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Longboat Key Tuesday, Sep. 6, 2011 10 years ago

COMMUNITY SPORTS TIPS: Preparing for tournament play

by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

Are you ready?

Regular Play vs. Tournament Play

Do you change your routine for regular play vs. tournament play? Most people do and that doesn’t make for consistent rounds. For one, you are adding pressure already because it is a “tournament” and your thoughts are “I need to perform” and for most of you, your routine changes. You can lessen one evil and that is your routine. 

Here are some key elements when preparing for “ANY” round of golf. 

Traveling to a golf course? Do you know how to get there? Are you picking someone up on the way or being picked up?

If your routine consists of getting to the course 45 minutes prior to tee off, make sure you do that very thing. If you are traveling with someone express that concern. If you are driving and your buddy doesn’t want to be there that early, tell them to take their own car. Remember it’s not nasty; it’s the way “YOU” do things. If you know your buddy is NEVER on time, don’t ask to be picked up or drive them. Believe me from experience it’s much easier on your stress level to not deal with a potential problem.

Dress Code? New outfit, new golf shoes, have you ever worn them yet? Dressed for weather? Have a rain jacket/rain pants/ good glove, extra glove just in case?

Did you buy a new outfit for your play? Have you worn it at all around the house and made a few swings? You may want to do that; if you feel uncomfortable in your clothing it will affect your game! Are you dressed properly for the weather conditions?  

What to pack

Check your golf bag BEFORE you go to bed the night before, making sure you have golf balls, a glove + spare, hat or visor, RULE BOOK, glasses/sunglasses if you wear them, towel, (some facilities do not provide towels for you) umbrella, wind/rain pants and shirt, and most importantly a good healthy snack.


Keep on a food schedule as much as you can when you play golf. Getting out of sync with your body can really mess with you. If you know you’re going to be out on the course with no possibility of food, pack a lunch. Take your medicine with you and keep that consistent as well. BE PREPARED!!

When should you practice for a “BIG TOURNAMENT?”

Not the day before! Going to the range the day before a tournament and hit 3 buckets of golf balls will do NO GOOD. Plan a couple of small practices sessions, one for full swing and one for short game. Keep your short game practice as close to your tournament as possible. How many of you have gone to a PGA/LPGA event and watched them practice? Most of their time is spent around the short game area. Yes, they do hit a lot of golf balls before they go out each day, but that is “THEIR ROUTINE”

Melissa Williams is the PGA Golf Professional at Tara Golf & Country Club. For more information, call 756-7775 or visit 

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