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First 'Real' Tournament


Dwall4017
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So I’ve played in various scrambles and “club” tournaments the last couple years. I went to Canebrake in Athens,Al this weekend to play in the North Alabama Fall Classic. I thought my game was in a good place, been shooting within a couple strokes of my personal best for the last month, upper seventies. No I didn’t expect to win, or even be in the top flight. However I wasn’t prepared the way I thought I was. I’d spent a few nights putting at home on a felt carpet that’s faster than my home course greens. I’d spent extra time hitting irons off tees to give myself longer shots into greens as this course is 300-500 yards further than my typical course, mostly due to longer par 3’s and 50 to 100 yard further par 5’s. So maybe that should have factored into my prep, but it didn’t. I spent a lot of time chipping and being very intentional about smooth and easy swings with irons. So Friday I played a practice round with my uncle(his home course) I shot an 87 first time seeing the course. Greens were much faster than anticipated but broke less than I was reading.  Also somewhere along the way on the 4 hour drive south, I picked up the hooks with my driver. So Saturday morning greeted me with temps 30 degrees cooler and a cold north wind around 15mph. After a good chipping session and putting on the practice green I decided to hit the range to see if I could straighten the driver out to finish up my warm up. Tee times were running 30 min behind so that gave ample time I thought. First tee box saw me hit a straight tee shot that sailed up in the wind and it was all downhill from there. I closed out the round with a 91, that consisted of 7 pars and multiple 3 putts and a very boneheaded 8 on a par 5 that was birdied in the practice round. Day 2 saw another 91 with more of the same. Rushed irons poor chips and bad putting until the last 5 holes where I played 1 over through the last 4. All in all I’m disappointed in the scores and placing but will just chalk it up to being ill prepared mentally for real tournament golf and needing to spend more time in real competition if I want to actually get better. I’m open for suggestions on how to improve, my handicap came down this summer but it didn’t translate to competitive golf. Anyways let’s here some stories about recent amateur tournaments.

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Hello and welcome to TST. First a suggestion, a request really, please use paragraph breaks so it’s easier on the eyes to read.😉 We have a great section here called ‘Members Swings’ where you can post videos of your swing and get some great free advice.

You need to find your priority piece first. Rather than long irons or driver, you need to focus on specific areas then find the very specific piece to work on. 

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I will leave mechanics and technical stuff to others. You can do a few things that will  lessen the impact of playing an unfamiliar course. 
1. Play a variety of golf courses, different styles, standards, lengths and conditions. It’s a lot easier to score well on a course you play all the time. Playing different types of golf can help sharpen your skills. 
2. Read a book by the guy who owns this golf website. Then use it to pick a plan for each hole and shot. 
3. Don’t sweat the score, just enjoy playing golf somewhere different 

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Welcome to the real world OP, no matter how hard we try range play and practice rounds are a million miles away from scorecard in hand stroke-play. The ultimate test for all us golfers!

I used to fear Medal (stroke play) competitions after having similar "out of the blue" blow ups. Over time I have learnt to embrace the challenge and temper my strategy accordingly.

Try to find some stableford events to ease yourself into competitive golf-much more forgiving as a blow up hole and loss of stableford points can be recovered more easily than an 8 marked down during stroke-play. 

As has been said, from a gameplan for each hole, relax and try your best to execute it. When trouble pops up extract yourself minimising scorecard damage and move on! 

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  • iacas changed the title to First 'Real' Tournament

Welcome to the world of golf competitions.  You selected a tough tournament for your maiden voyage.  Hopefully you did not get too beat up and want to continue to play in competitions,

I recommend that you explore the availability of amateur tournaments in your area.  Many cities and counties hold golf championships as well as individual golf courses & clubs. Try to play regularly in competitions.  Most of us need to get used to playing in tournaments.  Also, try to select events that cater to your level of ability through the flighting of players or the use of handicaps.  After you become used to tournament play and your handicap index improves, you can set your sights higher.

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