Create Your Game Plan

“If you are prepared, you will be confident, and will do the job.”  – Tom Landry

Tiger, job well done today in the first round of the U.S. Open.  You played the golf course very methodically, well planned, and as a result, finished the first round with a very solid score.

It is very obvious that Tiger was very prepared entering today’s round.  We could all learn from this display of great golf.  We as players often neglect putting in the amount of time needed to truly succeed in golf.  Sure we play quite a bit, spend some time on the range and putting green.  How often have you ever planned your way around the golf course that you are playing?  If you are playing the same course over and over again, it’s very likely that you already have figured this out to some degree.  You know which hole to hit a 3 wood off the tee versus the driver.  You know what it takes to hit a shot over a bunker instead of laying up short of it.  I’m guessing you have developed this knowledge from just playing and learning through trial and error.

Whenever you play at a new course, have you ever taken the time to look the course up online and see if there is a course layout on the website?  Many golf courses have this available, and some even have “tips from the pro” with friendly advice on how to play each particular hole.  This would provide you with some idea of what to expect when you arrive at a new course.  You could already have developed your game plan for the round and are ready to go.

Your mind is going to try and hit the shots that you are thinking about.  That’s why when you think about not hitting out of bounds, you will.  Your mind is focused on the out of bounds.  Being able to stand on the tee of any hole with a game plan of how you want to play each shot will get your mind focused positively on the task at hand, and will help you produce the desired results.

Knowing that you have prepared your swing on the driving range is a large factor in playing golf well.  Preparing your mind is an often argued, more important aspect to playing golf well.  Being totally prepared in all areas will give you the confidence you need to go out and play your best.