Pre Season: A Prime Time to Prepare

By Derek Thornley, Director of Instruction for Monaghan Golf Group at Fraserview Golf Course


The new golf season is almost here and many of us are anxious to pull out the clubs and head back to the course. You may be asking yourself: "Will this be the year I get my game together and play to my true potential?"

We see the PGA Tour Professionals returning to the course with renewed enthusiasm, confidence and focus after their winter break. Why? It's their diligent pre-season preparation. If the top athletes can channel their aspirations and optimism into a structured game plan to achieve best results, then so should we.

Consider the following steps for pre-season preparation:

  1. Understand what motivates you - Take a few minutes to think about why you love golf. Do you enjoy the challenge of learning new skills and continually improving? Do you most enjoy being with friends in the great outdoors? How important is it to reach your goals? Review and re-connect with what inspires you most about golf, and use this to help energize your commitment to pre-season preparation.
  2. Check in with a pro - PGA Golf Professionals have expertise in making assessments geared to the unique skill, aspirations and commitment level of individual players. A PGA Professional can advise and coach you through the process. Like seeing a doctor for a check-up, you want a professional, qualified opinion on the state of your game and how to best move forward.
  3. Assess all areas that impact performance - Tour Professionals take a comprehensive approach to pre-season prep by assessing their golf equipment, fitness level, mental skills, time commitment and collaborations with a coach to improve their game. While you may not be a tour-level player, consider one or all of the above in your own performance evaluation.
  4. Record your goals - Write down your expectations for the season. By creating a “living” record that can be updated, measured and evaluated, you hold yourself accountable. Consider building in a reward at the end of the season if you reach some or all your goals. When you have an end game and an action plan, it helps to sharpen focus, build confidence and achieve success.
  5. Get the ball rolling - Now’s the fun part! Put your plan into action and see where it takes you. Look at the areas where you want to improve and see how a Professional could help. For example:
    • A single lesson could give you a swing assessment plus one or two tips.
    • A Tune-up (3 lessons) could give you a swing, short-game and equipment assessment plus a review of your goals.
    • A Coaching series (5 or more lessons) could give you an in-depth assessment in all areas, plus a personalized development plan, using video or launch monitor data for precise feedback.
    • Whether you work on enhancing your mental game, fine tuning your swing, or making some adjustments to your equipment, this is the time to forge ahead. Take an informed, pro-active approach to preparation to reach your goals and enjoy your best golf ever.

Derek Thornley is a PGA of Canada Class ‘A’ Professional and Director of Instruction at Fraserview Golf Academy, one of several facilities managed and operated by Monaghan Golf Inc. His background includes playing on the Canadian and Australia/New Zealand PGA Tours, serving as an Assistant Coach for the University of British Columbia Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams, and teaching and coaching golf for more than 25 years.

To contact Fraserview Golf Academy, or to learn more about lesson programs, please visit