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-   -   How do YOU prepare for tournament rounds? (http://www.dgcoursereview.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83496)

Mike C 02-28-2013 01:28 PM

How do YOU prepare for tournament rounds?
 
I've been thinking about testing the tourney waters this year and I'm wanting to hear from people who play them a ton. What things do you do to prepare? How is the round different for you? PDGA membership, get one no matter what or does it depend on what tourneys I want to play?

I've played a few tournament rounds before but they were unsanctioned and fairly casual. Got tutned off by how long the rounds take, how rude people could get about rules and "sandbagging," and just how tense everyone seemed in general.

I feel like giving competitive play another shot because for some reason I feel like these days it would be easier for me to tune out the negative nonsense and just play golf.

VictorB 02-28-2013 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike C (Post 1874502)
I've been thinking about testing the tourney waters this year and I'm wanting to hear from people who play them a ton. What things do you do to prepare? How is the round different for you? PDGA membership, get one no matter what or does it depend on what tourneys I want to play?

I've played a few tournament rounds before but they were unsanctioned and fairly casual. Got tutned off by how long the rounds take, how rude people could get about rules and "sandbagging," and just how tense everyone seemed in general.

I feel like giving competitive play another shot because for some reason I feel like these days it would be easier for me to tune out the negative nonsense and just play golf.

I'd say only get a PDGA membership if you're wanting one or all of the following:
1. you want a rating
2. you plan to play in an A tier
3. you plan to play more than 5 tournaments

If you are turned off by long rounds, rules lawyering, or rude players, a PDGA event may not be the place for you. Not saying it goes on a lot, especially at AM levels, but each tournament poses a chance to have an issue with one of the above.

I say go ahead and find a b or c tier to play in, and decide from there. I've never really had a bad tournament experience - played poorly, but never had a regret going to play. To each their own though, some don't like the competitive environment as much.

gcr_russell 02-28-2013 01:36 PM

Disc Golf is about fun. I make sure I've played the course, and am aware of the layout. I want to minimize things outside my head that can negatively effect my round. I threw OB when I didn't know it was there. Threw the hyzer line when I had the box, and missed the mando I didn't know about.
When the round begins try and have friendly conversation with your group. If there is enough of an air of positivity and friendliness among the group the whiners either don't pitch in or they isolate themselves from the other 3-4 of you. Unless you're one of the top guys in the world making a living doing this play to Steady Ed's Saying "Whoever has the most fun wins." Sometimes playing by those principles turns in decent scores too. It didn't hurt me in Vegas last weekend.

tbird888 02-28-2013 01:36 PM

Prior to the start of the event, I spend about five to ten minutes stretching and focusing on what I want to accomplish for the next round. Then I throw some warmup drives/approaches and wrap up with a small session of putting (I stop when I'm consistently making putts). I also slow my casual rounds down to help assimilate to the snail's pace (can be really frustrating).

bradharris 02-28-2013 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike C (Post 1874502)
What things do you do to prepare? How is the round different for you?

If it's close enough, I try to play the course a day or two before the tourney. Throw multiples on each tee to get an idea of what works.

I load up my car and get my bag all set the night before.

Day of, I like to get there about an hour before the players meeting. The extra time means I won't feel rushed in the morning and gives me time to throw some warm-up drives and take some practice putts to get loose.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike C (Post 1874502)
PDGA membership, get one no matter what or does it depend on what tourneys I want to play?

For A-Tiers, Majors, or NT, it's required. For smaller tournaments, it may not make sense to get a membership unless you plan to play five or more. Getting a rating is a nice feature though, so if that interests you, go for it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike C (Post 1874502)
I've played a few tournament rounds before but they were unsanctioned and fairly casual. Got tutned off by how long the rounds take, how rude people could get about rules and "sandbagging," and just how tense everyone seemed in general.

The length of time on the course is still going to be long. It's a pain, but if you're prepared for it, you can use it to your advantage. Use the extra time to your advantage. Focus on the next shot and tune out the bad shots. Remember to keep looking forward instead of constantly dwelling on the mistakes that already happened.

As for the general atmosphere, a lot depends on your division and who you're playing with. I play in the advanced division and can't think of any times that I played with a rule nazi. Most players are pretty understanding of slight slip ups and won't penalize you unless you're really giving yourself an advantage.

notroman 02-28-2013 01:42 PM

Tournament rounds are definitely something to get adjusted to. Mostly mental aspects of making each shot count and dealing with waits. When I first started I was a very casual golfer and tournament style of play varied considerably from the way I played casual rounds, so it was difficult to get comfortable mentally. The waits never really bothered me until I heard others complain about it, then suddenly I noticed it start bothering me :o

Over time I started playing casual rounds in a very similar manner to how I play tournament rounds, so I became really comfortable on the course during tournaments. As for the wait issue, it was a harder challenge to overcome, but it was mostly a mental thing so it wasn't impossible. I just accept the fact that there will be waits on some holes, and there's nothing you can do about it, so might as well enjoy the break. I chat with people, eat some fruit, or if it's cold out I just do jumping jacks or jog around to stay warm. Complaining will get you nowhere and just puts you in a negative mindset which will mess with your game later.

