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Mr_Theoo

Competitive golf

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So I have my first tournament coming up in a few weeks and I have no idea what to expect.

 

I know a lot of you guys have played in tournaments and other competitions. Any tips on how to prepare or what to expect?

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Try to get out and play the venue once or twice before the tournament, pick your spots where you can try to make a score and where you know you will need to play it safe.  Then stick to the game plan.  Also brush up on your common rules.  Make sure you know what to do if your ball is in a hazard, or OB, or lateral water etc...  Also when you are checking in for the tourney make sure to ask if there are any local rules in effect.

 

Expect to have more pressure than you are used to and don't get frustrated if you aren't playing as well as you know you can.  Tourney golf is much more taxing mentally.  That preparation before the tournament can help alleviate a lot of the stress though.  If you know you are prepared then you just have to stick with your game plan.

 

Best of luck with the tourney and let us know how it goes!!

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Try to get out and play the venue once or twice before the tournament, pick your spots where you can try to make a score and where you know you will need to play it safe. Then stick to the game plan. Also brush up on your common rules. Make sure you know what to do if your ball is in a hazard, or OB, or lateral water etc... Also when you are checking in for the tourney make sure to ask if there are any local rules in effect.

 

Expect to have more pressure than you are used to and don't get frustrated if you aren't playing as well as you know you can. Tourney golf is much more taxing mentally. That preparation before the tournament can help alleviate a lot of the stress though. If you know you are prepared then you just have to stick with your game plan.

 

Best of luck with the tourney and let us know how it goes!!

Thanks! Unfortunately I think the course I'm playing at is private so no practice rounds before hand. I have been looking over the scorecards and course layouts though.

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What hcky said. Course familiarity is worth a few shots. It's tough going to a course blind, especially under tournament conditions. Hopefully it's a course you have played a lot. Remember the thread about making yardage books? They're nice to have, but using Google Earth to get familiar with the layout is helpful. However, nothing beats playing the course. Find out what tees you will be using. They can move them around a little, but at least you can get approximate numbers to hazards and doglegs.

 

We've had the discussion about getting there early and how much time on the range. Just enough to get a feel for what kind of swing you have that day. I see people hit way to many balls before the tournament starts. Spend most time on the putting green. Don't feel rushed. Most of all just relax and have fun... no matter what. It's an experience!

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Tournament golf is a totally different animal, but if you're competitive they are the greatest form of golf you can play.

Bring a little extra of the home grown, they're usually a long day. Plan ahead for water and some type of snack to ensure you continue to stay fueled during your round.

Plan ahead so you're there with more than enough time to get ready; your version of ready whether you bang 300 balls or just roll three putts and go. If you never roll putts before a round, now is not when you should start. If you hit five drives, five wedges, five putts, and then tee off with your normal buddies DONT change that! Usually you need to report to the starters box no less than ten minutes before your starting time.

You're going to be nervous. It's natural. If you can find out what your natural nervous tendencies are for those first couple holes, until you cool down, that would be a nice benefit.

You'll know before the first guy in your group tees off if your fellow competitors want to talk or if you're going to be out here alone with your thoughts.

If it is a qualifier, you just need to qualify, not win. Par or a couple over based on the field usually moves on. A couple bogeys won't kill ya.

When you're out there play your game. Don't compare yourself with the others. Hit the shot that you know you can hit rather than the shot you think you should hit.

Have a good time and take notes directly after your round while everything is still fresh, almost like a SWOT analysis on how you played.

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Get there early, relaxed. Stress from running late equates to trouble on the course.

 

Eat food! Your out there a long time, if you get hungry your concentration will go.

 

It's slightly pointless telling you to relax and enjoy it, nerves are normal but the more chilled out you are the better.

 

Know where the practice ground and green are, don't engage in a different warm from normal - do what you normally do. Breaking from routine usually raises people's stress level.

 

Know where the first tee is! I have seen people DSQ'd because they arrived a minute late after misjudging how far the tee was away from the clubhouse. I usually head to the first tee 15 minutes before, engage in a few conversations with other players - mark my ball, check my gloves, GPS etc.

 

If you need to sign in, do it nice and early and check any local rules that might be in force for the comp (oh and which tees your using!).

 

Enjoy it, we'll be awaiting the post match feedback with interest!

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Get there early, relaxed. Stress from running late equates to trouble on the course.

 

Eat food! Your out there a long time, if you get hungry your concentration will go.

 

It's slightly pointless telling you to relax and enjoy it, nerves are normal but the more chilled out you are the better.

 

Know where the practice ground and green are, don't engage in a different warm from normal - do what you normally do. Breaking from routine usually raises people's stress level.

 

Know where the first tee is! I have seen people DSQ'd because they arrived a minute late after misjudging how far the tee was away from the clubhouse. I usually head to the first tee 15 minutes before, engage in a few conversations with other players - mark my ball, check my gloves, GPS etc.

