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Tournament Tips


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So heres the deal guys, I'm a junior player, usually a pretty good one too. I usually shoot low 80's high 70s, but when it comes to tournament play, i end up playing generally terrible and shooting mid to high 90s! It's not even just one part of my game either, everything just gets worse. What do you guys do to shoot good tournament rounds.
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So heres the deal guys, I'm a junior player, usually a pretty good one too. I usually shoot low 80's high 70s, but when it comes to tournament play, i end up playing generally terrible and shooting mid to high 90s! It's not even just one part of my game either, everything just gets worse. What do you guys do to shoot good tournament rounds.

Two ways of saying the same thing: treat your practice rounds like tournament rounds or treat your tournament rounds like your practice rounds.

You can answer this yourself without posting here, but this is a tough question: do you cheat in your practice rounds? Hit a second ball and play that one, give yourself some putts, etc.? A lot of people I see do, and they think they're better than they truly are. If they haven't had to make a 3-foot sliding putt in two months, the four they face in a tournament round are tough.
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one, thanks iacas, really like the advice you give on the forum,i was hoping you would respond.
two, i don't really cheat, except for maybe putting with the pin in occasionally, but thanks i will try to play every round like a tournament round, its just hard because its really hard to replicate that atmosphere.
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one, thanks iacas, really like the advice you give on the forum,i was hoping you would respond.

That's the thing: it's not hard to replicate the atmosphere. You're always playing against the course and you're playing against yourself. That's always the same (I'm assuming you're not playing match play).

If you're not "cheating" in practice rounds, then it's only a mental issue. That's it. You're the same person on the outside, and the golf ball and clubs will do the same things if you swing and hit them the same way. It's all in your head.
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yeah i have a tournament tomorrow.

I have this problem, but usually not too extreme. Everything is usually good except my putting goes down the drain. (lag putting especially, I am money within 6 feet)
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I'm just a golf mom...but here are a few things my son has learned while playing tourneys. He's on two junior tours, one junior tour runs two days for every tourney.

We always make sure he gets in at least one practice round. During that practice round he takes notes. In other words, what clubs worked, which clubs didn't, hazards, greens, and so on. During the practice round, if he wasn't happy with his first shot he will take a drop, though he does still play off his first ball. There are no gimmies, if he lips out a putt it's still counted as a stroke.

On the day of the tourney he has a small binder that fits into his back pocket that has his notes from the practice round. He reads them and applies what he learned during those practice rounds to the round he's playing at the tourney. It has helped like you would not believe.

I wish you luck.

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First off, you are most likely not in the top players at these tournys... right? I figure that the top guys are shooting around 75 consistently??

WHich is probably making you a little intimidated and looking at other players before tee off. What I would recommend is of course taking one shot at a time, with a consistent preshot routine, and not worrying about anyone except yourself before tee off and even during the round. You sound like some of my friends in highschool... they did the same thing you are doing.

Since you said that your entire game is affected, then most likely you are overly stressed and worried about your score. Just make sure to relax before each shot and concentrate on your target.

Good luck
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Recently I have been doing quit well in events at my club, and we have some major competition, usually about 110 people per event. Last year I was horrible so I think there are a few key things that have helped me.

1. Don't practice before your round. Just warm up and work on tempo, feel, and speed, don't try to fix your swing. I've had events where I had horrid ball striking on the range, but worked out a good tempo, and done great on the course.
2. Play one hole, one shot at a time. Reading zen golf had some great tips about how to get your mind in the present, but I think it is key to doing well as the pressure builds.
3. Try to think of a birdie putt or par putt the same as a double bogie, they all count the same.
4. Try to have fun, and look at it as fun. If your getting mad and miserable you are wasting a good afternoon.
5. Compete as much as you can. I play every tournament I can and play in a mini tournament every Saturday with my regular group. The more you are used to competing the better you get at it. The more you are used to shooting low in an event the easier keeping that score low is.
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First off, you are most likely not in the top players at these tournys... right? I figure that the top guys are shooting around 75 consistently??

