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I’m going to be competing in some local amateur tournaments this summer. Looking for some help from the community to get dialed in.

what are some good tips for competing? Mental? Course management? Some things you realized during your first tournaments? 

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From a 'calming the nerves' standpoint I have been able to convince myself there is no need to get nervous until there are about 3 holes left and I have been playing well.  It probably sounds stupid but I am more relaxed standing on the first tee with this approach.  

I also practice the first tee shot as my last shots on the range.  Picture the hole, shot shape, which side of the fairway to play, etc.

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Expect to hit bad shots.  Expect to make bogeys or doubles.  Allow yourself to make a bad swing and then move forward.

Where in WNY are you from?  Rochester here. 👋

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9 minutes ago, bens197 said:

Expect to hit bad shots.  Expect to make bogeys or doubles.  Allow yourself to make a bad swing and then move forward.

Where in WNY are you from?  Rochester here. 👋

Buffalo, thanks for the advice!

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One more thought from Phil M......  FOCUS and COMMIT to every shot!!  It worked pretty well for him!!  👍

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Modern Bag:  Ping G410+ 9*, Accra TourZ X265 M5;  Snake Eyes 18* & 23* Hybrids; Golfsmith Tour Cavity Forged 3i;  Mizuno JPX 900 Forged 5 - PW, PX LZ 6.0;  Cleveland Tour Action 49*, 53*, 57*; PX LZ 6.5 ;  Ping Heppler Fetch;  Ball - Snell MTB-X; Bag - Sun Mountain H2NO 

Classic Bag:  Driver - Wilson Staff Persimmon; 3w - Hogan Speed Slot; 5w - Wilson Staff Tour Block; 3 - pw - Staff Dynapower; sw - Ram Tom Watson;  putter - bullseye standard or flange.

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One part of preparation that I believe helped me the most when I competed in tournaments was to make sure I had knowledge of the course design and a course strategy plan. In other words I played the course a few times in which the tournament would be held (not always but my preference if at all possible). And I would play each hole backwards in my mind. Would stand on the green, walk out to desired approach location and then back to tee. My practice/prep would be hitting those locations for the par fours/fives. The par three prep for me was simply picking two to three spots on the green that I would want to putt from based on front/middle/back pin location. I changed my mind set from a try to hit it down the middle and see where it goes approach to a visualize my target locations on each specific hole and hit to that area. Always about the second shot -- where would I want to hit my next shot from. 

And finally my warm/up pre-round practice was timed (everyone is different here, so experiment in your practice before a round to dial it in). 15 min chipping/few sand shots (if practice bunker available), 20 min full bag/range (not more than a few balls for even or odd numbered irons and no more than five to seven drivers focusing on tempo/holding my finish) and 10 min of good "focused" (couple of long lag putts to a golf tee) and short 3-4 ft putts around the hole. 

Make sure you allow enough time to go the rest room before tee time and/or a light snack/water-hydration AND (in my case --turn the cell phone off or sound to vibrate). 

Probably not the best approach but what I suggested definitely improved my scoring consistency among my tournaments and helped me identify changes needed for the next time I competed. Additional benefit for me was I was able to identify the areas I needed to practice/get help with (swing instruction). Good luck. 

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38 minutes ago, Scott Fish said:

Buffalo, thanks for the advice!

Good luck and Go Bills!

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  • TaylorMade SIM2 3 wood Fujilkura Ventus Blue 7-X
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  • Scotty Cameron Phantom X 11.5
  • TaylorMade TP5

 

Western, NY

5.7 Index

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Lots of good advice 

 

A couple of very simple things that I've found are:

 

1.  Slow down from the moment that you arrive at the course.  You will be amped so slowing down will get you to your normal pace of things.  I mean walk slow, take the bag out of the trunk slow - just slow everything down.

 

2.  Keep it as normal as possible whatever your normal might be.  If you usually arrive 45 minutes before the round, stretch a bit, hit some balls and then putt - do that - don't vary what your pre round routine might be.  Early on I made the mistake of arriving much earlier than normal whenever I was in a tournament - just follow your normal.

 

Good luck!  Let us know how you do.

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Everyone is different, but I was say that concentrating on tempo was a big help for me. I will always go through Arccos to preview the course and get an idea of what type of approach I want to take on every hole…mostly conservative verses attacking every pin. There will always be holes where you change things up based on score and how you’re playing, but I usually write down a plan for each hole. Of course I’m not a scratch, so it doesn’t always go where I plan for it to go.

Good luck and have fun…it’s always more comfortable if you get paired with others you play with regularly, or people that are laid back and just want to have fun.

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