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SeeRed

First tournament advice?

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Hey all,

I've looked through the recent forum topics and didn't find this specific thread, which probably means I just missed it. Anyway, getting ready to play in my first ever "real" tournament this weekend. It's a four ball net qualifier on a challenging course and I want to do well. I know I will stick to my usual pre-round routine and all, but I also know I somehow need to keep my head straight and stay in the moment (as they say). There is a wealth of tournament experience among the members of this forum, so your tips and/or advice are most welcome. Thanks in advance!


PING i20 8.5*, TFC707D (S)
Callaway RAZR Fit 15*, neutral setting, stock shaft (S)
PING i20 20*, TFC707H (S)
Adams Pro a12 23*, Matrix Ozik Altus (S)
PING i20 5-PW, TT DG S300, 1.5* flat (purple dot)
SCOR 50*,54*,58*, Genius 12 KBS Tour (S), 1.5* flat, -1/4"
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Well, I know this isn't going to help you, but I have "situational anxiety", so I pop a couple Xanax about an hour before my teetime and take another at the turn. It's pretty smooth sailing that way. Nothing I tried before that ever worked.

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Oooo, yeah, maybe not. I can just imagine the effects of trying something like that for the first time in that situation. Probably wouldn't be good. I will stick to my one cold, adult beverage at the turn though. Just doesn't help much on #1.


PING i20 8.5*, TFC707D (S)
Callaway RAZR Fit 15*, neutral setting, stock shaft (S)
PING i20 20*, TFC707H (S)
Adams Pro a12 23*, Matrix Ozik Altus (S)
PING i20 5-PW, TT DG S300, 1.5* flat (purple dot)
SCOR 50*,54*,58*, Genius 12 KBS Tour (S), 1.5* flat, -1/4"
STX xForm 3, 35"
 

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I would just remember that you are a 15 handicapper & your playing partners will not be shocked or look down their noses at you if your shot doesn't turn out like you had planned. use your shots wisely and remember EVERYONE in the tournament will ht poor shots.

 

Sp just focus on your game and enjoy yourself

 

Best of Luck

 

Stuart


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Is this a tourney where you are allowed a caddy? My cousin caddys for me during qualifying rounds and he keeps me very calm; he puts a positive thought in my mind, before every swing. Besides being a hell of a golfer, he's quite the motivator as well. Anyway, the point is that a little positive reinforcement in your corner can go a long way. Having someone else telling you "it's all good" is a lot better than telling yourself that.

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Breathing properly is the best way to calm down. Google tactical breathing or four-count breathing. That will get you settled and ready to hit that first drive. And use it anytime during the round if you start to feel pressure or start to feel anxious.

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Well, I know this isn't going to help you, but I have "situational anxiety", so I pop a couple Xanax about an hour before my teetime and take another at the turn. It's pretty smooth sailing that way. Nothing I tried before that ever worked.

 

Don't they test for performance enhancing drugs in golf? LOL.


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My handicap is similar to yours. I just make sure and get there in advance so I can warm up properly, chip some, and putt. Nothing worse for the nerves than getting to the course and having to rush to the tee box.


Callaway FT-9 Driver 10.5* Grafalloy Prolaunch Axis Blue

Callaway FT-9 Driver 9.0* Grafalloy Prolaunch Platinum

Cobra Baffler Rail F Fairway 15.5* Fujikura Motore

Wilson FYbrid 19* UST Proforce AXIV Core

Cobra Baffler Rail H Hybrid 22* Fujikura Motore

Ping I15 Irons 5-UW AWT

Ping Tour-W 56*,60* DG Spinner

Ping Redwood ZB Putter, WRX Starshot, 35"

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I would just remember that you are a 15 handicapper & your playing partners will not be shocked or look down their noses at you if your shot doesn't turn out like you had planned. use your shots wisely and remember EVERYONE in the tournament will ht poor shots.

 

Sp just focus on your game and enjoy yourself

 

Best of Luck

 

Stuart

Just saw the pairings and it seems I'm the lowest hcp in the foursome. Not sure if that means more or less pressure, but it does mean I'll be playing with guys of similar ability (or at least similar hcp).

 

Thanks guys for the helpful thoughts. Will definitely just try to enjoy the round and the company.


PING i20 8.5*, TFC707D (S)
Callaway RAZR Fit 15*, neutral setting, stock shaft (S)
PING i20 20*, TFC707H (S)
Adams Pro a12 23*, Matrix Ozik Altus (S)
PING i20 5-PW, TT DG S300, 1.5* flat (purple dot)
SCOR 50*,54*,58*, Genius 12 KBS Tour (S), 1.5* flat, -1/4"
STX xForm 3, 35"
 

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Don't they test for performance enhancing drugs in golf? LOL.

In my case I'm sure this would be an additional handicap!


