What's Your Major? Plan now, and let me help you win it

What’s Your Major? Plan now, and let me help you win it

My prep session with last year's winner, Gary Seal. He finished 2nd in his club championship.
Marc Serota

Last year we launched our
first “What’s Your Major?”
contest, which challenged
all amateurs to tell us about
their single most important
tournament and why they considered
it to be their “major.”
Your submissions far exceeded
our expectations, and proved
that our readers’ lives intersect
with the game in so many interesting
and different ways
and places.

So we’re pleased to announce the 2011 “What’s Your Major?” contest. The concept comes from the fact that the game’s best players have four “major” competitions each year, and that preparation for these events is crucial to every pro’s success. In much the same way, most amateurs have a tournament on their calendar that would make their year if they won it. To enter this year’s contest, simply tell us (in 250 words or less) what your major is and what it would mean to you to win it. How to enter, contest rules and prizes. Our contest winner will be chosen by Golf Magazine readers, and he or she will receive a complete Callaway clubfitting, a $10,000 SYNLawn putting green installed in their backyard, and a free day of game-preparation time with me at their tournament site.

Even if you don’t win the contest,
you can still work with us and
prepare for your major — starting
NOW! Grab a wall calendar and
put a big red circle around your
major date. Turn the calendar back
one month and circle the date (to
show 1 month until your major),
and do the same for 2 months,
3 months and 4 months prior to
the tournament. This establishes
an awareness of the work you
must do and your time frame to
accomplish it. With four months to
go until your major, the first step is
to assess your gear and your game
in 5 key areas:

1. Set Makeup Check
Keep a notebook in your bag
and, for five rounds, track how
often you use each club. If you’re
avoiding a club, we need to know
that now and either resolve the
issue or replace the club.

2. Putter Check
Your putter is crucial to scoring.
Ask your pro to make sure it
fits you and your stroke. Then
change the grip — or don’t
change anything — depending
on your pro’s advice and how
well you perform. You’ll need
to putt well to win your major.

3. Putting Practice
Develop a “Square Strike” putting
stroke. Go to pelzgolf.com and
click on the free O-Ball offer. If
you’re among the first 500,
we’ll send you a free Callaway
Tour i(z) Pelz O-Ball. The ball
is USGA legal and great for
improving your stroke.

4. Find Your Weak Spots
Give your game a hard look
and determine your biggest
weakness — driving, putting,
bunkers, etc. — and devote a
practice session every week to
improving it. Last year’s winner,
Gary Seal, had difficulty dealing
with his major course’s thick
Bermuda rough. If Gary had
identified this four months
before his major, he would have
had ample time to improve his
play from it and save precious
strokes during the event.

5. Get Into Tourney Mode
Start playing your tournament
course and assess where it will
attack your game. Find a buddy
to help motivate you to practice
this area consistently. Better
yet, get him or her to enter the
contest, too. Two great golf
stories are better than one.


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