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Tournament Scheduling: Advice from College Coaches
11 Feb 2019
by Brendan Ryan of Golf Placement Services

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One of the most difficult issues facing the developing golfer is tournament scheduling -- how much to play, practice, rest and compete to optimize their improvement.

This week we asked college coaches to complete a survey and help provide some insights into tournament scheduling, including recommended number of tournaments to play in a year, recommended number of days off, and best advice for putting together a tournament schedule.

In total we got responses from 27 coaches, including 21 Division 1 coaches. 16 were men’s coaches and 11 were women’s coaches.

Q: How many events do you believe a college player or aspiring college player should be playing each year?

For this question, the average answer was 21, with every answer falling between 12 to 24. Please note that in a recent survey at the AJGA Evian Senior Showcase, we asked 97 junior golfers how many events they planned to play in 2019. The average response was 18.

Q: On average, how many days off per year do you think is healthy?

For this question, the average response here was 49 days. This number mirrors my previous findings which suggest that on average the best players practice about 285 days per year for 3.7 hours.

Related: Golf Development: Practice, Periodization and Preparation

Q: What is your best advice to give players about tournament scheduling?

We got a range of answers to this question, but here are the comments we thought might be the most helpful to consider:

“Coaches spend a lot of time recruiting, including looking closely at results from all various levels. For junior golfers, less thought should go into where to play and more into preparing to play well because at the end, scores matter a lot” – NCAA COACH

“Days off are essential for physical and mental recovery. Be realistic in building. Your schedule a couple of reach events are ok but give yourself a chance to learn to win when you can” – NCAA COACH

“Less is more. Focus on one important event per month and two or three in the summer months each month. Always play a practice round. Don’t show up having not played a practice round and let most of the field have played one and sometimes two practice rounds and think you are going to compete.”- NCAA COACH

“Make sure there are enough down days and practice days between events.” – NCAA COACH

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