How to Prepare for a Career Round

By Steve Silverman

Once golfers have reached a certain level of experience and accomplishment, it's not just about going out and enjoying a beautiful day on the golf course. There may be an important match or tournament to win, and the goal is to compete as hard and as well as possible. While less experienced golfers will get nervous at the thought of a competitive match, it brings out the best instincts in others.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Hydrate properly in the 24 hours before you play. Most golfers have more opportunities to play in the heat of summer, and it's easy to cramp up or pull a muscle if you don't prepare adequately. That includes getting enough fluids in your body the day before your match. Drink at least three bottles of water (16 oz.) in the six hours before you go to sleep.
Step 2
Get proper rest the night before you play. Try to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep, depending on your body's chemistry and internal clock. If you spend all night thrashing in bed, you won't be rested and fresh. Go to bed early, pick up a book or turn on the television and relax. Don't stay out late and don't have more than two alcoholic drinks if you are competing the next day.
Step 3
Go to the driving range and hit a bucket of balls before you begin your match. You want to loosen up and hone your swing before your match. Don't start bombing balls at the driving range. Instead, your goal is to work on your strengths and overcome your weaknesses with your work on the practice range.
Step 4
Eat an adequate meal before you go out on the course. Many golfers like to play in the morning. Don't go out on the course without eating an adequate breakfast. Eat something that is high in protein so you will be able to play your match without feeling hungry. Bacon and eggs is a suitable breakfast and so is oatmeal. If you do not like a heavy breakfast, take two or three pieces of fruit. Don't have more than one cup of coffee. Excess caffeine can play tricks on your mind and it can also lead to cramping.
Step 5
Visualize each shot before you take it. Figure out where you want to hit the ball and how you are going to execute the shot. Do not dwell on this, but have a picture of each shot in your mind's eye before you step up and swing. This will help you slow down and play to your potential rather than rush your shots and make errors.

Tips & Warnings

Remember the basics when you get to the first tee. Take it slow and steady and do not rush your swing. Lead with your hips and your hands will follow.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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