First Tournament

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By Cris M

  • 9 Replies
  1. Cris M

    Cris M
    Tyrone, GA

    Next weekend is the Senior Club Championship and I have decided to give it a try. I have never played in a tournament and just want the experience; I fully expect to finish last. Any tips from those that do this regularly? The teacher I take lessons from said just be yourself; whatever shot seems to be working in warmup is what you go with that day.

  2. Good luck and have fun! When I play in club tournaments and take it it too serious I don’t play that well. When I go just to have fun and enjoy myself I do better.
  3. Barry M

    Barry M
    Reno, NV

    I always thought my game was too up and down for tournaments, but I played once with a regular to the amateur tournaments in California a few years ago and after a blow-up hole I told him that's why I don't play tournaments. He laughed and told me my game was no different than the majority of players he sees out there. After that I joined a local senior club and found out he was right. Just needed to brush up on the rules, and if you're not sure, there is always someone there who can advise you. The #1 tip I can give you is - No matter how close the ball is to the hole, don't pick it up. Finish it. That was the one thing I had the hardest to get into my head. Lucky for me the group I play with is pretty good about things on the course, and I'm no way a dominant figure out there so they just laugh and make me replace it and finish. If I start winning a bunch, they might crack down on me a little more.
    Give it a go and have fun with it.
  4. Chuck R

    Chuck R
    Littleton, CO


    Your teacher is right. Just be yourself and stick to your game plan as you know it. You will be nervous as heck, but just remember to breathe in and out with deep breathes along the way and enjoy the tournament. Have some fun is the name of the game. You will learn what tournament golf is all about.

  5. Jim V.

    Jim V.
    St. Marys, GA

    Good luck and just have fun!
  6. KQuinn


    Great advice!! Always go with what’s working in the bag and shot type!! Just relax and try and remember you’re playing against the course. Stay consistent to your game and hit the *** you feel comfortable hitting. Have fun!!!
  7. EddietheKarp


    Your coach is giving you the most sound advice going into it, Cris. Once it’s tournament time, to quote the great Harvey Penick, “You must dance with what being ya”. Just stay patient and stick with your process. Always remember, there’s no guillotine waiting on the 18th green. Just play hard and hit every shot in the moment! Best of luck!
  8. JoeyD


    Just remember that you're playing the course, not the competitors. Play your numbers and try not to get caught up in what the other guys are hitting. Always think about where you want to hit it and not where you DON'T want to hit it. The brain doesn't hear the word "don't". If you tell yourself, "don't hit it in the water" your brain only hears, "hit it in the water." So be positive with your thoughts and pick safe target lines that will give you the highest success rate. And have fun! That's what the game is about anyway!
  9. Abdon M

    Abdon M
    Northern California (because it's a big state)

    Congratulations on taking the leap into tournament golf. Sounds like you will be playing in one of your club's championships, so you should know many of the participants. To help ease some of the tension, try and look at the event as a casual outing with friends. Also, expect that the round could be a bit longer than a normal round at your club. Have fun and good luck!
  10. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    Know the rules before you tee off. Be courteous, but not chatty. Play one hole at a time and move on. Use to play about a half a dozen tournaments a year in our area, outside our club tournaments and would get caught up in myself, who was my worst enemy. Finally learned to laugh it off and move on to the next hole. Just, said to myself, Chuck you ain't all that good. =) Did fairly well in our club tournaments because they handicapped their events and rated by age. Also familiarity with our course which I play numerous times a week. Won Super Senior Net with a 59 round on Sunday. A lot of tournaments are flighted and won a number of flights. Never Championship caliber player. Sometimes the best came out in tournament play on Sunday. Warm up to see what you got and go with it and have some FUN. Don't take yourself too seriously, no one else will be. Leave your ego on the driving range and don't apologize for playing bad. Just move on.

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