My Golf Instructor
Sign up for the Ask Maria Featured Question of the Day
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

Question on Mental Game:

I'm playing a practice round for a big tournament. What should I look for?

You want to make the practice round the blueprint for your game plan. On each hole, decide what the key club would be to hit off of the tee. Try hitting a couple clubs other than your driver and see what advantage they may give you as far as staying safe, but still having a shot at the green.

Pick out the ideal landing spot on each fairway. Make notes in your yardage book of an hazards, hidden trouble, slopes and mounds in the fairway that can cause your ball to roll once it lands. Mark trouble spots around the green like hidden bunkers and trouble on the backside.

Once on the putting surface, look for paint spots where the grounds crew may have marked where they are going to place the pins. If there are no marks make sure to putt to 5 points. These points are the center of the green, back right, back left, front right and front left. You want to give yourself the advantage of knowing how the ball rolls at each possible pin placement.

By:

Other Related Tips on Mental Game
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
Grip
- Grip (65)
Setup
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)