by: Stephane Boudreau
I started playing competitive golf at the age of 12. I have now been competing for 10 years and I only started being comfortable with tournament play a couple years ago. Honestly I wish there would be a secret to magically not be nervous and be confident during tournaments. But personally I think the best solution is to play as many tournaments as you can and be as prepared as you can. Experience is the biggest asset to become comfortable with tournament play.
Being raised in New-Brunswick, Canada, golf was not one the easiest sport to find loads of golf tournaments. When I started to become serious about competing, we had about 3 major junior tournaments to look forward too. My entire year was about peaking from middle June to late July. That is six weeks of competition. If I played poorly or mediocre during those six weeks; that entire year of golf was considered terrible or a disappointment.
Since I have been to college in South Carolina, I see now why a high percentage of the successful players come from the south. Simply because they not only could play golf year round but they could have a massive selection of tournaments to play from. They can play a couple events a month for the entire year.
Basically the United States and the big provinces from Canada that have the luxury to find loads of events to play helps create the good players. Having this type of choice of not only tournaments, but several different tours and circuits is a massive advantage. Especially compared to golfers from small provinces where they have two to four events per year to look forward too.
My point is that to be a great competitor at sports nowadays, athletes have to move to the areas where there is lots of competition. I was lucky enough that my parents could afford to let me travel to different parts of Canada to have those extra tournaments under my belt and not just have those 3 major ones in New-Brunswick. I still only played golf 5 to 6 months a year but having more tournaments as experience helped me grow as a player and a person.
Having been in the south for 4 years now, I am playing the best golf of my life, simply because I’m playing, practicing and most importantly, competing 10 and a half months a year. I am extremely proud to be from a small town and have much respect for all successful athletes that find ways to compete at high level even when they are at a disadvantage from the small town lifestyle. So for me, playing in as much competition play as possible and competing within my college golf team has definitely been one of the main reasons for my improvement.
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