Compete to Win

(Males 22+, Females 19+)


Utilize specific planning and programming to achieve identified training and competition outcomes, targets and goals.


The Compete to Win stage should focus on the athlete carrying out the finite details identified in the annual training/competition plan. The athlete should be competing in world class events and measuring their performance accordingly through the World Amateur Golf Rankings and or World Golf Rankings/Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Achieving competitive excellence at the highest level requires the full dedication of the athlete towards mastering every skill set of golf.


Performance benchmarks at this stage become the primary means of assessment for coaches to measure athlete performance.

Ball Speed
+160 mph
Ball Speed
+140 mph
Greens in Regulation

  • 12–14
Greens in Regulation

  • 11–14
Up-and-down percentage inside 50 yards

  • 55–65% from grass
  • 40–50% from sand
Up-and-down percentage inside 50 yards

  • 55–65% from grass
  • 35–45% from sand

  • >96% from 1–3 ft
  • 75–80% from 4–5 ft
  • 45–50% from 6–10 ft
  • 20–30% from 11–15 ft

TrackMan Combine score of 80 plus


  • >96% from 1–3 ft
  • 70–80% from 4–5 ft
  • 40–50% from 6–10 ft
  • 20–30% from 11–15 ft

TrackMan Combine score of 78 plus


  • Centeredness of ball contact.
  • Controlling of the golf ball—ability to change trajectory/curvature on command.
  • Accuracy and distance control with all clubs.
  • Heightened awareness with strategies to adapt to changing conditions.
  • Specific event-based situational/simulation training that utilizes a variety of short game shots to achieve outcome in varying conditions.
  • Ability to consistently apply learned putting skills to a variety of green condition types under competition conditions.
  • Ability to successfully adapt the pre-determined game plan based on real time.
  • Solid understanding of impact conditions and related ball flights.
  • Thorough understanding of personal tendencies (i.e. reasons for successes and failures).


Choosing an appropriate length course is important in order to enhance the athlete’s learning and enjoyment.

  • Length for males: 6,900–7,400 yards
    • Course rating of 75
  • Length for females: 6,200–6,500 yards
    • Course rating of 72

Golf Course Length Reccomendation



  • PGA of Canada—Coach of Developing Competitor
  • Integrated support team led by coach—based on player gap analysis
  • Players have sense of independence regarding training program


Highly individualized practice plans inclusive of random/blocked practice modeling competition.

  • 44–48 weeks per year (not consecutive).
  • 35–45 total training hours per week (inclusive
    of on and off course training).
  • Training week: 3–4 18 hole rounds.
  • Practice sessions are 4-6 hours with varied focus and rest and recovery.
  • Distribution of practice—structure based on individual needs.


  • Highly personalized competition plans based on principles of periodization.
  • Ongoing analysis and reflection of performance.
  • 360 degree review engaging all facets of “support team”.
  • Amateur: 13–20 high multi-round events per year.
  • Professional: 20–35 multi-round events per year.


  • Ongoing review and refinement of custom fitted equipment inclusive of balls, optimized through scientific testing.


  • Integration of agency support for professional planning is suggested.
  • Travel and financial management as well as media training.
  • Corporate partners.
  • Professional caddie selection and use.
  • Look into requirements for a caddie.
  • Full understanding of the Rules of Golf as well as anti-doping regulations.
  • Consistent use of statistics collection (i.e. Shot by Shot).
  • Mastering course charting and mapping.


At this stage, the athlete should have a solid base of function, strength and power. The overall focus of the athlete should be centred upon refining technique to optimize efficiency both on and off the golf course. Strategies to ensure optimal recovery and regeneration along with a proactive health and well-being behavior set are important for the athlete to know and implement consistently.

The athlete’s expert support personnel (team of people utilized consistently or from time-to-time) should be well-established and have a specific understanding of the athlete’s annual plan and training/competition demands. A significant portion of this program should focus on injury prevention as well as building and maintaining a long-term golf body required for a successful professional career. Athletes must repeat this process annually with the concept of periodization as the main focus.


In the Compete to Win stage, the athlete should have a good feel for the mental skill strategies that they find beneficial as well as understanding the areas where they want to continue to grow and develop. The athlete should have a pre-existing relationship with a specialist in this area as well as a well-developed team working purposefully towards the achievement of their goals (this program needs to be highly personalized and specific to the athlete). A meeting should take place at the beginning of each season in order to ensure all parties are on the same page while outlining specific mechanisms of communication (including a regular debriefing process which may be done with the golf coach).

