For Beach, Getting Ready Takes Time
By Keith Stewart, PGA
Alex Beach is playing in his fifth PGA Championship. The expert PGA instructor from Westchester Country Club outside of New York city has tons of tournament experience. I caught up with him on the eve of his next major championship and learned some fascinating lessons about his pre-tournament preparation. As a veteran member of the Team of 20 his outlook on this awesome opportunity is very valuable.
Beach’s first foray in the big show came back in 2017 in the PGA Championship played at Quail Hollow. In looking back, Beach is pleased with how much he learned since that first major. “I remember getting to Quail Hollow. I didn’t know what to expect.” recounts Beach. He didn’t have a support team in place. In listening to him describe his PGA Tour tournament evolution, there’s some fabulous best practices we can all ascertain from his experiences.
Beach’s mantra is simple and makes complete sense. Surround yourself with people you want to be like. The coolest characteristic of my conversation with Alex was his transparency. Check out these tournament preparation tips he shared.
- Build a team. Alex exudes confidence in his current game because he knows there’s a tremendous team in place. They know him and he trusts each of them to help him perform. As an amateur you may not need a manager, etc., but there’s a valuable lesson here. If you plan to succeed in any manner of life, work with others.
- Don’t get distracted. Beach admitted in the beginning he was watching what every other player was up to and trying too many things. If you are having success, stick with what YOU are doing. Don’t copy others. If you need help, ask your team. Don’t chase what others do.
- Believe you belong. Playing with confidence comes from all day confidence. From lunch to the range, etc. Portray confidence in all your actions. Don’t expect to play confidently if you don’t walk around confidently. Self-belief isn’t a switch you can turn on when you step on the first tee.
- Mentors matter. In his experience, Alex noticed all players have mentors. A person who can help you manage all the endless details. Tournament preparation can be complicated. Most of all it is seldom the same. Different venues, cities, and a whole lot more. The best players transition smoothly from college to the tour because they become part of a mentor relationship.
- Keep your preparation constant. Much like cramming for a midterm in college, waiting until the week of the tournament to prepare is a mistake. Being ready comes from the notion you believe you are ready. You can’t fake that. No to mention, if you rush into last-minute prep, that will only make you more anxious during the tournament.
As I sat with Alex near the first tee of the championship, I was inspired by his calmness. Scottie Scheffler stood next to us. As a fellow PGA Member, I was proud of Alex’s awareness. Scheffler respected Beach’s body language. Alex’s “best practices” were paying off. Getting ready for his next major championship is a constant process. If you’re planning on playing a tournament this season follow Alex’s advice and begin, believe and before you know it better tournament performances will happen.