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Bluenoser67

Tournament Do's and Don'ts

74 posts in this topic

I have played in both local and provincial Tournaments over the last number of years and have some dos and donts gained from painful experience.

Donts

Dont Ever give up - You never know what the rest of the field is doing - Ive seen guys hockey stick it around when they thought they were out of it and find out later that if they hadnt they would have been at the top of the scoreboard.

DO

Mark your ball - even if it is only a 3 footer.  I have stepped up to tap in a 3 footer and rushed it only to miss what I would never have missed if i had taken my time marked and gone through my putting routine.

Add your own Do's and Donts from your experience.

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DO

Prepare. Practice. A lot.

DON'T

Rush - You have to slow down. Breathe. Everything speeds up when you're under pressure - you walk faster, you swing faster.

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Don't

Assume you know the rule.

Do

Ask for a ruling - or help with clarification on a ruling if you are unsure or are confused as to what the proper ruling should be.  It's better to ask for assistance and avoid a penalty stroke - or even worse, get DQ'd.

Don't

Go into the tournament questioning if you are good enough to be there.

Do

Have confidence in your game.

Don't

Take yourself too seriously

Do

Have fun.

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Great thread for me as I'm about to start playing in tournaments for the first time.  Obviously this means I have no advice to give, I'm just here to learn from ya'll.

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Originally Posted by zipazoid

DO

Prepare. Practice. A lot.

DON'T

Rush - You have to slow down. Breathe. Everything speeds up when you're under pressure - you walk faster, you swing faster.

I agree with this, but will add that I think the heavy practice shouldn`t come a day or two before the tourny...much better to put in some longer range sessions weeks or more ahead and then try not to have too many technical thoughts about your swing going on the week of the tournament.

DO play shots you are more comfortable hitting (aka DON`T play shots you are uncomfortable hitting)

DON`T get too upset with one bad shot/hole or too excited about several good holes early

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Originally Posted by MEfree

I agree with this, but will add that I think the heavy practice shouldn`t come a day or two before the tourny...much better to put in some longer range sessions weeks or more ahead and then try not to have too many technical thoughts about your swing going on the week of the tournament.

Agreed. When I was playing tournaments, I had a 2-week prep plan. I would try to hit at least a hundred balls each day & short game for at least an hour. But at 3 days prior, I wouldn't hit any more balls but I would double up the short game time, maybe play a practice round at the course where the tournament was. You don't want to burn out.

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Don't pick up your ball.

-  without informing your playing partner to identify it (not sure it's penalty strokes but it's good etiquette regardless)

- when you're on a cart path before determining whether you actually want to drop wherever the "nearest point of relief" is

- when you're in gimme range - don't forget this is real golf and every stroke is played until the ball is holed or the hole conceded

Do keep an eye on your opponent but don't do it at the expense of hitting the shot in front of you with focus and confidence.

Don't hit shots you wouldn't try during a routine round

Do take your lumps and give yourself a good leave for your next stroke.

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DON'T:

-Practice heavily after a round of a three day tournament at the course that provides free range balls, your skin will tear if you hit too many.

-Eat a hot Santiago's breakfast burrito (habanero pepper green chile) 20 minutes before your tee time

-Carry more than 14 clubs

-Take a drop at the point of where a shot went out of bounds

-Get tense or frustrated if you do worse than a practice round, it's normal.

-Assume that there is a DQ penalty attached to improper procedure while dropping the ball

DO:

-Count your clubs before a round

-Know the rules, and call an official if there is any doubt

-Carry a wet towel with you (A bath towel hung on the clubs, with half on each side, makes a great wet/dry towel combo if you only wet the side away from your legs)

-Mark your ball anywhere outside of 6"

-Carry plenty of tees, ball markers, and ball mark repair tools (the latter two are there in case someone forgets theirs, because I hate seeing balls marked with a tee or ball marks left on the green)

-Remember to relax and have fun playing the sport you enjoy.

Learned my lesson on the OB rule the hard way, because I played with some real jerk who convinced me it was a DQ penalty for not taking a proper OB drop (I was newer to golf then) so I dropped out of the 2nd day of the tournament. Didn't even bother coming back the next day to play the second round (they'd pair me with the first group, and just not count my score) since I knew I'd be paired with the same ignorant guy again. Never trust a guy who tries to give you advice, advice that matches what you already planned to do, says, "See, trust your pro" after it works, then complains when you give him the proper penalty for advice and proceeds to shoot a 107 with a handicap of 10. He even tried to hit it out of the ESA that was obviously full of snake dens after we had seen a rattlesnake on the course earlier...

