As I sit in the chemotherapy chair for part two of my 2-day treatment (second treatment), my mind races through all the tasks I need to complete everyday to prepare my mind and body for a success.. If you have never experienced cancer treatment as a patient, caregiver, family member or friend (I pray you never will), it is hard to fathom the multitude of tasks needing completion every day. I thought I was busy before, but now it can be a bit overwhelming. I do not think I will ever say ‘I do not have time’ to do something again. On a side note it is just as bad for the caregiver or family member helping every step of the way! My wife and best friend Teri can attest to that, she is awesome and a blessing everyday. I am grateful for all she does!
Well, how does this relate to golf. The obvious statement is if you do not practice a certain swing, you will not improve. This tenant is true for just about everything one wishes to improve upon, but there is so much more to your golf game than just practicing.
There is a bigger picture and my friends Brian from All About Golf, Mike from 36aday, Josh from Golf is Mental, Tiff from Fairways and Pete from White Dragon Golf could write a book at the lengths of preparation they go through to play golf. Actually, they do if you stop by their golf blog.
In my case, writing daily articles takes time and effort. Thinking about golf musings that entertain and inform the reader is both fun and frustrating. However, I can tell you everything is rooted in my preparation to play golf. Here are some of areas I focus on before I even swing my clubs:
- Remaining physically fit. As long as I continue to work towards my goal as a scratch golfer, being physically fit is vital. Aside from my current health woes, I work on my aerobic, strength or stretching almost everyday. Without it, I would have to change my golf expectations.
- Taking care of my equipment. Ensuring my clubs are clean, my golf balls are relatively new, my golf umbrella works, I have sun screen, and I have plenty of bug spray. If my equipment does not work (or worse I forgot it) I cannot play my best game.
- I ensure my hats and shoes are appropriate for the weather. I have special shoes for very dry weather, wet weather and in between. I generally walk, so having the correct footwear is important to ensure I have enough energy down the stretch, especially on hot days.
- Before tournaments, I hydrate, eat properly and try to get lots of sleep. Going into a tournament tired is a bad way to start. Additionally, during regular games I do the same, but life events sometimes puts a damper on this preparation.
- I try to improve my knowledge through reading, watching videos and of course watching professionals play. I watch how they swing, but more importantly, I watch how they play. Their strategy, course management and club selection for shots is important to understanding how scratch golfers approach golf. I realize I cannot play to their level, but understanding why they are playing a specific shot does help with my course management.
Well, as you can see preparation is key to playing great golf. Golf is not about quickly throwing your clubs in your car, rushing to the course and running to the first tee. Without prior preparation I find it difficult to score well on the course. There are too many uncontrolled variables that could go wrong. So preparing to play great golf takes time and effort. By doing something everyday, I am not overwhelmed and ready to play at a moments notice. Do you prepare to play golf everyday?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!