“Before anything else preparation is the key to success” – Alexander Graham Bell
We all know that preparation is important, but how we define being prepared can vary widely especially in golf. Ben Hogan used to analyze each golf ball that he received, and if there was too much paint in a dimple he would deem it unfit for play and discard it. Jack Nicklaus did not tee off in a major without having hit shots from every single bunker on the golf course during the practice rounds. Nowadays on the PGA tour caddies are factoring in altitude, humidity, elevation change, and using a compass to track the wind direction. Obviously there are different levels of preparation when it comes to competitive golf.
It is very easy to get focused on just preparing one aspect of one’s game for play thinking that success in that area will take care of everything else. This is completely false and most golfers, when thinking about it objectively, would admit that. However, many players still fall prey to just focusing on swing mechanics during practice rounds and do not take the time to pay attention to every detail of the golf course. Also, many players do not prepare their equipment properly on tournament day which can have a huge impact on performance. Others do not eat breakfast and as a result do not have the proper nutrition to think and perform at their best. The list of ways and things to prepare is fairly long but every detail is important. The edge over the competition can come from adhering to this all important list. Ben Hogan is revered for his golf swing, and many have wondered what his secret is, but nobody talks about his attention to detail when preparing for competition.
Take the time to make your list of equipment needed on tournament day, what notes need to be taken in practice rounds, your nutrition needs, what time you need to wake up to prepare in the morning and stick to it. Even if all that work saves you one shot, it will be worth it as that could be the difference between first and second or making the cut and missing the cut.