Old 07-27-2012, 11:58 AM
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AndyJB AndyJB is offline
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Default Playing for par in a tournament?

Sorry if this isn't the right place for this....1st thread in the forums so please no flames, haha!

Anyway, I've been playing for fun for many, many years (over 20) and have decided this year that I am going to do some tournaments. Here in CO we have tons of Rec Tourneys, and I think I'll play them through the year and see how I do.

Anyway, my question is how advisable is it to "play for par" during tournament play? I've always played for par, laying up rather than trying for that long putt and potentially overshooting. I know there are lots of EXPERIENCED tourney players on here who can help me out. My average score is dead even, and my best all time score is 5 under at Cumberland Green (essentially a begginers course) in Fountain, CO.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, and I'll make sure to keep you updated with my results!
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:00 PM
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Play your game.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:01 PM
atvan atvan is offline
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In a tourney, you are going to get a bad score. It is just how it happens. If you can minimize that, power to you. Good luck in your tourney.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:04 PM
Violets caddy Violets caddy is offline
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If you play for par in rec and are remotely successful you will finish in the cash more often than not.
Playing safe/smart/boring is by far the best strategy in the lower divisions.

Although I would say if you average par you won't be playing rec for too long.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:08 PM
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I always tell my card (well the ones that I know if any) that I'm playing for par and that if they beat me then congrats to them. Inevitably you will make a few bad shots. It is how you manage the course and your game which will determine your end score. If you have a chance to make a few birdies then go for it. If you know you can't make the shot and there is potential danger in running it then lay up for the 3 or 4. Saving strokes isn't always about par. Sometimes the situation calls for making the 4 to prevent the 5, 6. Tournament play will only increase your level of play and better your game. And of course practice those potential danger shots during casual rounds so that when they come up in the tourny you are more confident with what you know you can do.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:11 PM
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Averaging a Par (64) on my home course is Very, very good.
Averaging 54 on my home course would win most tourneys.
So par is not always a good indicator of success.
Just go out and play and have a good time. Who cares what the score is?
If you win, great. If you have a great time and lose, who cares?
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:13 PM
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I have always gone by some simple wisdom a veteran tourney player gave me once and it's served me well in tag league: Play for par and take the birdies as they come.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:18 PM
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I tend to err on the side of caution in tournaments. Playing par is usually going to put you in position to at least be competitive in the lower divisions.

There's a lot to be said for course management and picking your spots too. On the long, potential blow-up holes, you're definitely better served to play conservative, get par, and let your opponents make mistakes. On holes that play well to your strengths, you can probably afford to take a chance and really go for the birdie off the tee.

Minimize mistakes and take what the course gives you.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:19 PM
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It looks like Cumberland Green is a short-ish Par-3 course with an SSE (scratch scoring estimate) of 41. Par of 54 would be somewhere around 800 rated and a -5 (49) around 880. Those are good recreational division round ratings and even approaching low/decent intermediate. You should be fine just playing your own game.

I say, go for it! Watch those who seem better than you and learn from them. If you are "going for it" on long putts, use a throwing style that will leave you close if/when you miss - hyzer putts work well for this.

Have fun and remember that you are ultimately competing against the course (and yourself) rather than the other tournament entrants.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jtreadwell View Post
I have always gone by some simple wisdom a veteran tourney player gave me once and it's served me well in tag league: Play for par and take the birdies as they come.
This in lower divisions and you'll be fine. But also play your game. If you normally lay up then lay up in the tourney
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