TOURNAMENT PLAY: Checklist for more consistency

Tournament play is something we choose to participate in,  so it should be fun and exciting.  Most of us experience tournament play at one point that can be stressful and sometimes scary from the pressure that we put on ourselves to preform and to post a competitive score.

Everyone is successful at something in life rather it be sports, career, or other recreational activities.   If you will think about the areas in your life that you are most successful in you will see that most times you feel very comfortable. In most cases there is a process to the activity, such as a school work or a business meeting where you would prepair for success. This process took you months, maybe years to formulate into an efficient set of activities leading up to the “big event” that you have become successful.

Golf is no different.  The following list will give you an idea of somethings you can do to be more comfortable and most importantly consistent during tournament play. This list can be added to and area taken off to be tailored to match your needs, but remember the 5 P’s, Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.


Practice Round

  1. Look for yardage book in golf shop
  2. Stretch, stay hydrated, and warm up as usual, don’t overdo it
  3. Make sure to spend ½ the time on the putting green learning the speed
  4. Don’t keep score.  You don’t want to set high or low expectation for the actual tournament round
  5. Hit putts from different angles and distances.  Try to imagine where the hole locations will be placed for the tournament and record them in your yardage book
  6. Make notes in your yardage book or scorecard where not to miss shots and what angles are best for approach shots
  7. After the round is over evaluate where you could have preformed better and run through those areas on the range, but only for a short time don’t over do it.
  8. Check your tee time before leaving and also check in with the tournament staff to let them know you are there.

The Night Before Tournament Round

  1. In bed by 10:00 or 10:30
  2. Clean all clubs in bag
  3. Bring water bottle, power bar (Eat and drink every 3 hole)
  4. Make sure you have balls, tees, gloves, umbrella
  5. Stretch and light workout
  6. Play the golf course mentally, if you have played it before
  7. Don’t eat anything that could make you sick or not feel well for the next day.

The Morning of the Tournament Round

  1. Have a good breakfast, think protein
  2. Remember  Tee Time, don’t be late
  3. Always arrive at the golf course the same amount of time before your tee time to prevent getting board or feeling rushed before your tee time
  4. Go over yardage book and golf course mentally on ride to golf course
  5. Stretch and light physical warm up
  6. Warm up as usual, don’t do more or less, try to hit the same amount of ball each round
  7. Don’t set you expectations before you tee it up, good or bad, but think positively
  8. Go to first tee get a tournament scorecard and pin location sheet

Each of your processes will be slightly different, but the point is to get in a routine and stick with it. Creating this process will only add to your level of comfort at the golf course during a tournament and just as we talked about earlier when you are comfortable you can be successful.