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Old 01-12-2011, 11:32 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cortland, NY
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Tournament Preparations
Lots of us love to play in organized events. And they run the gamut from local monthlies and leagues, to Super Tour and National Tour events. Regardless of your level of participation, there’s some basic things you can do to make sure you are prepared to spend the day playing DG.

An easy thing to do until you develop certain habits is to make yourself an actual checklist – you know – like the one you make before going camping or getting on a plane. Here are some basics – most of which you should already know – but if you are new to the whole tournament experience, you may just not think about:

Bring extra shoes and socks
– It will do wonders for you to be able to change out of your playing shoes and into a pair of sandals or crocs between rounds, or especially after your rounds are over. Being able to change adds an unexpected level of relaxation that can help you reset your attitude between rounds, or take you down a notch at the end of the day. Sometimes it’s even a good idea to bring an extra pair of playing shoes. Not everyone has waterproof shoes to play in – and it’s not uncommon to soak your shoes in the early morning dew.

Bring some extra clothes – This varies widely with the time of year and weather conditions. But a fresh shirt at the end of a hot sweaty day (or a rainy one) goes a long way. Another example - extra layers during cold weather or even in spring/fall where you have more significant temperature swings at the beginning/end of the day. Clothes should be loose fitting and comfortable. Avoid garments that are binding or restrict motion.

Keep your umbrella in your car at all times. You can get a 60” umbrella at Walmart for $10-14. Buy one.

Discs – if you have extras – especially of your favorite molds – always bring some back ups. You never know when you might lose or break one. Always have an extra mini – those little suckers are entirely too easy to lose.

Golf Towels – an indispensable addition to your golf bag. Collect em, keep multiples in the car AND in your bag. Towels are not just for keeping things dry.

Drinks and snacks – Always prep a cooler and bring water or Gatorade (or the beverage of your choosing) with you. Don’t rely on there being a place nearby to pick them up on the way – sometimes the nearest place for supplies is a haul from the course. Bring it with you and you never have to worry.

Lunch – some events will feed you. Some events are close enough to retail outlets that getting fed between rounds is not an issue. Always investigate the location you’re going to visit to find out what the food situation is. It will save you a headache somewhere along the way.

The night before – If you are playing a course that is physically taxing, prepping your body for the event goes a long way. Being well hydrated helps stave off cramps and headaches, especially in the heat of the summer, so drink plenty of water in the day or two before your event. Stocking up on carbs the night before is also a good idea. A good plate of pasta will usually do the trick.

Health Aids – Whatever your physical condition, it’s always good to be prepared for potential injury, or even just aches and pains. Bring some ibuprofen (or other pain relief) with you. I take it before every tournament. Other good stuff might include icy hot pads or other balms like tiger balm, mineral ice, etc. Cloth athletic tape can do everything from taping up a wrenched ankle to temporarily mending a nasty scratch or cut.

In summary, here is a good cursory checklist for before you jump in the car:
  • Extra shoes
  • Extra Socks
  • Extra Shirts/pullover/warm up pants
  • Umbrella
  • Extra Discs/Minis
  • Extra Golf Towels
  • Cooler w/drinks/snacks/lunch
  • Ibuprofen!!
  • Icy hot/balms
  • Tape
The experienced tournament goer will develop their own inventory of needed stuff. And inevitably, you will find yourself on the way some day and kick yourself for forgetting something. If you get in the habit of making a checklist – it gets easier to remember it all and those instances when you leave some important item behind will diminish over time. Mostly – having all the junk you need during the day helps make the day more stress free – minimizing any potential distractions to the task at hand – putting and keeping your mind on playing golf!!

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