Champions Tour Qualifying School

Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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The last week of November, TPC Scottsdale is hosting the PGA Tour Champions Qualifying School, a four round tournament for roughly 80 players, the top 5 earning full status on the Champions Tour for 2018. Any qualifying tournament carries with it a unique kind of pressure which in many cases is different for almost every player. I’ve been crushed under the pressure of these events and I’ve also navigated my way through, here are some of the tools these guys are probably using during the week and how it can help you.

Preparation – Maybe more this week than others, these guys are going to spend a lot of time preparing to play. The worst position to put yourself in is making difficult decisions under stress. You may get away with one or two of these on the fly decisions, but sooner or later you’ll make a mistake, and even one mistake can be the difference in an event like this. If you’re going to be playing a local amateur event, or big club event, spend some extra time thinking through what you’d like to do, maybe possible pin positions, weather conditions, etc.  The best feeling is when something out of the ordinary happens during a tournament round that you’ve already prepared for, picking clubs becomes much easier, leaving full energy for execution.

Process – I was talking with one of the players getting ready to go and I thought his approach was right on the money. Instead of thinking about shooting a specific number, his goal was to give himself as many birdie opportunities as he possibly could. Notice he didn’t say make birdies or pars, or shoot a specific number, just fairways, greens, birdie chances for 72 holes, a great way to attack a tournament like this. Maybe try to play the next round with no double bogeys, three putts, or penalty shots, a great process goal I’ve used before.

Routines – I would always encourage players to have a small system to actually pull the trigger on a golf shot. Similar to a basketball player at the free throw line, a couple dribbles, a deep breath, then shoot. Find something you can comfortably execute and try to use your routine on as many shots as you can. To me, a preshot routine really helps under pressure, a way to keep you from being both too slow and too fast in your approach to hitting a shot. Pressure can do interesting things to the mind and body, a preshot gives you a tool to work with the pressure not against it. Good Luck! 

Rob Rashell is now the Director of Instruction at TPC Scottsdale. You can reach him at