Given the level of competition, it is important to be purposeful about nurturing fun in their game. The use of technology to facilitate skill development should be strongly considered and regular refinement and purposeful practice of basic skills (i.e. calming strategies) should take place. Game-plans, on-course focusing strategies, and pre and post-shot routines should be reviewed as needed. Service provision should be individualized at this point and driven by the athlete.

Athletes at this level will have greater accurate self descriptions, awareness and self-control. This development is not automatic and varies based on parental, social, environmental and cultural experiences. Generally, the brain has reached its adult size but continues to develop neurologically. Athletes can understand the technical requirements of golf but coaches should be sure that the athlete understands why they are doing certain things. This will help the athlete develop a stronger intrinsic motivation and a connection to practice as well performance in competition and confidence.

Critical thinking becomes more established giving athletes more decision making capabilities. While athletes can rationalize like an adult, under stress, they may not be practiced in coping and could be susceptible to making inappropriate decisions. Discussions to learn and explore options will help the athlete create decision making plans that improve performance. Allowing athletes to provide more input on their performance and learning with minimal coach feedback provides them the opportunity to think for themselves.

It is helpful to have athletes reflect on their learnings in order to connect to the mental skills for training and competition. Be aware that the rate of improvement can decline as skills require more fine-tuning which can lead to fterracottaration. Coaches can emphasize all improvements including the fun and enjoyment of practice and competitions to help support motivation. Athletes can become more specialized at this level which includes increased training volumes and time commitments. Encouraging participation in non-sport activities is essential for balance.

Because maturity levels vary, coaches may find athletes are ready to assume responsibilities and accept the consequences of their actions. Athletes will be capable of self-analyzing as well as correcting and refining skills. Well-developed information processing skills improve the athlete’s ability to visualize verbal instructions. Winning becomes the major objective so it is important to emphasize goal setting in order to give definite direction, support and purpose to the athlete’s overall program.

Mental Training Framework



This is a sample week for a professional golfer. Note that every event is different and schedules may vary accordingly.

  • Mon – Arrival day—practice when available
  • Tues –  1.5 hour warm up; 9/18 hole practice; 2 hours practice
  • Wed –  1.5 hour warm up and Pro-Am or 9/18 hole practice round
  • Thurs – 1.5 hour warm up; 18 holes of competition; 1.5 hour post round practice based on performance review (note: supplemental physical training/recovery to be included)
  • Fri – 1.5 hour warm up; 18 holes of competition; 1.5 hour post round practice based on performance review
  • Sat – 1.5 hour warm up; 18 holes of competition; 1.5 hour post round practice based on performance review
  • Sun – 1.5 hour warm up; 18 holes of competition; travel


  • Males:
    • +3 to +6
  • Females:
    • +3 to +6


(BALYI, WAY, & HIGGS; 2013)

  • Train players to peak for major competitions.
  • Prepare players for the challenge of an extensive competition, travel and professional life schedule.
  • Use minor competitions to rehearse strategies for major competitions.
  • Ensure that training is characterized by high intensity and high volume (process to be updated annually as part of periodization).
  • Incorporate frequent preventative breaks to ensure physical and mental recovery and regeneration.
  • Utilize periodization strategies to effectively manage the athlete’s annual and multi-year schedule.
  • Maximize ancillary capacities and supporting elements to improve training, competition and recovery/regeneration activities.


The groups below outline the key stakeholders that are associated with the Compete to Win stage and what is needed from each to succeed. The help and support from the following stakeholders is vital for complete development:

Provincial Golf Associations

  • Offering appropriate training opportunities.
  • Order of Merit rankings maintained.

National Organizations

  • Providing National Team program for identified players.
  • Provide National Order of Merit.
  • Offer support through the transition from amateur golf to professional golf.
  • Provide access to world class coaching and sport science support for identified players.
  • Provide appropriate competitive experiences both internationally and domestically.


  • Purposeful education on the needs of the player at this stage both from a performance perspective and a financial perspective.

Golf Facilities

  • Access to world-class facilities for training and playing.
  • Ability to host competitions for players at this level.
  • Explore ways of engaging membership to assist aspiring players off set the significant expenses involved with competing at this level.

Professional Tours

  • Offer exemptions to deserving players (both amateurs in their final year prior to turning professional and young professionals).
  • Support to young professionals in ancillary development around life skills management as a professional.


  • Engage/include various subject experts to assist in formulating the performance plan for the individual players the coach is working with.
  • Ensure to engage in appropriate training and certification to work with players at this stage—Coach of Developing Competitor.
  • Ensure support is provided to player both in the training environment and competition environment.

Golf Canada
1333 Dorval Dr, Suite 1
Oakville, Ontario, L6M 4X7

PGA of Canada
13450 Dublin Line
Acton, Ontario, L7J 2W7