First off Thanks guys, played much better today, just didn't think about it being a tourney or anything and shot 78.

Gregor, actually 75 is usually good for like 5th or 6th, the winner is usually anywhere from 67-73, but yeah I might end up being a little intimidated cuz some of the 16 year olds are hitting like 300+ yards and i max out at like 280.
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Take slow and deep breaths before each of your shots.

I like to breathe in for 2 seconds and then exhale for 2 seconds. It helps clear out the adrenaline somewhat and enables me to focus.

One surge of adrenaline typically stays in your bloodstream for around 21 minutes.
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but yeah I might end up being a little intimidated cuz some of the 16 year olds are hitting like 300+ yards and i max out at like 280.

280 is plenty of drive for a lot of courses. My Uncle played college golf and was the shortest driver on the team, but was the best golfer. Why? He was 10 times better than anyone else from 100 yards in.

Back on topic.... something that might help you with pressure on the course is when you are out playing, play "worst ball". It works like a scramble. You play 2 balls on every shot and you play from the worst of the 2 shots. This will help you to become more consistant and deal with pressure.... Imagine you just made a downhill breaker from 6 feet to save a great par. Well, you better concentrate and make it again or your carding a bogey.
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well, they all gave good advice and it's going to be hard to follow up, but he's my little bit of advice for you.

Establish a game plan the night before. Set a score that you feel will help you, or your team, the most. If it's a 77 for a particualr course, then go out there with that in mind. If you're playing with a guy that's shooting 63 and driving the ball 300yds, then don't worry about him. Driver, 7-iron, 5ft birdie putt is just as good as Driver, LW, 5ft birdie putt. It's not how, it's how many.

In closing, stick to your game and your limits and not try not to focus on everything else that's happening. Complete your goal for the day and you're winning no matter what.
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It's not how, it's how many.

first off, great quote on competitve golfing...just stick to your strengths.

Set a score that you feel will help you, or your team, the most. If it's a 77 for a particualr course, then go out there with that in mind. .

second, I don't believe you should go out with a score in mind, because you could allow yourself to become fixated on that score. In turn, losing focus from shot to shot, and possibly frustrate yourself if you can't hit the target.

Instead, focus on solid ball striking and solid putting, but don't get mad on mishits or missed putts, just go to the next shot and start over.
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280 in highschool is more than enough at least when I played, ya the longer guys put it out around 300 but most courses are around 6000 yards maybe the longest is 6500 so you should have wedges into pretty much every par 4, you just need to work on a pre short routine and try to take it one shot at a time, and remmeber that bogeys are not bad, especially if your good rounds are high 70's its the doubles that kill you. Just think about your target and nothing less, and no matter how bad its going never quit on your round, its a valuable life lesson and it helps your golf score tremendously + if youve made several birdies before, you know you can do it again, so you can get right back into your round. Just keep doing it and learn from everytime you play.
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Here's some things I have learned about tournament competition in any sport, but especially golf. Your mental game is your tournament game. When you're playing a tournament your mindset (might be, at least mine used to be) you want to shoot your best score, and when you start off with that bogey or missed birdie putt, you get down. Instead remember there are 17 more holes left in the round. Focus on postive reinforcement not dwelling on the negative.
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hey, just take your time and concentrate on your shots, don't try too hard cos it always goes wrong, the best rounds you play are wen u feel relaxed and comfortable on the course, the more u try the more mistakes u make.
Try not to be too hard on urself either, everyone hits bad shots, just get urself out of the trouble and focus on making the best score u can from there

good luck
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So heres the deal guys, I'm a junior player, usually a pretty good one too. I usually shoot low 80's high 70s, but when it comes to tournament play, i end up playing generally terrible and shooting mid to high 90s! It's not even just one part of my game either, everything just gets worse. What do you guys do to shoot good tournament rounds.

Don't think of it as a tournament round. It's just another day on the course. Don't stress your score, don't stress you competitors.

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