Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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I was texting back and forth with a junior golfer I work with, and he was talking about wanting to win a tournament or tournaments. I am very familiar with the need or want to win any event, although I know so many things need to happen for anyone to walk away with a trophy. Winning has always been an outcome, something you talk about at the very end, made up of pieces that have nothing to do with winning. I know most people never play in a tournament, yet playing a great round of golf for anyone is made up of the same pieces.

Preparation – Knowing what your plan is when you step on the first tee of any golf course. Tournament preparation might be a little different than playing a Saturday morning game with your buddies, but you should have a good idea about what is going on that day. Having the discipline to play the correct clubs off tees, aim away from certain pin positions and green light others. Before you take the club, back you should know what you’re trying to do.

The Little Things – I was reading a book the other day, “Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday. One of the chapters talked about the San Francisco 49ers of the Bill Walsh era. Coach Walsh took over a 2 win team from the previous season and the number one thing he preached was attention to tiny details. Keeping your locker clean and organized, being on time, etc. those are the things that add up to wins. Two years after he took over his team went on to win a Superbowl. The parallel’s to golf, I’m sure you can already see. The great rounds of golf are born in the work you do before you even get to the course.  

Getting to the driving range twice a week to hit a bucket of balls, working on drills and techniques that help you play your best. Hitting some putts on the floor in your house while you watch the evening news.  These tiny things never guarantee you’ll walk on the course and play well, but they certainly increase your chances. You’ll know great golf is going to happen soon, you’re doing the work.

If you do play tournament golf or get in a great match with some friends and things get close down the stretch, relish the moment. Enjoy the feeling of a little bit of pressure, let the excitement focus the mind, and most important, learn from the moment.