Dr. Bob Rotella’s 10 Rules For Amateurs Preparing To Play Tournament Golf

Courtesy of Dr. Bob Rotella with Alan Pittman and Golf Digest Magazine

Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale – No. 16 Stadium Course


Don’t Be Seduced By Results – I teach my players to “stay in the present.” How did Trevor Immelman get to the 18th green of the final round of the 2008 Masters and not know where he stood in the field? He refused to allow himself to be seduced by a score, got lost in the process of executing each shot and accepted the result until he ran out of holes.

Sulking Won’t Get You Anything – When things don’t go well, don’t get down. Feeling sorry for yourself or thinking the golf gods have conspired against you means you’re not focused on the next shot. The only thought to allow in your mind is always – what’s the best way to get my ball in the hole?

Beat Them With Patience – In tournament play, the rough is thicker, the pins are tougher and the greens are faster. Each time you feel the urge to make an aggressive play, choose a conservative one. The moment a player becomes impatient, bad things happen; stay patient and let others defeat themselves.

Ignore Unsolicited Swing Advice – Your partner and well-meaning friends will insist on giving you advice. Don’t accept it. In fact, stop them before they can say a word. You’ve prepared to play; commit to your game and stay confident.

Embrace Your Personality – When it’s time to play, dialogue with yourself or socialize with your partner and competitors; it’s up to you. You know what’s best for you, so stick with it throughout the round.

Have A Routine To Lean On – Follow your mental and physical routine on every shot; it’ll keep you focused on your task and nerves won’t have a place in your mind. Doesn’t matter what it is – it’s what you do, so do it every time.

Choose Peace On The Course – Competition causes many to become panicked practicers, over-trainers and swing rebuilders. You enjoy golf, so see the golf course as your sanctuary and not a place to be afraid of messing up.

Prepare With Stroke Play – Gross stroke players can thrive in match play events, match-play players can have mental lapses when they must count them all. Prepare with some stroke play rounds, you’ll be tougher mentally.

Find Someone Who Believes In You – A partner, a friend, a coach, an acquaintance, it doesn’t matter much. What does matter is that you find someone who believes in you, someone who sees you doing things you can’t see yourself doing – yet. Their support provides a foundation for your own self-confidence; no champion arrives alone.

Believe You Can Win – Watch your “them” play. They can hit it farther, they hit it straighter, their bunker play is fantastic, they chip it and putt it better than you do. But choose to believe that if those guys can win, so can you; then get to work improving yourself – the belief is the first step down that path.

3 Comments for “Dr. Bob Rotella’s 10 Rules For Amateurs Preparing To Play Tournament Golf”

  1. AZGA – Thanks for the reminders, they all seem to apply to more than just golf – Tmac

  2. Good advice is good ADVICE. The tough part is remember these things in the “moment”.
    Practice does make for perfect, most of the time.

  3. Jodi Saladucha

    You helped me win my team matches this week with your thoughts. Thanks so much Dr. Bob!

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