As much as you’ve been itching to place the tee in the ground, rip a drive down the center of the fairway, and reach the green in two, the first few times on the course can be rough. Understanding how to prepare for the first round of golf of the year helps you check all the boxes before you inevitably lose your cool after blading a chip on the rock-hard ground.
Dress the Part
Even when the sun is shining for much longer as we approach spring, the temperatures are still low. Although you’d prefer to wait for the first perfect morning to hit the course, everyone else has that same mindset, so getting on the course before the rest of the crowd allows you to play a round uninterrupted.
There is nowhere to hide from Mother Nature on the course, making it vital you dress for the part. You should consider yourself lucky if you can feel your hands after 18 holes on a 40-degree day; fortunately, there are some ways to fight the cold.
Dress in layers and remove clothes if the sun peeks out from the clouds or the winds taper off as you go from the first tee to the back nine. It might be in your best interest to walk the course when it’s chilly. Walking will keep your body warm, but driving around in a cart can cause your teeth to chatter.
You shouldn’t forget to stretch before your first round. Your body will be stiff from the off-season, and the cold weather will further tighten your muscles. Golf requires all parts of your body to be in sync to be successful. Insufficient bend in your knees could affect your swing. While you’re waiting on the practice putting green, put your flat stick down and stretch it out to improve your score and limit the chance of an injury.
Set Realistic Expectations
If there were betting odds that you will have a terrible round the first time you step foot on the course this year, it would probably be -10,000. Temper your expectations so you don’t swear off the game for the other five months of the year. Even if you spent the winter at an indoor driving range or kept track of your distance off the tee in a golf simulator, the struggle bus will run you over like a Volkswagen did Happy Gilmore.
Since you will question why you even play this game during your first go-around, it’s inevitable that you’ll lose a handful of balls. Thus, beginning the year with a bundle of cheap golf balls is wise. Wait until you have the confidence to go an entire round with the same Pro V1 before spending big bucks on a sleeve. Keep in mind that the course will be muddy until it gets the proper treatment, and there’s no need to muddy up your good balls.
Learning how to prepare for the first round of golf for the year ensures the season opener goes according to plan. Here’s to hoping the birdies roll into the cup shortly after you tear up the course the first time.