Throughout the course of the year we as coaches attend many golf tournaments, in this time we encounter many different swings and see a variety of golfers. If you were to walk the course from the students with the highest scores to the lowest week in and week out you would see one common denominator. It wouldn’t be necessarily the swing or equipment, but more of how they carry themselves as a golfer. This can include many items like how they dress, mannerisms, timeliness, and etiquette.
Now when I mention dress in this article it’s not knocking what clothing brand people are wearing that really doesn’t matter. I’m writing about if they look like they took the time to match their clothes, if it’s wrinkled, or tucked in with a belt. You won’t see many sloppy looking golfers playing well on any tour, it’s a matter of confidence. I’ve known many students over the years only wear pants (no shorts) because it made them feel more confident. If you start the day on the right foot by looking like Adam Scott or Michelle Wie, it can’t hurt your game. Also, college coaches won’t want to recruit someone who can’t even dress themselves.
The mannerisms that lead to a professional look on the golf course would be a calm determined look. If you look like you don’t care to be there, fidgety or slamming a club after every swing your professionalism goes right out the door. There should be no running on the golf course either, keep your heart rate down to maintain control (be prepared to hit then you don’t have to run). Practicing walking like a champion with your shoulders back, head up and eyes on the horizon keeps you from looking like you are miserable. The best players I’ve been fortunate enough to be around over the years always looked the same whether playing bad or good. Once again, college coaches will not recruit someone with a bad attitude or always looks scared on the golf course.
This is one that is different for everyone, but It’s hard to look too confident rushing to the first tee. I have seen some players who need little to no time to warm-up for a round of golf, but these players are very rare. For most people, forty-five minutes to one and half hours are the desired amount of time for a proper full game warm-up. You are there to get loose for the day not having a practice session or rebuilding your golf swing (this is hard to believe from the tournaments I’ve attended this year). So, the key is plan your morning back from your tee time based upon the time you need to warm-up, drive to the course, and get ready in the morning. This will lower your stress and increase your chances of playing better golf.
This is one that drives all coaches’ crazy, poor etiquette in golf tournaments is hard to watch, I could write and entire article on this alone. The main culprits of this are not fixing pitch marks, walking through other players lines (actual line and through line), not standing still or making noise while others are hitting, and finally damaging the course. I’ve always looked at taking care of the course a good karma, fixing your own pitch mark and at least one other while you’re waiting for others to play. Just think about how annoying it is for someone to walk through your line, it breaks your concentration and will affect your putt. To play good golf you need to be calm enough to not let your heart rate jump, so you should be able to stay calm when it’s not your turn. Watching junior golfers slam their bags or rattle their clubs while someone is hitting is not professional at all. Finally damaging the golf course goes without saying is unacceptable and has no place in the game. Going back to my karma comment earlier, I always believed in take care of the course and it will take care of you.
In conclusion, if you want to play better golf, be on college coaches radar, or increase your enjoyment during your rounds of golf, act professionally on the course. It’s not that difficult and requires less energy than being a sloppy golfer.