Peaking for the Ryder Cup

As an athlete, I have participated in many sports at all levels including national competitions. As I prepared for the final matches, regardless of the importance of the event, I tried to focus my training in order to peak at the right time. Being able to play my best when required had a direct and significant impact on the final results. The players preparing for the Ryder Cup next week are in the same boat. Two players, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, are perfect examples of peaking (or not) for the big show!

Immediately after the Tour Championship, many of the top players will be heading to France for the Ryder Cup. This pressure packed head to head team event is a highlight for me and I look forward to watching some fantastic play. The challenge for Captain Furyk is selecting the hot player to play at the right time. In the cases of Woods and Mickelson, Furyk will be lamenting on where to insert them in the line up.

Tiger Woods is at the top of his game right now. Regardless of what the commentators might suggest, he is playing about as good as he can considering where he started just a few short months ago. Regardless if it was intended, Woods is peaking at the right time for the Ryder Cup. Tiger has demonstrated steady improvement for months and hopefully, he has enough in the tank to help his team win next weekend.

Phil Mickelson, on the other hand, is going in the opposite direction. It seems that as soon as the announcement was made that he made the Ryder Cup team, his game has gone sour. His performance at the Tour Championship is showing that Captain Furyk might have a dud on his hands. I hate even suggesting this, but Mickelson is far from his best and because of that he might see limited play in France. Mickelson is not peaking at this time and it might be too late change anything.

Of course, with proven warriors like Mickelson and Woods, they could show up at the Ryder Cup and slay the entire field, but as they age, peaking for major events is very important for them to compete. The young lions are hungry and always ready to play, so preparing for the 4 Majors and the Ryder Cup takes a concerted plan and focused intent. Woods appears to have executed his plan perfectly; Mickelson, not so much.

As athletes we understand the importance of peaking at the right time. We develop training plans to ensure we are ready at the right time. Professional athletes are no different; for years they have honed their playing and practice schedules to peak during Majors and the Ryder Cup. They understand the methodology to compete at the highest levels, the only thing then need to do is perform when the spotlight begins to shine.

Do you ever have a plan to peak at the right time for competition?

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

2 thoughts on “Peaking for the Ryder Cup

  1. Jim, my peaking plans take into consideration venue and type of competition. Typically, for a stroke play event, the most important prep for me is a practice round on the competition course, as close as possible to the real event. For venue specific prep, I’ll try to tailor my short game to the type of shots I’ll be playing. An example would be my annual trip to Myrtle Beach. There’s no high rough down there and plenty of grabby Bermuda around the greens, so I plan on playing lower shots with more run-out. Finally, for scramble tournaments, the week ahead I’ll often practice with just three clubs: Driver, putter, and full wedge shots.

    Good thought provoker, thanks!



    • Brian

      You and I think very much alike. I focus on venue more than anything else and try to replicate the conditions at home. Having said that it is difficult sometimes. I will say that for a scramble event, I am a little less focused on prep because of the players I am with. Overall though, pre-event prep is the key to success for sure.

      Cheers Jim


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