What Division do I play in?

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What Division do I play in?

Postby himynameismatt » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:31 am

Hey all I'm playing in my second tourney this week had some questions that maybe you guys can help me with.

After my first tournament last month I got my first rating 843, much lower than where I wanted to start but what can I expect my first tourney was played at the 2nd most difficult Gold Tee course in the area http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=3578, the first being the home of the BSF Milo McIver.

My second tourney is coming up it will be played at this course here http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=3019 minus the two long holes, it's basically a pitch and putt. Despite my rating I'm quite capable shooting a 950+ rated round at this course, my personal best is -10 w/o an Ace when it's in the typical 12 hole format. And my average is about -4, -5, -6.

So my question is what division do I play in?

I want to play Rec like my rating says I should, but the locals at this course are of a particular "frat boy" nature and are dicks about people they perceive to be "sandbagging" especially since the rec field is very small compared to the Intermediate.

So do I play where my rating says I should? Or should I play in intermediate to just alleviate any frustration that might be caused by the other players?
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby Timko » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:35 am

You should play where you skill is, not where your rating is.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby himynameismatt » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:41 am

Timko wrote:You should play where you skill is, not where your rating is.


Thanks for the quick response. This is what I thought the answer might be. Intermediate here I come!
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby swel304 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:21 am

I'm not sure how it is "frat boy" to say that someone who can shoot 10 down and fully expects no less than 4 down on a given course has no business entering rec. I would think that intermediate is "playing down" for you as well, but I guess this is pretty common. At our local tourneys I usually sign up intermediate even though I legitimately should be playing rec, but rec division is always packed with people that are playing way down. Then again I dont do pdga/points stuff and really dont understand how they work. Just from my observation it seems like there should be more incentive not to play down just to get a better rating.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby fanter » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:42 am

Timko wrote:You should play where you skill is, not where your rating is.


I've had a similar issue as the OP. I feel like I have more skill than what actually shows in my tourney rounds. I might just have an inflated sense of myself, or something. I like your advice, but I also have trouble gauging my own skill.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby Timko » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:52 pm

Mark Ellis wrote a great post about the difference between tournament and casual rounds. Blake has also touched on it before. Generally, most people choke when it comes down to the big moment. Someone may throw some 1000-1020 rated rounds for a while at different courses, but come tournament time, they're back in the lower 900's. This is a common problem for most people. That's why I'm a big fan of playing where your skill (not your rating) dictates. I think that ability to overcome choking will only happen when matched up against players of your caliber and skill. Otherwise, you'll be competing in a division with people below your skill level, which does you no good.


Also, the OP has a single rated event. It's really difficult to tell what his rating will be after a couple more events at this point.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby himynameismatt » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:30 pm

Timko wrote:Mark Ellis wrote a great post about the difference between tournament and casual rounds. Blake has also touched on it before. Generally, most people choke when it comes down to the big moment. Someone may throw some 1000-1020 rated rounds for a while at different courses, but come tournament time, they're back in the lower 900's. This is a common problem for most people. That's why I'm a big fan of playing where your skill (not your rating) dictates. I think that ability to overcome choking will only happen when matched up against players of your caliber and skill. Otherwise, you'll be competing in a division with people below your skill level, which does you no good.


Also, the OP has a single rated event. It's really difficult to tell what his rating will be after a couple more events at this point.
Great advice bolded right there. I feel that will really strike true with myself as well.
And maybe frat boy wasnt the best word they can be dicks straight up. And honestly I think the best competiton for me is in intermediate. Bottom end of that division at this event will shoot higher/worse score than top of rec. Top of intermediate division should probably all be playing advanced though, vast majority of them play league here twice a week. Top of advanced is pretty deep though. A lot of people playing down in this event imo.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby Mark Ellis » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:31 pm

himynameismatt wrote:
Timko wrote:Mark Ellis wrote a great post about the difference between tournament and casual rounds. Blake has also touched on it before. Generally, most people choke when it comes down to the big moment. Someone may throw some 1000-1020 rated rounds for a while at different courses, but come tournament time, they're back in the lower 900's. This is a common problem for most people. That's why I'm a big fan of playing where your skill (not your rating) dictates. I think that ability to overcome choking will only happen when matched up against players of your caliber and skill. Otherwise, you'll be competing in a division with people below your skill level, which does you no good.


Also, the OP has a single rated event. It's really difficult to tell what his rating will be after a couple more events at this point.
Great advice bolded right there. I feel that will really strike true with myself as well.
And maybe frat boy wasnt the best word they can be dicks straight up. And honestly I think the best competiton for me is in intermediate. Bottom end of that division at this event will shoot higher/worse score than top of rec. Top of intermediate division should probably all be playing advanced though, vast majority of them play league here twice a week. Top of advanced is pretty deep though. A lot of people playing down in this event imo.


Haha. In spite of being quoted I come out with the opposite conclusion: Play your rating and make it your GOAL to be accused of being a sandbagger. Do not be afraid of taking grief from the peanut gallery/frat boy hecklers. It is your second tournament for goodness sake. It is not like you are the champion of the world dropping down to beat up on crippled grade school kids.

Rather than comparing skill and ratings, lets compare SKILL POTENTIAL (what you think you should do) versus PROVEN TOURNAMENT ABILITY (your current rating). Skill means nothing if it is not proven under pressure in a tournament. So what you call SKILL I call merely SKILL POTENTIAL until and unless it is proven. Now you can protest that the last tournament did not show your skills accurately. Sure it did. It showed what happened under the pressure of a tournament when that pressure kicked your butt. Pressure does that until you learn to overcome it, which is one of the critical parts to competing in tournaments.

