Pre-round routines can be a very confusing topic, and, surprisingly, is they are one of the harder topics for high-level players to master. For amateurs, it can be even more daunting.
If you think about how you prepare for a business meeting or a test in school, generally we all have a routine that helps us be successful. For example, if you have a test on Friday, you would start studying a half hour every night on Monday, or if you have an important meeting, perhaps you would practice your presentation in front of a colleague. If you’re a professional golfer or want to play like a professional golfer, you need to apply this same concept of preparation and planning.
First Things First
The first thing that every golfer should ask is “what time do I get up?”
We will work backward to calculate our wake up time. Let’s say we have an 8 AM tee time. We want to consider everything we need to do before we are standing on the tee at 8 AM. So, for example, we need to shower, eat breakfast, and get dressed. We might also want to do a morning workout or some meditation. And obviously, we need to allow time for a warm-up routine at the course.
For the sake of argument let’s say our warm-up takes an hour and a half, so if the tee time is 8, we need to be at the golf course at 6:30. A step a lot of people forget is drive time. Let’s say we’re 15 minutes from the course. We need to have everything done and in the car by 6:15 at the latest.
If we budget an hour to shower, eat, get dressed, and perform our morning wellness routine, that means for an 8:00 AM tee time, we would need to wake up at 5:15 AM.
What if it’s a 1 PM tee time?
If we woke up as late as possible, then we’d be waking up at 10:15 AM. However, we all know that sleeping in usually leaves us groggy all day, and that makes for poor golf performance. This is why we need to have a normal wake up time established. Let’s say that you decide 7 AM is your wake up time.
So if your tee time is 1 PM, and you wake up at 7 AM what do you do until 10:15 AM? Try to do something that keeps you mentally engaged. Sitting on the couch watching TV will make you sleepy again. Staying active and engaged by reading, exercising or other non-screen related activities will keep you fresh and energetic for your tee time.
Still working backward from our tee time, we need to consider when to go to sleep the night before. If you’re a junior you probably need 9 hours of sleep or 8 for an adult, so you will want to calculate backward from your wake-up time to determine when is the absolute latest you should go to sleep.
Now it doesn’t always work out perfectly, especially if you have a late tee time today and an early tee time tomorrow. You may not finish until 7 pm and need to be up for your 7 AM tee time at 4 AM. In these cases, do the best you can, it will not always be perfect.
If you plan for everything you need to do and work backward, you should always be able to arrive at the course with plenty of time to warm up, which should help you play better, swing faster, and hurt less.