 

If you need to sign in, do it nice and early and check any local rules that might be in force for the comp (oh and which tees your using!).

 

Enjoy it, we'll be awaiting the post match feedback with interest!

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Thanks! Unfortunately I think the course I'm playing at is private so no practice rounds before hand. I have been looking over the scorecards and course layouts though.

 

Theoo,

 

Give them a call, a lot of times private courses will allow you to get on for one or two practice rounds. For our county Spring and Fall medal tournaments here all of them are on private courses. A phone call never hurts.

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Theoo, you didn't say what the format is. ?? That's pretty important. If in fact you are a 34 handicap player you'll most likely play in last flight. No biggie. I wouldn't at this point get all worked up over the event. Just go out and play your game. It's not a Pro or club championship. Enjoy it. If you get or can play a practice round great. If not that's ok too.

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Practice your short game a lot in the week leading up to the tourney. Its what is most likely to crumble and what matters the most in helping you put up a good number. I putt every night leading up to a tournament. Also what is the format? That may be important. Its weird for them not to allow a practice round.

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Straight from the rule book for the Tour

 

 

  • ï‚·  Discounted practice round rates are negotiated with our tournament courses for the week before a

    tournament. Please be prepared to show your AGT member card to receive discounts. 

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Theoo,

 

Give them a call, a lot of times private courses will allow you to get on for one or two practice rounds. For our county Spring and Fall medal tournaments here all of them are on private courses. A phone call never hurts.

Definitely.  Tell them you're in the tourney and never played the course.  Worst they'll do is say no.  If you do get a practice round in, bring a notebook and focus more on notes than actually playing.

 

Good luck...and above all....have fun!!!

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My advice is going to be opposite of everyone else's.  Don't do anything differently than normal!!!!!!!  If you normally get the course an hour early - do it - if its 10 minutes do that. Don't over practice the week before although it doesn't hurt to work on the short game a bit extra.  One abnormal thing you'll have to do is try and slow everything that you do down but that will be just to keep it normal (you will be hyped and what seems slow may be faster than normal.)

 

The other thing would be to develop a game plan in advance - that should be normal and if its not then make it that way.  So if you can't play the course first go online and look at the card, know the tees you'll be playing and when you have a normal range session pretend to play the course - for me that would be normal, I always include some fake course work in every range session - sometimes I play my favorite courses from the past and I always try and play the most difficult of holes - it helps my focus - but that's normal for me - for you develop a plan and stick to it.

 

Normal, the more normal you can feel and react that day the better you'll do.

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Theoo, you didn't say what the format is. ?? That's pretty important. If in fact you are a 34 handicap player you'll most likely play in last flight. No biggie. I wouldn't at this point get all worked up over the event. Just go out and play your game. It's not a Pro or club championship. Enjoy it. If you get or can play a practice round great. If not that's ok too.

I'm a 32 handicap so I will be in the lowest flight which is fine by me. The course will be set up to play much shorter than I'm used to playing so I know I will be practicing my short game. Especially the 40-50 yard pitch shots.

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Straight from the rule book for the Tour

 

 

 

 

 

  • ï‚· Discounted practice round rates are negotiated with our tournament courses for the week before a

    tournament. Please be prepared to show your AGT member card to receive discounts.

Thanks Jason I didn't see that before

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Theoo you still haven't told us that the Tournament format is.

It's stroke play. Sorry I forgot to mention that.

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Theo, I'll echo something revkev said.  When I'm playing an important competition, I make a specific effort to do everything a little slower than normal.  Most of my problems begin when I get fast, fast in decision making, fast swings.  If I walk a little slower, breathe a little slower, warm up a little more deliberately, that helps me keep my pace for everything just a little slower.  In order to make that work out, I do get to the course a little earlier than I usually would.  

If you'll be part of a shotgun start, remember that all the practice areas are likely to be more crowded, so finding a spot on the range may take a few minutes, same with putting practice.  Arriving early will allow you to get all your warm-ups one without stressing over finding room.

I also spend a little more time putting than normal, mostly to get accustomed to the speed of the greens.

Good luck, and enjoy!

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Very true Dave, I warm up very quickly, dozen balls is plenty, actually I can hit none and be fine, so if the range is uber crowded I skip it and hit the practice green. But I'm unusual. I started to use my range sessions to prep for being late about ten years ago. I have a series of stretches that I do and I pretty much will stripe that first driver every time.

 

I'm am not suggesting anyone else do that. We are all different.

 

Sean the key is to be yourself. It's flighted, all you need to do is play to your handicap. You enjoy being on the course and being with people. Slower play doesn't bother you and from what I saw when we played together you shrug off bad shots. You will do great!

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