The Practice Round
by Susan Petefish
It's time to put the reality back in what a practice round is supposed to be .I am surprised when parents travel, miss school and spend a great deal of money, only to not be prepared for that tournament. Junior players routinely see professional golfers playing practice rounds, their noses buried in course books, calculating wind maps, checking distances and green speeds. If they are the best in the world and still put in the time to get in a proper practice round, then why don't most junior golfers do the same? There is nothing about golf that improves with, "Oh, I will just wing it and be fine." If you want to play with the best junior golfers in the country, or dream of being one, then a proper practice round is essential!
What is a proper practice round?
* DO NOT SCORE, * DO NOT SCORE
That was for emphasis....practice rounds are not for scoring.
* Play from the tees that will be used during the tournament.
* Check for pin locations and practice good and poor shots to those hole locations.
* Make shots from off the fairway to the green.
* Where are the misses that will keep you from big trouble?
* Where are the safe places on the par 3's to hit the green?
* What is behind the green? Going long is usually "death."
* Measure distances to where you want to land the ball on the green...is it going to roll from there?
* Make a plan with a course book and STICK to it!
* Course management is an essential tool in top tourament play.
Remember the old saying, "luck is when preparation meets opportunity?" Here is your chance to increase your "luck." Being prepared creates a higher confidence and is a strong trait of successful golfers.
If you can't get in a proper practice round before a tournament you should rethink participating in that event. Top level junior golf is about being prepared and executing.
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