Tips to help save you strokes on the course without even practicing. Putting and driving can give you the advantage on the course, but these tips can give you the advantage over the field. If you can remember one or two of these tips, you can use them for your lifetime in the game.
1. Take Your Bag Off!
It’s an easy tip, but I’ve seen it too many times. Unless the shot is right under the basket and your hand can reach the chains, take your bag off! If you don’t practice putt with your bag on, why would you have it on while your putt in a tournament? It can throw your body off balance, not allow your extend your arm, and most importantly cause you to miss the putt. Take your bag off, drop in the putt, and move on to the next one.
2. Don’t be Distracted
As much as we want to power through distractions it is not always easy to do. My advice is always to wait until the distractions are gone so you can fully focus on the shot at hand. Your shot is more important than the 10 seconds you could have saved by just powering through the distraction. Wait until the distraction is settled down or gone and you can clearly focus on your shot. This easy tip can save a stroke and save the excuses!
3. Don’t Take “Gimmies” for Granted
We all know that you need to take your time on those shots in tough situations, but then how often to we take for granted those “gimmie” shots. Every shot you throw on the course should require the same type of mental preparation to ensure that the shot is executed correctly. If you find yourself in a “easy, gimmie” shot, take your time, commit, and reward yourself instead of taking it for granted and possibly screwing it up. Remember, every shot/stroke matters especially in tournament play.
4. Be Prepared
This means having all the necessary gear with you on the course; Snacks, Water, Mini, Umbrella, TP! The last thing you want to do is be stuck out on the course and be hungry, thirsty, or drenched because you got caught unprepared. Try to get your gear together the night before so you don’t have to scramble in the morning to remember everything. It saves time and strokes on the course!
5. Don’t say Don’t, Say Do!
When your standing at your shot, aiming up with you want to throw your disc, get the negative talk out of your head! Instead of saying, “Don’t hit that tree” or “Don’t throw in the water”, focus your mind on things you want to do. By saying “Hit that gap around those trees” and “Land in that flat spot” takes your mind to a more positive frame and allows that to be last thing you think about before you throw instead of “just don’t hit that tree!!”……!WHACK!
6. Don’t Get Wrapped Up With The Score
It is important to roughly know where you are compared to your competitors during the round, so you can decide to play safe or go for a shot, but focusing too much on the scores only puts more pressure on yourself. You are always trying to throw the best shot possible from the position you are in, so why put more pressure on the situation or putt. Getting too wrapped in scores takes away your concentration of beating the course and focuses more on beating that player, which is not the right mind frame for golf. Until the last hole or last few holes when you realize the scores are close, should you pay attention to the score difference. This then helps you make the decision to go for it, or lay up. Most importantly, play your own game because you will always be trying to play your best.
7. It’s Not Over Until the Last Putt Drops In!
Anything, and I mean ANYTHING, can happen in the game of golf. No matter how many holes are left there is always a chance to lose or gain strokes on the field. With this said, don’t ever give up and sacrifice strokes to your competitors. You came to play and compete, and you will only regret it if you give it your opponents. Now, this is a easier said than done, but this type of mental game of preserving through the rough times and capitalizing when possible is a consistent characteristic of the world best players.