PING i20 8.5*, TFC707D (S)
Callaway RAZR Fit 15*, neutral setting, stock shaft (S)
PING i20 20*, TFC707H (S)
Adams Pro a12 23*, Matrix Ozik Altus (S)
PING i20 5-PW, TT DG S300, 1.5* flat (purple dot)
SCOR 50*,54*,58*, Genius 12 KBS Tour (S), 1.5* flat, -1/4"
STX xForm 3, 35"
 

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Just saw the pairings and it seems I'm the lowest hcp in the foursome. Not sure if that means more or less pressure, but it does mean I'll be playing with guys of similar ability (or at least similar hcp).

 

Thanks guys for the helpful thoughts. Will definitely just try to enjoy the round and the company.

That makes you the stud in the foursome. :)

Less pressure. Your good shots will help and your poor shots will be the same as the other player's shots.

Relax, have fun. Kiss the starter on the mouth to break the tension... :lol:


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Don't they test for performance enhancing drugs in golf? LOL.

I don't think it would be considered performance enhancing, but it certainly is mood enhancing. Lol

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Get there early, but not too early! You don't want to be sitting around chomping at the bit or wearing yourself out on the range! Expect to be a little nervous and jumpy on the first tee. Don't put too much pressure on that shot. Step up like you expect to hit a good shot, relax, get balanced, breathe and rip it! I play alot of competitive golf and it still takes me a couple holes to settle down and find a groove. Doesn't mean I play bad through that, I've kind of learned to like it.

 

Patience is critical in a 4-ball match. Don't get too stressed if you get down a bit, just keep your emotions in check and know that your chances will come. Even if you feel like you aren't playing great don't give up! If you get up in the match, put the pedal down and close 'em out!

 

Good luck, have fun!


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SeeRed

 

About three and half years ago I played in my first tournament. It was a match play event. I went OB on the first 4 holes and in the water on the next two. I am sure it was nerves because I hardly ever went out of bound. After it was obvious that I was going to lose I thought I would stretch it out as long as I could. I ended up making a birdie on 18 to tie the match. I ended up winning on the seveth playoff hole. I was exhausted after that. The next time I was in a tournament I remembered the hole I dug for myself. So in the weeks before the match I developed a strategy for the first few holes. I played a tournament last weekend and came in 3rd by staying with my strategy.

 

Here is my strategy. You can not birdie a hole from the tee box. You can not birdie a hole on the approach shot. You should only think about birdie when you are on or very near the green. So when you are on the tee box, think 200 or 250 what ever is a comfortable distance in the middle of the fairway. Then pick your spot and hit it. You do not have to drive the ball into chipping range. A smooth stroke in the middle is fine.

 

On the second shot, the focus it so get on the green. If you can get on the green by hitting a half shot with a 7 iron or a 3/4 8 iron instead of hitting a sand wedge as hard as you can, than do it. That is the most important thing. I play in scrambles on Wednesday nights and see all these guys trying to get a sand wedge to fly 130 yards and they have no control. And then I hit a 3/4 9 iron and get it close to the flag, or even hit a bump and run with a 6 iron. At first they think it is a mishit but then they see it was on purpose.

 

Once you are on the green then you can think about birdie, but not at the sake of par. Your first putt the primary focus should be on speed. I want this to die in the hole or 6 inches past it. Your second putt should be firm to the back of the cup. Often when you are close, you baby the putt with allows it to wonder around like it is drunk, and in my experience it seldom falls in the hole. Now, you do not want to blow it past the hole 5 feet,

 

But let me sum up the key points. On the tee box, focus on direction not distance. It does not matter if you hit the ball 300 yards if it went out of bounds. That means you did not hit it anywhere because you are still in the same place except this time you are hitting 3.

 

On chips and especially putts think distance not direction. You are more than likely to three putt because you are 5 feet short or long than left or right. So make sure you hit it the right speed. Tap ins are good.

 

I played a good friend of mine a couple of weeks ago, I parred the first 14 holes. He also started out great, but had one bogey and one birdie through 7. I parred 8 and he double bogied, same with 9. My constant pars, and steady play got to be too much for him, he started pressing and by the end of the round I was still in the 70's and he was in the high 80's. He complained that the pressure of knowing that I was going to par or bogie at worst caused him to change and press,

 

6 word strategy,

 

Long game / Direction. Short game / Distance.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

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Also you might consider hitting the hybrid off of the first tee. Or whatever gives you the most confidence that it will be playable. I have a fade that I like to hit off of the first tree, but I do not slice the ball and sometimes hook it so the fade is my go to get it in the fairway shot. I give up 15 to 25 yards but I would rather hit a 7 iron than two wedge shots, one back to the fairway and one to the green.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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I play tournaments almost every weekend. Most of them are single stroke play (the type where your HCP goes up and down). Since those tournaments are usually held in our club, most of my playing partners are people I've known for a while so we just pretend it's a normal round, making jokes, making fun of each other and having whiskey shots for every birdie, etc.

