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I signed up for my first tournament, not including drunken scrambles (I’ve played in a ton of those). This is our city championship and gets some real players entered. it’s played over two days on two different courses. I’m not expecting to compete but obviously want to play my best and they do have flights. How do you tournament golfers get ready for the big dance? Anything I can do other than what I do now? I play almost everyday and shoot consistently around a couple over par and shoot par here and there. I almost always play solo, so I know I need to play with others as much as possible. One of the courses is a dog track and not the most difficult, the other is a much bigger, better course that resembles more of a tournament course. I grew up playing all sports but golf so I understand to a certain extent about “game time” and nerves, just been awhile and never golf. Let me know if you do anything that I may not be thinking of. Cheers

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I'll pass along something one of the club pros said to me. 

It was a Sunday in August and I was practicing at the course.  I saw the pro stationed at the leaderboard behind the 18th green posting scores.  I walked up, said hello and asked what was up?  He said it was the club championship qualifier.  He then added "look down the fairway...what do you see?"  My first reaction was golfers?  He responded "look, there's not a smile on a single of one of them!  I wish I could go up to them, slap them and say 'You are not that good to be that serious!  I'm not that good to be that serious and I can beat any of them!"  

The lesson is that even though it's an important tournament, first and foremost go out and have fun.  There's no need to be too serious!  Most of your fellow competitors will likely be way too serious and overly nervous which will impact their swings and putting strokes.   Play your game, don't over think it and try to have fun.  You'll likely find that shooting your handicap will likely be good enough!

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38 minutes ago, srooch2 said:

I signed up for my first tournament, not including drunken scrambles (I’ve played in a ton of those). This is our city championship and gets some real players entered. it’s played over two days on two different courses. I’m not expecting to compete but obviously want to play my best and they do have flights. How do you tournament golfers get ready for the big dance? Anything I can do other than what I do now? I play almost everyday and shoot consistently around a couple over par and shoot par here and there. I almost always play solo, so I know I need to play with others as much as possible. One of the courses is a dog track and not the most difficult, the other is a much bigger, better course that resembles more of a tournament course. I grew up playing all sports but golf so I understand to a certain extent about “game time” and nerves, just been awhile and never golf. Let me know if you do anything that I may not be thinking of. Cheers

Thank you for posting this; I'll be very interested in seeing what kind of answers you get.  I myself can only offer input on the "what not to do" front, having signed up for 2 club championships at two different clubs in the past few years, and played terribly in both.  I can tell you not to spend time grinding away leading up to it, and to do what you can to make the tournament as low stress, casual, and routine as you can.  If you put too much emphasis on it, it's a loud message to your body that "this is different, this is special" and you're more likely to activate the nerves, anxiety, and "flight" (versus fight) responses in your body that you don't want.  If you have access to Jon Sherman's "The Four Foundations of Golf" he has some excellent content on how to prep for tournaments, and I believe "The Sweet Spot" podcast with Sherman and Adam Young also has a few episodes dedicated to this that are worth checking out.

My two cents...

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4 hours ago, srooch2 said:

I signed up for my first tournament, not including drunken scrambles (I’ve played in a ton of those). This is our city championship and gets some real players entered. it’s played over two days on two different courses. I’m not expecting to compete but obviously want to play my best and they do have flights. How do you tournament golfers get ready for the big dance? Anything I can do other than what I do now? I play almost everyday and shoot consistently around a couple over par and shoot par here and there. I almost always play solo, so I know I need to play with others as much as possible. One of the courses is a dog track and not the most difficult, the other is a much bigger, better course that resembles more of a tournament course. I grew up playing all sports but golf so I understand to a certain extent about “game time” and nerves, just been awhile and never golf. Let me know if you do anything that I may not be thinking of. Cheers

I havent played a ton of tournaments and the ones I have I have been awful in the first round usually with one or two bad stretches. Day 2 has always been a lot better!

Only advice I can give is be patient and be ready for slow long rounds. The tournaments I have played in are brutally slow and that usually throws me off. Like you I play alone or when I am with ppl we are first or second group out and it rarely takes me over 3.5 hours to play 18. So when we get to tournament rounds and its closer to 5 I truly get anxious, rush or take club choices I maybe shouldn't. 

Thats the biggest thing I would say for you is find some sort of something to keep you busy or manage the slower pace of tournament rounds. 

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Played in a few club championships at my home course.  Take your time, aim for good safe spots around the course (no flag hunting on those 200 yard approaches!), and enjoy the experience.  Took me quite a few years but I finally won our club championship last year when I found that happy medium of focusing on each shot but also having fun.  Avoid the double bogeys and you'll be surprised at your results!

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For golf, you say you want to compete - what does that look like? How are you going to get there?

I would make a game plan. Take each hole upcoming and work back from the green to the tee. Make thorough notes and refer to them on the course. It may help you to keep focused when the mind wanders...and it will during the tournament. Especially with rounds of 5 hours or so. It also gives you something concrete to follow. You made the notes with a clear head, now go out and follow the game plan. Best of luck to you.

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9 hours ago, Golf2Much said:

I'll pass along something one of the club pros said to me. 

It was a Sunday in August and I was practicing at the course.  I saw the pro stationed at the leaderboard behind the 18th green posting scores.  I walked up, said hello and asked what was up?  He said it was the club championship qualifier.  He then added "look down the fairway...what do you see?"  My first reaction was golfers?  He responded "look, there's not a smile on a single of one of them!  I wish I could go up to them, slap them and say 'You are not that good to be that serious!  I'm not that good to be that serious and I can beat any of them!"  

