The Simple Keys to Preparing for an Important Round of Golf
By Keith Stewart, PGA
Today is the longest day in golf. A well-established tradition with an appropriately coined marketing phrase. It is Sectional Qualifying Day for the Men’s United States Open. All across the country, players are competing for a couple of extremely coveted spots into the 121st US Open. It’s a 36-hole tournament played in one day. Each host site will send a handful of players to the third Major Championship of the men's season.
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A 36-hole qualifier played at the highest level would be a grueling affair. You don’t have to be competing in today’s tournament to be curious how a successful player properly prepares for an important day of golf. After all, it may be a Monday outing you’re attending after a long break from the game. Some might have a Member-Guest or local amateur tournament in the near future. The night before can be very important in helping ensure you have an enjoyable and successful round.
Here’s a PGA coaching blueprint for the evening ahead of that special day. The morning of any strict time-dependent situation brings about anxiety. Think about how you feel the morning of a flight or day that contains a full schedule of meetings. Time always seems to move quickly in those moments. Get ahead of your success by starting your preparation the night or even two nights before.
- Check the address of where you are playing. Learn the route and establish how much travel time you will need.
- Check your favorite weather app. Will tomorrow require rain gear, and umbrella or an extra towel. Conversely, maybe you will need a change of clothes or sunblock.
- You can’t play golf without the proper equipment. Take a look in your golf bag. Do I have a fresh glove? There’s nothing that feels better than a new glove on an important golf day. Make sure all the correct clubs are in your bag and that you have the proper number.
- Pick out an outfit. Think about how stressful it would be in the morning if your lucky shirt wasn’t clean.
- Go to the club’s website if you haven’t been there before. Get a comfortable understanding of their dress code, cell phone policy and Covid guidelines. There have been an enormous number of changes in the customs and traditions over the past two years. Getting comfortable with your setting is one of the most important strategies for a successful round. The more comfortable you are with your surroundings, the more comfortable you will be on the course.
- Check to make sure you have plenty of gas in the car. If you are getting picked up, send your driver a quick text to confirm the meeting time.
- If you live with other people, let everyone know what you are doing tomorrow. Letting others know your plans will keep them informed and that will keep you calm.
- Eat well and sleep sufficiently. An important round of golf is mentally draining. Give your body plenty of rest. You will need it.
For those who play golf for a living this is just the tip of the iceberg. For the rest of us, this list is a perfect set of reminders to ensure a successful day on the course. As you notice, so many of these items include others. The modern game should be shared. Including your family, friends and supporters in your plans empowers them to give you a boost.
A little extra something that you cannot carry in the bag, but definitely makes a world of difference.