If they have set their periodisation plans in place they should all be set to peak now. This would be where all of their technique, strategy, nutrition and physical fitness is set, all they need to do is turn up, warm up and play. The focus of their attention will be tactical for the coming week.
Now if I told you that they will have rehearsed their new swing movements to such a level that they actually swing on automatic, concentrating only on the target you may find that hard to believe. Yet it is true. So, with all of this kudos at stake over the coming few days the players who will contend are the players who believe in themselves and trust their swings.
The moment the belief waivers or the trust diminishes the tournament is done and dusted. Belief and trust, two words you rarely hear from amateur golfers. Yet when you hear the whisper of both together there will have been, more than likely, a positive result.
For example, have you ever stood over a shot, looked at the target and then hit it, with the ball going in or very close to the hole? No thought, just let it happen. Then you step away from the shot and say to yourself, I could just see that happening. That is exactly the state the guys on the television want to play in for four consecutive competitive days. It’s not easy believe me.
To be able to play with an uncluttered clear mind is the key to being able to concentrate properly. This would mean you would have to play in the present, where you have no expectations of what is going to happen and you are unburdened with what has happened in the past.
To hit a ball with no expectations is so, so difficult. Of course you want the ball to hit the fairway, the green or go in the hole. But you have to surrender to the fact that all you can do is your best. Trust (there’s that word again) that you have made the correct decision tactically and that you have the competence to execute the shot. How many times have we said to children, “just do your best, that’s all that matters.” Yet we as golfers will stand over shots and think about some technical issue with regard to our swings, rather than trust that we can do it without any swing thoughts.
Do you ever swing a without a swing thought? If never then you will find yourself held captive to your own thoughts rather than focusing 100% on your target. The time to be concerned about swing mechanics is on the driving range, never ever on the course. All that should fill your mind on the course is rhythm, trust, target and a clear mind.
The final piece of the puzzle for the player (you) to play in the present would be to have a child-like ability to forget what has happened in the past. The past hole, past two rounds or even the past five years. All are behind you and can only affect you if you choose to remember the details. This is especially true if you choose to remember the poor shots and take the good shots for granted. The other way around is the way to go! Be like Jack Nicklaus who believes he has never three putted the final green in a Major championship. He has, he just chooses to forget that.
So in short, stay in the present, focus on the target and trust your swing. If you can’t trust it perhaps you are asking a little too much from it.