The lesson is that even though it's an important tournament, first and foremost go out and have fun.  There's no need to be too serious!  Most of your fellow competitors will likely be way too serious and overly nervous which will impact their swings and putting strokes.   Play your game, don't over think it and try to have fun.  You'll likely find that shooting your handicap will likely be good enough!

I've played a lot of tournament golf.  I wish that I had this advice first!  Just great, great advice.  Have fun or else it's not worth doing it.  

 

These things are fun by the way, if you are a person who wants to stretch his game out and take it to the next level.  Since you've already entered I would echo what Getoffmylawn said - don't over do it.  Normal is a very key strategy - if you normally practice once a week and play twice, do that.  On the day of the tournament be sure to sleep well the night prior, stay hydrated, eat the proper foods before arrival, have a snack on hand and follow your normal pre round routine.  Be sure to know the courses that you are playing, have a game plan for each and follow it.

 

If you think you want to do more of this you will need to find a way to play competitive golf far more often than a city championship.  Golf leagues are good because they make you play with lots of different people, often by the rules of golf and they will put a little stress on your game - plus they are fun.  Better would be a Men's Association at a club or just about any course that I've ever played at has "that" group of competitive guys that play a weekly game for money - those are tons and tons of fun, that was how I started honing my game towards a championship level taking it to between a 1 and 2.  I had the lowest handicap in my league three year's running often playing to a 0 for league play. 

 

I did that because I had........  fun.

 

Best wishes, enjoy the tournament and let us know how you do.  

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18 hours ago, srooch2 said:

I signed up for my first tournament, not including drunken scrambles (I’ve played in a ton of those). This is our city championship and gets some real players entered. it’s played over two days on two different courses. I’m not expecting to compete but obviously want to play my best and they do have flights. How do you tournament golfers get ready for the big dance? Anything I can do other than what I do now? I play almost everyday and shoot consistently around a couple over par and shoot par here and there. I almost always play solo, so I know I need to play with others as much as possible. One of the courses is a dog track and not the most difficult, the other is a much bigger, better course that resembles more of a tournament course. I grew up playing all sports but golf so I understand to a certain extent about “game time” and nerves, just been awhile and never golf. Let me know if you do anything that I may not be thinking of. Cheers

I would echo a few thoughts..Have fun.  Prepare for long rounds so stay relaxed and accept that up front.  Hydrate.  Your metabolism and stress levels will be elevated at the start, Breathe deep and keep the water handy.  Know your game and play it.  You can’t ignore the other players but it’s your game that counts.  Try to avoid the big numbers…make the smart shots and you will look the hero at the end of the round.  Good luck in your tournament.

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On 7/7/2023 at 9:08 PM, Golf2Much said:

I'll pass along something one of the club pros said to me. 

It was a Sunday in August and I was practicing at the course.  I saw the pro stationed at the leaderboard behind the 18th green posting scores.  I walked up, said hello and asked what was up?  He said it was the club championship qualifier.  He then added "look down the fairway...what do you see?"  My first reaction was golfers?  He responded "look, there's not a smile on a single of one of them!  I wish I could go up to them, slap them and say 'You are not that good to be that serious!  I'm not that good to be that serious and I can beat any of them!"  

The lesson is that even though it's an important tournament, first and foremost go out and have fun.  There's no need to be too serious!  Most of your fellow competitors will likely be way too serious and overly nervous which will impact their swings and putting strokes.   Play your game, don't over think it and try to have fun.  You'll likely find that shooting your handicap will likely be good enough!

Love that advice!

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Adams XTD LSP 23* hybrid Aldila rogue black 85X

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On 7/8/2023 at 6:48 AM, EMacK1961 said:

For golf, you say you want to compete - what does that look like? How are you going to get there?

I would make a game plan. Take each hole upcoming and work back from the green to the tee. Make thorough notes and refer to them on the course. It may help you to keep focused when the mind wanders...and it will during the tournament. Especially with rounds of 5 hours or so. It also gives you something concrete to follow. You made the notes with a clear head, now go out and follow the game plan. Best of luck to you.

Thanks a lot, great advice 

On 7/8/2023 at 6:32 AM, Bucky CC said:

Played in a few club championships at my home course.  Take your time, aim for good safe spots around the course (no flag hunting on those 200 yard approaches!), and enjoy the experience.  Took me quite a few years but I finally won our club championship last year when I found that happy medium of focusing on each shot but also having fun.  Avoid the double bogeys and you'll be surprised at your results!

Congrats and thanks

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On 7/7/2023 at 9:13 PM, Getoffmylawn said:

Thank you for posting this; I'll be very interested in seeing what kind of answers you get.  I myself can only offer input on the "what not to do" front, having signed up for 2 club championships at two different clubs in the past few years, and played terribly in both.  I can tell you not to spend time grinding away leading up to it, and to do what you can to make the tournament as low stress, casual, and routine as you can.  If you put too much emphasis on it, it's a loud message to your body that "this is different, this is special" and you're more likely to activate the nerves, anxiety, and "flight" (versus fight) responses in your body that you don't want.  If you have access to Jon Sherman's "The Four Foundations of Golf" he has some excellent content on how to prep for tournaments, and I believe "The Sweet Spot" podcast with Sherman and Adam Young also has a few episodes dedicated to this that are worth checking out.

My two cents...

Thanks, I listen to that podcast all the time. Cheers

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Adams XTD LSP 23* hybrid Aldila rogue black 85X

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Nike Wedges

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