Casual Round vs Competitive Round…Why So Different?

Having played many competitive rounds of golf in my career, I always marveled at how the pressure always mounted the closer I got to the first tee on the first day of the tournament. Of course days before the tournament, I played practice rounds with ease. My score was great, shots were well planned and executed and putts rolled in as though they had eyes. Then, the day of the event, eating was not coming easily, the swings on the range were a little less than perfect (they certainly seemed perfect the day before) and the putts were looking at the hole as they rolled by, rather than staring it down and falling To the bottom of the cup. My, what a difference a day makes! Well, it’s less about a different day and more about the pressure, real or otherwise, that changes our environment. Oh, and by the way, it’s not the golf environment that changes, it’s our internal “mental” environment that changes. And the interesting thing is that we do it to ourselves. Have you ever noticed that when you play a casual round of golf, all is great, you play like a champ and score better than ever before. Then, you sign up for your local event or you head out for your league play and the score shoots up and the ball goes all over the course. You wonder what happened to the great golfer from the week before. The environment of casual play is very different from tournament or league play. So, how do you get better in a competitive environment? The key to successful competitive play is to make your casual round a bit more like the one in competition. Create some pressure for score by adding a game or two for the round.  You want to create an environment that brings about similar situations found in competition..the three foot putt to save par, the pitch shot to get the ball back in play, the tee shot that positions the ball for a great approach shot into the green. Doing this will bring your focus to a more elevated level for each shot and at the same time simulate competition. Become more familiar with the tournament or league environment and you will be more successful when it’s time to turn it on!


About Cathy

I am an LPGA Class A teaching professional with more than 20 years of experience. I've recently been selected as a Golf Channel Academy Coach. I have been listed as one of the best teachers in the country by Golf for Women Magazine, best teacher in state by Golf Digest and been nominated to the prestigious Top 100 Teacher list by Golf Digest. I offer whole game improvement plans and strategies that will help you achieve your goals. Whether you have a single digit handicap or you are just a beginner, I will help guide you to your success by creating a learning environment that is completely unique to you! I am one of only 30 people in the country certified by the Golf Coaches Association. I use V1, FlightScope and Boditrak technology.
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