Winning In Golf

What does it take to win in golf? If you asked 100 golfers this question, I suspect there would be 100 different answers. I could go on about the merits of hitting the ball well, making great contact, or even about the fun times had on the links, but that is the social fun aspect of golf. However, I think every golfer has that light inside that drives them to win when face with adversity. Each shot, easy or difficult, is a test of your efforts prior to making contact. Each shot is a contest and we all want to win!

To win any contest we have to prepare. We need to create a winning strategy. And most importantly, we need to execute our plan with as few errors as possible. If we do all these things, we can win in golf. As I prepare to several tournaments (fun and competitive) over the next month, I will go through a fairly rigid routine prior to each event in attempts to be ready to compete.

My process works for my game. It provides the best chances to win and in the past I have won my share of tournaments. I have finished high in the standings and unfortunately, finished out of the running. Generally my losses are due to execution errors and that happens to everyone from time to time.

My preparation to win focuses on mental imagery, understanding the course I am playing, and developing a course management plan. The last step is the most difficult, especially if I have not played the course before. Regardless, each step is important and provides a basis for winning golf.

Mental Imagery. I use mental imagery to see and feel myself hitting the golf ball. I go through each phase of my swing and always ensure I hit the ball perfectly. I imagine a ball flight for each club that ensures maximum distance and accuracy. I start my mental imagery about a week before competition. I will spend about 15 minutes before bed watching my golf swing through mental imagery.

Understanding the course I am playing. I research the course. I look on the internet; see if there are any recent changes to the layout. I will try to find anything I can about the course that will give me any advantage I can find. Research is an important step. This starts a week before the start of the tournament.

Develop a course management plan. If I have a practice round, then I wait until then to finalize my course management plan. Some tournaments have them, others do not. If not, I rely on my research to guide my plan. My general rule is develop a conservative plan in the first 6 holes and if my game is one, stick to my plan, but be flexible to adjust to the course conditions and how well I am playing.

Execution is the most important step to winning golf. I have to execute all aspects of my swing and plan to the best of my ability on that day. In the past, I was fairly successful; I am hopeful that I will be successful in the near future. Regardless, if I am successful or not, I will continue to prepare and give myself the best chance to win in golf.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Written my Jim Burton from The Grateful Golfer blog.

2 thoughts on “Winning In Golf

  1. Hey Jim, I could not agree more, winning in golf is in the main about the preparation.

    When I have played well and won tournaments there are common factors that are in place, ON TOP OF all my technical golf practice:

    1 I made sure I knew in advance ‘why’ I wanted to win this event
    2 Set my goal – I spend time getting very specific about what I want to achieve and how
    3 Team – I know I can’t go it alone so I make sure I have the right people around me, my golf coach, my PT and so on
    4 Nutrition – This is a biggy, having the right fuel in you and more importantly not having the wrong stuff in you, makes a huge difference to performance
    5 Fitness and remaining healthy – being prepared physically, well in advance, helps me perform better. Equally as vital though is rest and recovery from fitness training, I am fortunate to have a friend who practices Japanese medicine and he helps me get my body centred and aligned ready for action.
    6 Routines and process – follow my preparation routines and don’t waver, they work so I need to repeat, repeat, repeat…
    7 Practice and measurement – purposeful practice is essential and measuring performance helps me improve
    8 Course management and scoring – practice rounds trying specific strategies gets you focused ready for the big day
    9 Putting – the best part of my game, so I make sure I practice it a lot!
    10 Don’t think, just do. On the day, you can;’t change what happens, such as poor bounces, weather and other factors out of your control but if you just follow your processes in the way you have been preparing for and just ‘do it’ rather than over thinking, that works for me.

    Sound like a lot of work? Well yes, it can be. You can vary the intensity of each element to suit you but at the end of the day you get out what you put in. I am no pro, just an ordinary guy golfer but following the above preparation has yielded great results for me.

    Training and tournament prep is an area of interest for me and I would be interested to see others’ thoughts on what goes into preparing to ‘win at golf.’

    Swing easy!

    Paul at Team Blind Apple

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul

      That is a great recap of what it takes to be a champion. Many think that playing good golf is more about natural talent instead of training and practice. We both know the latter has a greater impact on any golf game. Thanks for sharing.


      Liked by 1 person

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