How to prepare for a round of competitive golf

Published 24/03/2010 07:52:10

Your pre-round preparations should be geared entirely towards ensuring that you are ready to perform to the very best of your ability when you step on to the first tee in competition. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail - as the saying goes.

Whether from practice rounds, warm-ups or on the range, in this guide we reveal how you can save crucial shots before you even tee off.


Devising a strategy

It is always worth buying a course planner before starting your round, especially if you haven't played the particular layout before. Before stepping onto the first tee, take ten minutes to scrutinise the course planner and devise your  best route round.

Pinpoint where the most dangerous hazards lie and develop a strategy that takes them out of play. Mark on the planner where you want to hit your ball on each hole.

This quick and easy exercise helps you devise a positive game plan before your thinking becomes affected by events during the round.


Practice round

If you can use practice rounds effectively, you can fine-tune your game ready to take on the course for real. If your ball finds a bad lie on the fairway or around the green, avoid the temptation to reposition it on a perfect patch of lush grass.

By always playing the ball from where it lies you develop your general skills and gain a far better feel for how to cope with certain likely scenarios.


Assessing the damage

After your practice round, move to the range and concentrate on your most persistent faults - whether they are your accuracy from the tee or your ball striking from the fairway. A short period of time devoted to rectifying any problems in your game will pay off when you play the course for real, with a positive mind-set.


Lay-up area

Part of your preparation for a competitive round should be to determine the best places from which to attack the flag. Whether it is a lay-up area on a par five or where you should drive on a short par four, you should hit some practice wedge shots on these holes from a yardage that you feel comfortable with.

Find a spot on the fairway from where you can confidently reach the flag - perhaps 50-100 yards away. Mark this point on your course planner so that when you play that particular hole for real you know where the ideal lay-up area lies. 


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