How to prepare for your first golf tournament

PGA Fellow Professional

How to prepare for your first golf tournament

How to prepare for your first tournament

How to prepare for your first golf tournament is a short golf blog post that highlights the 6 most important things to do before the big day.

Being prepared is the most important thing to remember before playing your first tournament. This game will be totally different to anything that you have experienced before.


I have compiled a list below which will help you out on your big day.

1. Know the basic rules of golf.

Carry an official, up to date, rule book. you don’t have to know all of the rules but you should know the basics. For anything else, make sure that you know how to use the rule book. Get to know the local rules of the course that you are playing too.
They will often have these on their website, if not, contact the competition secretary of the club for a copy.
It is important to know what kind of format the tournament is. Strokeplay, Matchplay, Stableford or a Texas Scramble. There are many formats in golf and you should have a good understanding of them all.

2. Make sure that you have everything that you need.

Clean Equipment is essential. You will feel great when you turn up with shiny clubs and polished shoes etc. Make sure that you have the correct clothing, according to the dress code of the club or of the tournament.
Fill your bag with healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruit & non-fizzy drinks to help you keep up energy levels and concentration.
Remember your Pitchmark repairer, tees, gloves and balls. A towel to wipe & clean your clubs after each shot. Check the weather forecast, it may be necessary to take waterproofs with you and an umbrella.

3. Play a practice round.

Before the date of the tournament, it would help to play a practice round to get to know the course. You may want to try out different tactics from the tees or layups on the Par 5s. It may be a good idea to try a few chip shots from several places around each green.
Trying out a few putts from different angles will help to find the easier side of the greens to hit with your approach shots.
If you can and if you have time, walk the course backwards. This will give you a different perspective of the course and you will see where you have more room or landing area.

4. Tidy up your short game.

Make sure that your short game is as good as it can be before the tournament. A good short game can really help you keep a score together. Practice every short shot up to 100 yards including chipping, pitching, lob shots, bunkers, bump and runs. Every shot you can.

5. Do your stretching exercises.

Don’t forget your warm-up routine. A warm-up routine is vital for a good score. Make sure that your body is tuned up for the course like a Formula 1 car needs tuning before the race. This is important, it will allow you to play to your potential. (Give yourself every chance)

6. Expect to feel very nervous.

Turn up at the golf course with plenty of time to spare. Too much time is better than too little. I like to turn up a couple of hours before my start time so that I have no stress before my first tee shot.
Have faith in your game. Learning to control your breathing will help keep your mind off things. Try to relax & remember your routines. Pre-shot and Post-shot routines are extremely important to help play a good score.



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