One of the issues the amateur game has, especially for those that can´t always make the weekend competitions, is making the game count.
This may seem like an odd thing to say, I mean after all we all want to perform well when we step out onto the first tee.
Or at least that is what we think we are going to do, going to try and ultimately what we want to achieve, but it rarely if ever happens when you are playing a friendly foursome.
There is a reason for this and that is simply the lack of the presence of pressure.
When we step out onto the first tee during the club championship we immediately put ourselves under pressure to perform, and the reaction of the conscious mind and the effect it has on our body is apparent with errant shots and mistakes that rarely rear their ugly heads when we are playing the mid-week friendly with your regular partners.
Adding in the pressure changes the way we act, react and perform, and to improve as a golfer you must learn to control this and play to your bet ability, regardless of the situation upon which you find yourself.
The problem is, how do you recreate the additional pressure when you only get to compete in competitions a few times a year?
You have to work at it, you have to create the pressure.
Put yourself in this position;
You are playing your mid-week round with your boss and a couple of work colleagues.
The game is lacking that pressure that you crave to learn to control.
Be imaginative and challenge your playing partners to a more competitive game.
Add in a losers clause, so for example;
The loser has to work the weekend shift.
This is something that nobody would want to do willingly so the pressure to perform on the golf course is reminiscent of the pressure you would feel playing the club championship.
I mean would you want to go home and tell the other half that you had to work all weekend, ruining the plans they had for the family?
It is the ability to create a situation that ultimately makes us better players.
When I used to practice I would create challenges that I would have to complete before I could leave for home, or the course to get in a few extra holes.
These challenges could be to hole a certain number of 2 foot putts in succession or chip in a certain number of balls out of 10, the list and possibilities are endless, but until you learn to make your rounds and practice sessions count you will struggle to perform under the pressure of competition stress.