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9:1 Back to School Tips from Chris Smeal, FCG Founder

Back to School Tips – Chris Smeal, PGA and Founder of Future Champions Golf

OK!  School is back in session and you just finished a full summer of awesome competitions!  Hopefully you succeeded this summer and reached many of your intended goals… perhaps you did not… but what will you do now?  Is it break time?  Is it practice time?  What will you do between now and the end of 2019 to get better at this amazing game?  Here are couple thoughts and ways you should look at the Fall Months….

Where you are at?  and Some Perspective…
I think your Fall Schedule should be determined based on where you are at with your current golf game, your goals, and where you are trying to get to.  I think too many people are freaking out about playing college golf or qualifying for this or that tour… and basically creating a whole level of unnecessary stress… The key should always be to try and get better everyday and see what happens… the beauty of golf is your really just don’t know how good you will be.  You can try as hard as you want in practice but if in competition you don;t go out and let the magic happen you will continue to make the same mistakes and play under too much pressure.  There is a reason even the Pro’s who are trying to win the Career Grand Slam, or to win a Key Event do not win these events…. Add the Pressure… and FAIL… it is a simple system that has proven for years!

Player Who Just Had a Fantastic Summer of Tournaments

  • Maybe for you this is time to evaluate why things worked so well.  It is always important to think about what is working and what is not.  Take time with this, don’t rush it and get perspective from someone who understands golf and player development.
  • If you are just shooting really well right now you should continue to play as many events as possible and keep winning or succeeding.  I think a lot of players take breaks while they are hot and don;t take advantage of how well they are playing.

Player Who Just Had a Terrible Summer of Tournaments 

  • Time to Re-Evaluate your systems for practice, play, lessons, tournaments, etc.  Work with your coach to develop a PLAN.
  • Set Goals for the Fall and Get to Work
  • Then Set a Tournament Schedule Based on When you Plan to be Ready Again and Firing on All Cylinders

Players Who Just Need Tournament Experience

  • There are a lot of players still fairly new to the Competitive Golf System and these players may want to play a ton of Fall Tournaments and gain a bunch of experience now for their future.  There is nothing wrong with playing a lot of tournaments and gaining a ton of experience.  Just be good at evaluating your success and your process.

Player Who Feels Behind About Getting Recruited to Play College Golf 

  • If you have not yet been recruited the Fall is a good time to compete. Make sure your game is in good shape though as competing when you know you aren’t swinging well is potentially a bad idea.  Your coach should be able to help you with this but your own personal feelings about your game are the real story. I ask my students all the time how they feel about every area of their game and anytime there is the slightest of doubt those are the areas they need to attack immediately…  How you feel will dictate the commitment level of the shot or the chance of success of the shot.
  • Also if you are trying to get recruited to college you should compete on courses you know already or can get some practice rounds in on.  Try not to set yourself up to fail to much. There are times when you need to get out and try new events and courses for experience but when it is crunch time it is better to pick courses you know a little better.

Player Who is Already Committed to Play College Golf

  • Pick some Good Tournaments Close to Home, Maybe One Event Per Month on Good Courses.  A lot of players once they commit to college play a lot less golf tournaments and tend to get lazy or less focused and their game struggles.  You don’t have to go at this hard year round but you need to stay sharp.  Plus the Fall and Spring Tournament Schedule is very similar to how college golf will work with you needing to juggle academics/ studying and competing.  So it is  good to create a similar schedule to what you will be doing in college now.

Player Who is Struggling with Their Golf Swing

  • Use the Fall to Work with Your Coach and Get your swing dialed in for a period further away.  For instance spend September through November making this the time you get your swing dialed in.  Work on increasing swing speed for further distance the next time you start competing again.

Fall Planning Tips for Everyone

  • There is School and Less Daylight in the Fall Months so I recommend when it’s light out you are on the golf course and when it is dark that is time for Homework, Physical Fitness, and Mental Game Development.  If you have a lighted range in your area like Stadium Golf Center in San Diego where I coach take advantage of the late night practice times when you can.  Get some of your homework done during school so you have a little more time at night.
  • Schedule Your Golf Ahead of Time – Have a daily schedule you try to follow. Don’t just play golf when you have free time. Too many people do this and neglect practice.

The Competitive Golf Calendar and Learning To Peak at the Key Times of the Year

  • I believe there are times at when you want to have your game PEAK… just like the professionals do with trying to PEAK at the Major Championships which is really what the best of the best care about the most.
    • Winter Break – So there are a ton of great tournaments to play all Fall and these should be helping you build and get your game ready for the biggest event of the Fall/ Winter Season which has become the FCG National Championship.  This event attracts tons of College Coaches each year and sees a full 550 players each year.  What a better time than to be playing your best golf this time period right?  We have built this event for you so you can prep in the fall, then when Winter Break hits and you do not have school you can practice more on those long days and get super sharp for the National Championship.
    • June through August – Summer is the time that serious competitive golfers need to be firing on all cylinders and be in PEAK mode.  PEAK Mode to me means knowing your golf swing and your feels and not be in the middle of a swing change.  It means having your distances dialed in. Means your short game is tight and you have the most feel. Your lag putting is dialed in and your short putts you can’t miss.  All the biggest and best tournaments are held June through August so prep year round around being ready to go in June.  You can take breaks accordingly.
    • Your High School Golf Season – I think High School Golf is really fun and good for all kids to participate in.  It is a great time to be playing really well because you will have a ton of matches and can start to go low with this much play time.  The hard part some find is working on their swing during this time can be a challenge.  Especially since the warm ups for High School matches are usually short and rushed.

Thank you for Reading!  If you enjoyed this please share with a friend and as always I would love to hear from you and your feedback on this Blog Post. Shoot me an email at 

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