Game Plan for Better Golf

Mark Oswald
General Manager
The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Marana, AZ

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How do you play in competition? Is your game better or worse under pressure?

If you have trouble playing in competition or hitting a shot when you really need it, the problem might be in your mental game not necessary your golf swing.

You need to have a game plan, pre-shot routine, and confidence in yourself and the shot you’re about to play in order to perform in the heat of the battle.

Start with a good game plan. This game plan for golf will include knowing your strong shots and your weak shots. This plan should include a hole by hole shot plan that plays off of the strengths in your game and avoids the weak areas as much as possible. This is played out by deciding which club will be used off the tee. This club is selected not only by ‘which club I can hit the furthest’ but ‘what shot do I have after the tee shot’. Use the tee shot that when struck correctly leaves you a second shot that you can hit with confidence.

A pre-shot routine is simply a plan of events that you have leading up to the impact with the ball. You want consistency. A pre-shot routine would take into consideration if you are going to take a practice swing or simply a waggle over the ball. Do you look at your target and line up the shot from behind or the side. Do you “visualize” that shot going right at the hole, or “feel” that great impact with the ball, or “hear” that crisp sound of hitting the ball in the middle of the club face. All of these things will affect the confidence you have in pulling off the shot. Every shot from the Drive to the Putt needs consistency and confidence that the right pre-shot routine can provide.

Confidence is the hardest aspect to find and maintain with your golf game. Your confidence level will rise and fall at times as your score rises and falls. What the golfer must do is strive to convince himself that he is confident is his or her abilities. The best way to gain confidence in your game is through practice. The more you practice a particular shot, the more confidence you will have when that shot comes up in the round. Set out a game plan to succeed, get the right pre-shot routine and picture yourself succeeding. You might just surprise yourself with what you can do on the golf course.

One way to test and improve your skills is by playing in events that challenge your skills and put you against golfers that may be better than you are and push you to higher levels. 

For more help with your golf game, contact Mark Oswald at