Last week’s article talked about the difference between practice rounds and tournament rounds for scoring. Below are some thoughts on ways to maximize your time during a practice round and better prepare for the tournament. Please keep in mind that this is not to encourage slow play during a practice round nor break any rules that a junior tour has enforced regarding practice rounds. Only apply these if and when they are applicable and acceptable.
- If you have a yardage book write down targets that you plan to aim at off the tee (ex. edge of a bunker, tree trunk, etc).
- Write down if you might hit a different club off the tee other than a driver or if you will have a different strategy if the wind or conditions change.
- Write down lay-up yardages on par 5s so you will know where you want to leave your approach shot. Make note of bunkers or things in the landing area to avoid, they are there for a reason.
- Make note of any hazards that you wouldn’t be able to see from the tee or lay-up shot.
- Make note of any elevation changes and how many yards/clubs it will play up or down.
- Make note of any multi-tiered greens.
- Take time to practice some short game shots around the greens, only if you can do so without holding up play. It is the best way to get a true feel for how the ball will react out of different lies. If not take some time before or after to practice different shots on the short game area.
- It’s fine to roll some putts on the greens but make sure you are doing it with some kind of purpose. Lay a putter cover where a possible pin may be and roll putts to get a feel for speed and break. Take notes for how slopes may break differently than they appear.
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