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A good golfer knows that preparation can be the difference between a win and a loss, and a better golfer knows what they need to do to prepare for a big upcoming tournament.

The issue that a lot of golfers face when competing is finding a good routine to follow before a competition and optimizing it to their personal needs. If you are looking for a place to start, this overview of the best preparatory steps prior to a golf tournament is sure to get you on the right track.

Preparatory Steps: Mental

While often neglected, your mental preparation is an important of a factor as anything heading into a tournament. Golf is in some ways a chess match between you, the course, and your opponents. To be ready for that kind of physical and mental exertion, you need to prepare your mind ahead of time.

This can be something as simple as establishing a pre-round routine or something as elaborate as doing mental exercises prior to your tee time. The only really important thing is that it helps you prepare.

Study The Course

Knowing the course ahead of time and playing on it as much as possible is a huge boost for your confidence and will allow you to focus on making your shots rather than racking your brain trying to figure out how to play the shot. Study the course ahead of time to conserve energy and optimize your shots.

Arrive Early

You should always arrive early so that you can get a feel for the environment, course, and crowd. Feeling comfortable is so important during a round and if you get there early, you’ll be able to settle in and avoid feeling rushed or off-balance.

Be Prepared For Multiple Outcomes

If it can happen, it will happen. That’s golf, right?! Be prepared for different outcomes ahead of time so that you aren’t scrambling for a solution at the moment. If there is a shot that you know will be difficult to make, plan the outcomes in advance and have a backup plan for playing out of it.

Preparatory Steps: Physical

It is equally important to prepare physically before a tournament. If you aren’t at the top of your game physically, you’re going to find it difficult to execute on ideas that the mental side of your came is coming up with.

Here are some tips for getting ready physically to play in a tournament.

Test The Greens

The short game is so crucial, especially in tournaments. Make sure you are getting the speed of the greens. It could most certainly be the difference between a win and a close finish. You also need to keep in mind that the speed of the greens is going to change from day to day, so getting a good feel for them on the day of your tournament is ideal if possible.

Have Fun, Stay Loose

When you’re stressed, you’re tight. Playing golf requires you to have a relaxed mind and body so that you can execute in high leverage situations. Remember that the objective is to have fun and you will have an easier time making your shots.

Take Care Of Your Body

This is generally a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. Take care of yourself out there! Be sure to stretch when needed, hydrate often, get a good night’s sleep the night before and eat a healthy breakfast that won’t make you feel bloated or tight. It’s really that simple!


If you want to get the best out of yourself on tournament day, it’s important that you stay sharp both mentally and physically. These tips are going to help you do just that and be your best self on Sunday.

For more tips and tricks on how to improve your golf game, check out Bird Golf School! They provide tutorials and learning resources for golfers of any skill level. With these tools in hand, you’ll be putting your best foot forward on the day of your tournament. Good luck!

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