You walk up the tent, you grab a pencil, a marker, the blue pen from the free Sharpie bar and settle into your own thoughts, it’s go time.
How do you prepare for your majors and which ones are they? There are hundreds of books on the subject, but I would like to share my experiences and preparations as a fellow MyGolfSpyer. We first have to define our majors, because as much money as there is on the line on the big boy tours, I imagine even the pros have the ones they care about more than the others. For Rory, it is probably the Masters, the Web.com journeyman it is the sponsor’s exemption he gets and for us, it is probably the Member/Guest, State Am, Mid-Am, Club Championship or Golf Channel Am Tour event.
We look forward to it all year and the “appointment” is listed in a color you have never used in Outlook. You pore over every email correspondence on the event carefully as if you are reading an original Chaucer. When are the tee times blocked, is it your home course, do you know a member there?
If it is a Member/Guest, you may or may not have your partner picked, or you may have been picked (Congrats!). Choosing your partner is akin to Lincoln’s strategy of chopping down a tree. When faced with only 8 hours, spend 7 hours sharpening your axe. Is your future co-champ clutch, available, dependable or on the wagon? Any or all of these can make your decision easy or very difficult. One of my best prospects doesn’t get out of town very often and likes to “make the most of it”. The pleading and begging that was done to leave the bar at a reasonable hour fell on deaf ears as he had become very close friends with a friend of mine who did not have the same at stake as I did. We were leading the flight and promised to leave an hour later than I did. He got 3 hours sleep and that was probably more than I got worrying about my guy getting 6 dots. With the exception of one very important box, he checked them all. I will go into further detail into this type of event in the future, strategies to being the guest, along with a worksheet for your use.
Now let’s tackle the State Mid-Am. You’ve gotten through the qualifying you signed up for and if you have followed my calendar blueprint, there are no work/family issues with you travelling to the event. Sometimes the qualifying is the goal or you may have your eyes on a high finish. While some may advocate you always want to envision yourself winning the event, lets face the facts, I’ve played in several events where I’ve heard of the guys or seen them play in the US AM match play. Set a reasonable bar and tackle the next one the next year, improve with every outing.
Let’s tackle logistics. Do you know where the course is, it’s location in relation to the city traffic pattern or the nearest Hampton Inn? All of these are variables you can define and solve ahead of time. There is nothing worse than adding stress to an already stressful event and that is the low hanging fruit. As trite as it sounds, this is just another round of golf and the ball doesn’t know how important the day is to you. There is no logic in making any large changes to swing or equipment in advance, however I have always liked to bring one specific weapon that may add a little confidence to the day. If your buddy has a hybrid you love and it’s a long course, ask to borrow it. If it is a shorter course and your club has a strong 3 wood demo you love, grab it.
Your first of 3 alarms got you up on time, your free breakfast seemingly hasn’t given you food poisoning yet and you had a good warmup. I got some great advice on the putting green of an important event from a seasoned amateur that has always stuck with me. “The only people that care what you shoot today is you and your mom. And she doesn’t even care that much. Have fun”.