By Roger Knick, Founder – The Golf Performance Center
First, let’s say, wow and congrats on 82 wins! I happened to catch Tiger last night speaking about his President’s Cup selections and why he chose himself. Hopefully you caught this too. The Golf Channel anchor asked him, “when did you know you were going to choose yourself for the Team?” Tiger’s response was a microcosm of how he has become perhaps the greatest golfer alive, or ever. He said, “I prepared myself the best I could to go out and win a golf tournament (Zozo). If I had not won, I wouldn’t have chosen myself, but since I did, I thought I would be a good pick.”
Maybe it’s me, but I thought his comment regarding his preparation was eye opening. Here is a guy, arguably the greatest golfer of all time, talking about preparing himself the best he could for a regular PGA Tour event. Can you imagine, just off another knee surgery weeks before, and he is preparing his best. If he could go out and win, he has a chance to play on the President’s Cup Team. There were players in the field saying they were excited about playing, but it was hard to get good preparation in for the event, it was tough traveling and so on. Herein lies why Tiger Woods is the best winner on the planet! He understands that correct preparation is the key to success, regardless of how much success you have or don’t have. He was trained early in his childhood on how preparedness is the key to victories regardless of the circumstance! Most likely an attribute he learned from his US Army green beret trained father, Earl Woods. His 82 wins are not a fluke, he didn’t win because he is talented, he won because he prepared the best he could, and the results took care of themselves. The secret is, Tiger does not think that talent alone wins golf tournaments, there are millions of talented golfers, but there are few who are willing to prepare at the level he was and is willing to do.
None of us will likely achieve Tiger’s 82 PGA Tour victories but we can all learn from his thinking. Being prepared better than anyone else gives the talented the edge under pressure to succeed more often. If you are a junior golfer signed up for tournaments or an adult golfer playing in a club championship or Golf Channel Am-Tour event, don’t just show up and think that your practice is enough. The distinction about preparing the best you can for an event or to be successful at winning events is not just practicing your swing mechanics. It takes understanding the golf course, getting good sleep weeks before, having good hydration and nutrition weeks before, being physically and mentally ready weeks before. Unfortunately, we see and hear too often about how someone not playing well at a tournament, but when you look at their preparation it was poor at best! Maybe they had a few swing sessions, a practice round to “see” where their game is (the goal of practice round is to understand how to play the course). If they play well during practice rounds or a couple times before the tournament players tend to think they are prepared to succeed. This is usually when the big disappointment happens, expectations are unrealistic for the tournament and the challenge of tournament golf overwhelms them.
As you move into “off season” and thinking about goals for the winter and next year, think about how you will prepare yourself to do your best. This happens way before your events take place. Many of you are or will be preparing tournament schedules for next year. When doing so, put in there your goals of how to prepare your best to compete at your best for each event. This goes to why we suggest a targeted number of events, so that you can prepare yourself to be your best for each not just show up! Like him or hate him, Tiger knows how to get the best out of his talent – prepare better than anyone else!!
Enjoy Your Journey!