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Now that golf season is almost here, golfers everywhere are preparing for challenging courses and upcoming tournaments. While there is no magic solution that will guarantee success during a round of golf, there are a few things that you can do before you tee off. Turn these suggestions into habits, and you’ll be acing holes!

Study the Course

Before your next tournament starts, take some time to familiarize yourself with the course you’ll be playing. If possible, get on the course for a practice round or two. If you can’t test-run the course before the tournament, you can at least see how it’s laid out on Google Maps. It’s not a perfect solution, but it will give you an idea of what you can expect. That way, when you hit the green, you won’t be caught off-guard. 

Additionally, keep your eye on the weather at least a week out from when you play. What’s the temperature supposed to be? Is wind expected? Is there a chance of rain? Understand how you can play in less-than-ideal weather and be prepared to apply that skill to your game.

Arrive Early to Warm Up

Arriving 45 to 75 minutes before your tee time will give you a chance to warm up, especially if there are driving ranges and practice greens. Practice greens will be particularly helpful since they are specific to that golf area. By making a few test swings and putting your golf ball, you’ll get a feel for the bounce and friction of the course. You should spend at least 15 minutes on these practice greens, and remember that not all of the greens on the course will have the same feel and speed.

Don’t forget to stretch as well! Work your arms, back, and hips to ensure that you’re fully flexible and ready to follow through on your swings. Never push through an early-game injury or strain, as you may worsen the condition. Just take some time to loosen up, practice your putting, and gauge the wind.

Remember That You Can’t Prepare for Everything

You won’t be able to prepare for everything that can happen during your tournament. Not only will you have to contend with unpredictable weather, but the course itself may not be what you expect, even if you’ve played it before. Part of the fun of golf is the challenge, which means you should expect the unexpected. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your next tournament, but don’t get discouraged if things don’t always go your way. Golf should be fun and relaxing, even when you’re playing in a professional tournament. Take a deep breath if you need it, good luck, and remember to have a good time.