Have you ever won a golf tournament? It is a question I asked recently on Twitter and was not surprised at the responses. Most respondents entered the winners circle at their local course, but a few won some very high level events. It was impressive to read how many club champions there were; something I continue to aspire to still. I have won some tournaments over the years and there are three things that stood out with each victory. They were all that surprising, but something that created the blue print for my future rounds.
If you are wondering, here is what you said:
Over the years, I have won stroke, match play and scramble tournaments. They varied in intensity and skill level between the local and provincial level. But all of those wins had three things in common. They may not be what you think, but they work well for me. I thought I would share them with you in the hopes that it will help you win a tournament in the future.
First, I was in play for almost every shot off the tee. I would choose the club that would best suit my next shot. Most shots, I hit my driver because of the landing area; the next most popular club I used was my 3 wood. Hitting the ball off the tee, in play, set the stage for the rest of my shots during each round. I cannot express the importance of staying in play during golf tournaments; it allows for setting other shots up to shoot the lowest score possible.
Second, my putting was solid. I did not make all my putts, but I reduced the number of 3 putts to less than 1 a round. The flat stick was very important to building my confidence that helped me play my best, even when I made a poor shot. I was confident that I could extricate myself from hazards knowing that my putter was there keep me on track.
Lastly, I mentally prepared myself to compete. I would visualize the golf course and play rounds in my mind before teeing it up for the first time. I would visualize each shot before stepping over the ball. And I would visualize my future rounds during the event. I spent a great deal of time mentally preparing to play golf. Being fully immersed before and during each tournament help me play my best golf.
Those are three fundamental aspects of my game that led to victory. I realize they are not what might have thought, yet if you take the time to think about it; they are fundamental to success of everyone’s golf game. Except for my putting, the rest are things that focus on my swing mechanics. And during a golf tournament, the last thing I want to worry about is anything to do with my swing!
Do you have anything special you rely upon during a golf tournament?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
2 thoughts on “How To Win A Golf Tournament”
Jim, most of my tournament wins had much in common with yours. Most definitely staying in play off the tee was tops, and making lots of boring pars with very few three putts was up there. The ability to avoid bogey seemed more important than making tons of birdies.
Regarding preparation, I would try and practice a lot of shots I think I’d use on the competition course, and mentally, try to steel myself for any outcome. That last point may seem unusual, but I found it very critical after watching so many players give up after a bad hole. I told myself, great holes and bad holes would likely happen and not to get shocked when either did. Kept me on an even keel during the entire competition.
I like your last point for sure. Try to ride the extremes with confidence. They will happen and how we respond is very important to the overall score. Thanks for adding to the conversation.
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