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Golf Tips from a Pro: Be Prepared to Play

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Mark Wehrman, PGA (left) and student Abby Scholten (right) practice at the Big Sky Resort Golf Course driving range. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK WEHRMAN


There is one statement that has guided me through my career as a PGA Professional. “Confidence comes with preparation: ” Proper preparation, through practice, will put you in a better position to succeed in tournaments. 

A proper warm-up session before a casual round will help you be less nervous on that “scary” first hole tee shot. Proper stretching and loosening up before your round will reduce the chance of injury while playing. Spending time on the putting green before your round will help you get comfortable with the current green speeds. Practicing around the greens will provide you more confidence when chipping and pitching the ball out of tough lies.

Most importantly, I am confident that showing up to the golf course well before your tee time will lower your heart rate which, in the game of golf, is extremely important for hitting better shots, and will ultimately lead to shooting lower scores. 

Tom Watson was once asked if he was in-between clubs with a shot, what was his preference? Was it taking one more club and swinging easy, or one less club and swinging harder? His answer was, “I will choose whatever club makes my heart rate slow down.” Mr. Watson is obviously a world class golfer and one of the best to ever play the game, but this is great advice to follow when making a club choice.

Lastly, with the current road construction taking place on Montana Highway 64, I’m sure you have noticed some delays when traveling the “Spur Road.” Since the start of construction, we have been getting calls every day from golfers with tee times that are running behind due to wait times caused by the construction. Not only is this a challenge for the golf shop to keep a tee sheet schedule, but it is a challenge for all of the golfers to arrive early and be prepared for their round.  

Remember, if a 10-minute delay in traffic is going to make you late for your tee time, then you probably weren’t going to be on time in the first place, and certainly you would not be prepared to play your best golf.  

When arriving for a tee time at the course, if you want to play your best golf, you need to leave plenty of time to check in the pro shop, stop by the Bunker Grill to purchase your F&B needs, stretch and warm up your body, and do some practicing on the range so you are best prepared to tee off hole No. 1 with confidence. Again, confidence comes with preparation! Here’s to showing up a minimum of 30 minutes before your round!

Mark Wehrman is the Head Golf Professional at the Big Sky Resort Golf Course and has been awarded the PGA Horton Smith Award recognizing PGA Professionals who are model educators of PGA Golf Professionals.

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