However, don't let stuff like that get to you, and just have fun. That's the most important part of tournament play.

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DO - enjoy meeting new people that you may not normally play with DON'T - bother trying to make conversation with a guy that is down 8 holes to you on the 9th hole in a match play tourney
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Do: - In match play make him putt EVERYTHING. - Play your game, not your opponent's. Just because he hit driver, doesn't mean you should. - Show up in plenty of time to comfortably warm-up on the range and putting green. - Play a practice round if you can. - Keep a separate card with your own score. Don't: - Agonize over a shot. Set up and hit it like you always do. - Compound one bad shot by trying to rescue it with a hero shot. Don't turn bogies into doubles, or worse. - Make changes to your equipment or routine right before the tournament. - Sign your scorecard without verifying the score on every hole, not just the total. And as already said, have fun!
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DO - enjoy meeting new people that you may not normally play with DON'T - bother trying to make conversation with a guy that is down 8 holes to you on the 9th hole in a match play tourney

And don't respond to someone trying to engage YOU in conversation when you're down a hole or two. Don't allow yourself to get distracted....

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DO:

- Practice putting before the round to get a feel for the green

- Carry enough balls, tees, etc.

- Correctly count your score with your playing partner and sign your card

- Play your own game

DON'T:

- Play out of turn

- Get yourself down or angry after a bad shot

- Pick up your ball even if you have a "gimme putt". Your buddies may let you in a casual round, but not in a tournament.

I played out of turn once in a match play tournament. We had two pairs in one group and I was in the latter pairing. I guess I didn't really pay attention on the second tee box, but I teed up first and hit my ball before the first pair. I was told by my opponent that I played out of turn and he said that he could officially call that and I would have to re-tee, but since I ended up in the rough, he decided not to call that out of turn. Either way, it was somewhat embarrassing, but it was a learning experience. Also, play your own game on your own game plan.

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Don't

Ask things like... "What yardage is it to the pin?" or "What club did you hit there?"

Do

If you strike conversation with an opponent... Keep it simple.  You aren't there to converse.  You are there to play golf.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

Don't

Ask things like... "What yardage is it to the pin?" or "What club did you hit there?"

Strictly from a rules perspective, the first question is fine and the second is not.

On the first question, Decision 8-1/2.

On the second, the definition of Advice.  Although if you have already hit your shot, asking your opponent what club he used is not a breach (Decision 8-1/7)

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Originally Posted by turtleback

Strictly from a rules perspective, the first question is fine and the second is not.

On the first question, Decision 8-1/2.

On the second, the definition of Advice.  Although if you have already hit your shot, asking your opponent what club he used is not a breach (Decision 8-1/7)

If a player / opponent has a laser range finder.  And gets the yardage.  And I ask him what he measured it as... That isn't a breach of asking your opponent for advice?

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If a player / opponent has a laser range finder.  And gets the yardage.  And I ask him what he measured it as... That isn't a breach of asking your opponent for advice?

Yep I think that's what he's saying, and I do think its acceptable under the rules.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

If a player / opponent has a laser range finder.  And gets the yardage.  And I ask him what he measured it as... That isn't a breach of asking your opponent for advice?

Nope.  Did you read the Decision I cited?

8-1/2

Exchanging Distance Information

Information regarding the distance between two objects is public information and not advice. It is therefore permissible for players to exchange information relating to the distance between two objects. For example, a player may ask anyone, including his opponent, fellow-competitor or either of their caddies, the distance between his ball and the hole. (Revised)

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Originally Posted by RPMPIRE

I played out of turn once in a match play tournament. We had two pairs in one group and I was in the latter pairing. I guess I didn't really pay attention on the second tee box, but I teed up first and hit my ball before the first pair. I was told by my opponent that I played out of turn and he said that he could officially call that and I would have to re-tee, but since I ended up in the rough, he decided not to call that out of turn. Either way, it was somewhat embarrassing, but it was a learning experience. Also, play your own game on your own game plan.

Whilst the rules of golf don't include any references to two matches being played within one group (and I've never seen it done), I believe it is ok but the order of play only exists within your match. So unless you'd played before your opponent (and he was first to play) then it doesn't matter whether or not you play before or after other people in your group who are not part of your match.

I guess there may have been a local rule or condition of competition that may have enforce order of play between matches in one group but somehow I doubt it and your opponent probably just didn't know the rules as well as he though he did.

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