Hijacking this thread instead of opening another thread with same topic.
Today was day 1 of 2 of my 1st ever tournament. Here's what I went through and learned.
- My current handicap is 19.6 from a course which, by everyone's account, plays 2 - 3 strokes harder. If they are right, I figure I should be doing better on another course (Del Monte, Monterey, CA) even though it will be my first time playing there. Sure enough, I did well (considering), carding 93 from white tee (70.5/128). I will see if I play better than my HI tomorrow on another new course (Spanish Bay).
- I was mentally sharp for the tournament and it helped my 1st half score. But getting up early, putting and waiting around (of course, I was there 90 minutes before starting tee time ) for tournament to begin took a toll toward the end. I lost focus and made some empty headed mistakes down the stretch. I played 11 over on the last 6 holes (vs 10 over the 1st 12).
- I was nervous on short putts and missed 4 - 5 short putts I'd normally make. Putting felt different when in tournament. Hopefully, I would not feel nervous tomorrow. Still putted 34 times on a very fast green (fastest I remember).
- Hit number of provision in case I could not find my ball. I didn't want to come back and re-tee. Thankfully, I had no OB or lost ball today. I started and finished the round with one ball. LOL, I brought 2 dozen balls just to make sure that I don't run out.
- Other than the above, I played my usual way, joking around, enjoying scenery, keeping cool (even through 11 over 6 hole stretch).
Best way to play a tournament.. Just treat it like a regular round of golf.. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. I always set my goal to just shoot my handicap and things always work themselves out.. When your goal is to shot lower than our handicap you'll put too much pressure on yourself and your swing will just go to $ht! Good luck though.. I love playing in tournaments..