As for preparing for a tournament, I just try to make sure I'm familiar with a course and have my shots dialed in. I don't really like playing the course before the tournament starts. I usually just go to a field and throw some drives to warm up, if no field available, then I just go through the course and throw a drive or two off each tee but don't hole out. My goal is to warm up my body, not to actually complete a hole, otherwise I'll be thinking about what I threw and how I did when I actually play in the tournament instead of focusing on the shot ahead of me. About a half hour before the round starts I like to take about 20-25minutes to warm up my putts, then relax, listen to the player meeting, and go to my hole to putt a few more times before the 2 minute warning.

If it's a new course, and I don't have time to practice it, I just get there early and walk the course with a pen and a piece of paper and jot down notes on what I want to do off each tee. I look for conservative shots that have low risk of getting me into trouble but still put me in position to score once in a while. I study the fairway both from the tee/landing area looking forward and from the pin/landing area looking back, just so I consider all my options. If I'm not sure on a shot, then I throw a couple of lines to see what works. When I'm done, I usually have a list of shots I want to throw and places I want to land my disc so it makes playing the course easier.

I find I do best at tournaments when I feel like I'm prepared ahead of time and I'm relaxed, so I always try to mentally prepare for each tournament ahead of time and try to just have a good time. I often times look up the forecast the night before to see what the wind will be like, and go through the course hole by hole in my head deciding on what I will throw off the tee on each hole, given the wind direction and speed. That way I'm mostly committed to shots by the time I get to the hole instead of being indecisive between two options.

Really, the biggest thing is to try and take it as any other rounds. Stay relaxed and play within your limits. If you start thinking tournament rounds are different then it's harder to get your mind comfortable and in the zone. Chat with your card mates if you find yourself thinking too much about your game.

Mike C 02-28-2013 01:54 PM

Thanks all, some very good advice fiven so far. Specificslly trying to make casual rounds more like a tournament round sounds like solid advice, and same with having prior knowledge of the course and layout.

Does anyone know if the Brent Hambrick Memorial Open requires pdga membership? That's one of the bigger loca tourneys I know of.

notroman 02-28-2013 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike C (Post 1874582)
Thanks all, some very good advice fiven so far. Specificslly trying to make casual rounds more like a tournament round sounds like solid advice, and same with having prior knowledge of the course and layout.

Does anyone know if the Brent Hambrick Memorial Open requires pdga membership? That's one of the bigger loca tourneys I know of.

Any A-tier or higher tournament requires a PDGA membership.

BillTard 02-28-2013 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike C (Post 1874502)
I've been thinking about testing the tourney waters this year and I'm wanting to hear from people who play them a ton. What things do you do to prepare? How is the round different for you? PDGA membership, get one no matter what or does it depend on what tourneys I want to play?

I've played a few tournament rounds before but they were unsanctioned and fairly casual. Got tutned off by how long the rounds take, how rude people could get about rules and "sandbagging," and just how tense everyone seemed in general.

I feel like giving competitive play another shot because for some reason I feel like these days it would be easier for me to tune out the negative nonsense and just play golf.

I've seen before people say that you don't play tournaments. Just wondering what division are you planning on playing?

I'm an MA3 player i've bumped up to MA2 but haven't won anything other than 8th place :/. I've found I have to pull any disc I'm testing out. If I leave it in my bag I'll grab it thinking i know how this flies and it does something different putting me in the woods :(. Also being that I'm usually playing MA3 the people really get to me. If someone is having a bad day and they keep expressing it (being frumpy, cussing alot, generally bad attitude), it really rubs off on me and makes it really hard for me to focus and let off of a bad shot when I make one.

I've found playing with MA2 and MA 1 players the attitudes are better and people keep their cool a lot better.

811rv 02-28-2013 02:00 PM

Gotta to deal with any weather conditions during tournament rounds so I bring rain gear, umbrella, extra shoes, extra socks, hat, sunblock and some other things. You might want to bring stool to sit and rest while waiting for others to throw etc... I carry energy bars to fuel me up when my fuel is low. Get mentally excited to challenge the course in any conditions. I do see some players carry music player to help them relax and focus better.


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