I hope you enjoyed your first tournament no matter how you played. I just finished my first year of playing tournaments and here are a few things to pass on:
* As often as I can, I play the course ahead of time and focus on practicing drives until I know what I am going to throw off each tee in advance. I make a written note and then refer to this during the round. It takes the guess work out of trying to decide which disc to throw (carry your notes on tournament day and use them).
* Focus on hitting the gaps more than worrying about distance.
* If you are worried about hitting trees, choose to throw the flight path where you will have maximum distance towards the basket before hitting a tree. This seems obvious but I often wished I had thrown a different route after hitting a tree too close to the tee because I wanted to make a "hilight shot" and missed.
* DON'T try to force a long birdie or a long par. If your putting is only so-so, don't try to sink a putt from 40-feet and beyond. Toss it up for an easy par or bogey. Too often long putt attempts cost extra strokes because you get left with an 18-footer or more that gets missed
* EVERY stroke counts. Don't let frustration get to you where you make a few throws with a "I don't care attitude". I can look back on a few tournaments where I missed placing higher because of a stroke or two. EVERY stroke counts.
* Think of each tournament as a day or two at Disc Golf School. There is a lot to be learned. Don't miss the opportunity to absorb as much as possible.
* Be a sponge. Absorb as much as you can by watching others. Sponges are not meant to stay full. Squeeze as much out of yourself as you can to play your best and give your best to those around you. Be a sponge. Soak it up and squeeze it out.
* After each round and on the ride home ask yourself three important questions:
1. What did I do today that I want to continue doing?
2. What did I do today that I need to stop doing?
3. What did I not do today that I need to start doing?
* Have a great time out there. Be grateful you have your health, the ability to walk and play, and the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded people who love this great sport.
Bang the chains and celebrate the opportunity to do so.
Ace #1 Jan. 14, 2012 Hole 9 220', Zephyr Cove, NV - Star Coyote
Ace #2 Mar. 3, 2012 Hole 21 206', De Laveaga, Santa Cruz, CA - SP Squall