 Master Kids Teacher and the GRAA's Top 50 Growth of the Game Professionals, Elite.  

For more info on how you can help the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development intheir mission to grow the game contact or go to