You will have the ability to compete in tournaments for the rest of your career. Win a division or improve your rating so much you are excluded from a division before you move up. PDGA ratings are well designed to prevent blatant sandbagging. If you are really good enough to move up then in a month your rating will tell you so. In the meantime you will be competing in a division where you belong: against players who have proven they deserve to be in your division.

Over the years, moving up through the tournament ranks will teach you important lessons. There are times you will be the favorite, there are times you will be the underdog. Both spots teach you different things but both are valuable lessons which eventually you must learn.

If you are destined to be great then you will be playing Pro within a year. If you are like the rest of us you will battle for each step you take forward and you will fight for each rating point.

Now if himynameismatt had been playing tournaments for years and stagnating then my advice might be different. Breaking slumps and overcoming plateaus are different issues than what is presented here.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby fanter » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:10 pm

I'm rated only slightly higher than the OP. Last tournament I was ~850. I played Rec in my very first tournament and shot 3rd and decided I'd rather compete with the next level, and since then I've been getting crushed in Intermediate. Over the weekend I placed last, which is a little discouraging.

I like what I've read. I usually end up playing Intermediate after some internal debate because I know (after literally practicing every day for the past three weeks) that I DO have the potential to be way better than I am (and a lot of guys in the division).

And FWIW, I've only been competed in two PDGA events. The rest have been non-sanctioned, and most took place over the winter in the cold/rain and were not very competitive.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby Pwingles » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:48 pm

@ fanter

IMO, the only glaring hole in your game right now is consistency and the ability to forget the last shot and concentrate on the upcoming one.

Ive seen him throw ~450 w/ a valk, his mid game is fine, putting is good enough (besides whos not constantly trying to be a better putter?)

The tournament he came in last in, it just seemed like an off day, nothing major. Id say just work on the mental aspect of your game and try and put it all together into one cohesive round. When disaster strikes, minimize it. When you get an opportunity, try your best to capitalize. Take your time, throw your shot, learn from your mistakes and go to the next hole. Thats how you do well at tournament golf, make less mistakes, and when you do, stop the bleeding as soon as possible.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby JR » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:54 am

Timko wrote:Mark Ellis wrote a great post about the difference between tournament and casual rounds. Blake has also touched on it before. Generally, most people choke when it comes down to the big moment. Someone may throw some 1000-1020 rated rounds for a while at different courses, but come tournament time, they're back in the lower 900's. This is a common problem for most people. That's why I'm a big fan of playing where your skill (not your rating) dictates. I think that ability to overcome choking will only happen when matched up against players of your caliber and skill. Otherwise, you'll be competing in a division with people below your skill level, which does you no good.


Also, the OP has a single rated event. It's really difficult to tell what his rating will be after a couple more events at this point.


I might be a little different to most because my history and challenges are different. I try to play the best i can and i can't even think about playing against others if that would even be a sane goal for getting the best results. I'm injured for life and my work leaves me fatigued at best for most playing sessions. My challenges are in order of important are fighting against my injuries because when i'm tired i easily lose 5 and often more strokes compared to when i', properly rested. I can't rest that much because i'm not in top athlete condition and do need to push to get to better shape. So short term outta the window in favor of long term gains for me. The second priority for me is to play the best average score pushing harder when there's no danger and playing smart when there is danger and little to no reward in pushing my limits or going over them. Yes it can be done easily. So i play against the course. If for some reason that would never be too much again only then could i even think of trying for giggles playing against someone.

With that long background i'm a little odd in competition play. I usually play better than in casual rounds because i think i'm cool headed enough (what a joke if you knew me) to not get frazzled in pressure situations in competition. I keep my eye on the ball. And because i come to compete rested i don't start with second round blues. I also play and practice too relaxed at times and if everything goes to shit i often start to try new lines, tweaks, discs or whatever. I don't do that in competition. The result is that in the big competitions i play better. I don't take the luxury of resting for weeklies and smaller events i rather earn wages.

YMMV.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby himynameismatt » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:39 am

Thanks guys a lot of great advice in here. I'll be sure and let everyone know whether or not my venture into Intermediate is as successful as I hope it will be.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby masterbeato » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:39 pm

What is wrong with being a sandbagger? I take it as a compliment.

If they hate you, then they will hate you until you are top pro, and then you will be like a god.

Do things for yourself and not for others. If they hate you for sandbagging then continue to beat them senseless because nothing else makes them feel worse.

Make them cry.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby ashley » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:24 pm

I personally always prefer to play up. My last rating(very old) would put me in Advanced Women(837-2006). However, I have been playing against the Int men ever since. My goal is to become an Open woman. I have played well and I have played poorly, but I feel like when I play Int, it pushes me. Every stroke counts, every throw counts(I have cashed against the Int boys at least twice that I can recall)

It all depends on your end goal. I usually play casual rounds with my hubby, and back in 2006 he was last rated at a 943. He has improved a lot since then, and it used to be that he would pretty consistently beat me by 10 strokes. However, I finally feel like all the hard work is starting to pay off. I have been working on a few things, and now even though he can outdrive me by 100+ feet on the longer holes I have been able to shrink that average to 4-5 strokes a round.

The point is, nothing will push you more than playing with better players. If you just want to have fun, by all means play rec, but if you want to push your game to the next level, play up.
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Re: What Division do I play in?

Postby Smigles » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:33 am

IMO play where your rating is, not where you think your skill may be somewhere in the future. If your skill is realy in a totaly different place than your rating, your rating will get a update very soon.
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