 

When I have better layers in my flight, I learn a lot from them. Example: last weekend we had 25mph winds so this 6 HCP was giving me tips on how to punch the ball low and hit the driver low. In this case, it's better not to be a smart ass or you'll just make a fool out of yourself.

 

Other times, I am paired up with beginners who need like 10 strokes to get onto the green. Since they play Stableford, they get to pick up their ball when there are no more points for them. That's fine, we all had to start somewhere so it really doesn't bother me. The annoying part is when they start looking for excuses and saying how they usually only need 3 strokes, etc. When the guys I play with have a higher HCP, I always try to help them relax, it's probably their first time and they are too nervous. My goal is to try to make it fun for them so I can enjoy the round as well.

 

When I play fourball or foursomes, I usually play with my wife, who has a monster drive. So when she tees off the ladies it gives us a great advantage. Because it's my wife, we usually end up fighting a lot. Me missing 1 footers, me slicing the ball, she not being able to get out of the bunker, etc. So it's not very different on or off the course.

 

Should the partner be someone I've never played with, I always remember a tip my first partner gave me 3 years ago: NEVER blame your partner and don't apologize every single time you shank a shot or miss a putt. It's just a game, so leave the guilt out of it or you'll have the longest 4-5 hours of your life.

 

Those are just some things I try to keep in mind that I usually forget when I want to finish a round in 3.5 hours.

 

Now, about your game. I realized the nerve-breaking moment is always the first tee, when a lot of people are watching you. So the idea of teeing off with a 3W or hybrid is valid. Unless you are dead accurate with your driver, just put it in play. You'll have 17 other holes to play in peace.

 

If you screw up, low HCP know better than to make fun of somebody's bad shot and high HCP will probably hit more bad shots than you. So no worries!

 

Hope that helps and best of luck! Let us know how it turned out.


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Should the partner be someone I've never played with, I always remember a tip my first partner gave me 3 years ago: NEVER blame your partner and don't apologize every single time you shank a shot or miss a putt. It's just a game, so leave the guilt out of it or you'll have the longest 4-5 hours of your life.

 

Those are just some things I try to keep in mind that I usually forget when I want to finish a round in 3.5 hours.

 

Now, about your game. I realized the nerve-breaking moment is always the first tee, when a lot of people are watching you. So the idea of teeing off with a 3W or hybrid is valid. Unless you are dead accurate with your driver, just put it in play. You'll have 17 other holes to play in peace.

 

If you screw up, low HCP know better than to make fun of somebody's bad shot and high HCP will probably hit more bad shots than you. So no worries!

 

Hope that helps and best of luck! Let us know how it turned out.

 

 

True, a. everyone knows you are trying to hit good shots. b. once it is gone there is nothing you can do about it, appologizing, just reenforces it in you mind and reminds everyone of a shot they would like to for get.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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These are good tips, and reminders of many things I have read in the past. The one I forget most often is when a shot does not come off quite as planned, observe it but don't judge and move on.


PING i20 8.5*, TFC707D (S)
Callaway RAZR Fit 15*, neutral setting, stock shaft (S)
PING i20 20*, TFC707H (S)
Adams Pro a12 23*, Matrix Ozik Altus (S)
PING i20 5-PW, TT DG S300, 1.5* flat (purple dot)
SCOR 50*,54*,58*, Genius 12 KBS Tour (S), 1.5* flat, -1/4"
STX xForm 3, 35"
 

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What I found is to not get too excited when you make a great shot. And therefore you do not get too upset when you make a bad one. You will have some of both. Focus on making as good a swing as possible, and take what the course gives up. I mean after all, weren't you meaning to put the ball in the hole.

 

Also, you can relive in your mind what you did wrong until you are half way to you next shot. At that point, it is time to forget it and prepare for the next shot. If you had a 10 foot putt that you left 5 feet short. Then do not think about that after you have moved 30 inches. Otherwise, you will hit a 10 foot putt that travels 5 feet past the hole.

 

Every shot is written on a new sheet of paper in your mind. Turn the page. You can put them together in a book to read later when you are planning your next round. Do not read the book while playing.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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Do not read the book while playing.

I should put this on a sticker and attach it to my cart.


PING i20 8.5*, TFC707D (S)
Callaway RAZR Fit 15*, neutral setting, stock shaft (S)
PING i20 20*, TFC707H (S)
Adams Pro a12 23*, Matrix Ozik Altus (S)
PING i20 5-PW, TT DG S300, 1.5* flat (purple dot)
SCOR 50*,54*,58*, Genius 12 KBS Tour (S), 1.5* flat, -1/4"
STX xForm 3, 35"
 

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