How do you know when you're good enough for tournament play?

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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby jenb » Tue May 31, 2011 11:37 am

Just play rec the first time and see what happens. If the entry fee is a financial hardship, play local minis instead.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby Mark Ellis » Tue May 31, 2011 11:52 am

You don't start playing tournaments BECAUSE you are good. You start playing tournaments IN ORDER TO BECOME GOOD.

There are kids who are too young to have the patience or endurance to play. There are adults who lack the skill to keep up with tournament groups. Most players with basic skills and the desire to compete are ready for tournaments. It makes sense to start at local leagues then move to the smaller tournaments before tackling major events, both for seasoning and expense.

Skill doesn't mean much unless you can perform under pressure. There is only one way to learn how to handle pressure and that is to experience it. You have to pay your dues eventually. You might as well start now. It won't be any easier next month or next year.

Nothing will improve skill better or faster than regularly competing. Delaying tournaments just delays your progress.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby GTomp » Tue May 31, 2011 12:46 pm

I know this is probably a topic for another post but my major problem there is one hole. I always mess up on one hole and it gets inside my head. I usually end up double or triple boogying it.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby emiller3 » Tue May 31, 2011 12:56 pm

I wasn't sure if I was ready last year for tournaments. I had never even played leagues and had no idea how I'd respond to the pressure. I signed up for my first tourney at my home course and shot an Am-record -3 (1013 rated round.) It was a great tournament, everything fell into place and was a ton of fun.

Played the same tourney this year and stunk it up. I've improved a lot, I've lowered my average score on the course about 6 strokes from last year, so I thought I was ready to kill it. Bottom line, everything went wrong this year, from some unforseen distractions leading up to the tourney to nearly forgetting to turn my card in after the final round, and everything in between.

Bottom line, you never know how you're gonna do. You may have to go "waste" your money to see how you stack up. But like Mark said, if you're wanting to get better, don't wait to play. Tournament experience is the best way you can prepare for more tournaments.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby JHern » Tue May 31, 2011 9:29 pm

GTomp wrote:I know this is probably a topic for another post but my major problem there is one hole. I always mess up on one hole and it gets inside my head. I usually end up double or triple boogying it.


Playing tournaments will teach you many things. For example, how to play "fairway golf," which is important. This means you take baby steps, especially on holes that get in your head. Lay up on every shot, just so long as you stay in the fairway, you'll probably get a single bogey at worst, and par will come your way more often than you might expect at first. That's how you get rid of those double and triple bogeys. Once you gain more confidence, you can start giving the disc more zip as you move down the fairway, running the basket, etc.. But start off simple, and you'll win in the lower divisions. Seriously.

Also, try to take the stress off your putting game. Nothing gets in your head like having to rely on putting to score well. The only way to take stress off your putting game is only having to make short putts, which means, of course, that you have to develop a good upshot game. Find a versatile disc, a good driving putter (e.g., Wizard) or a versatile mid-range that you can trust (Roc, Aftershock, etc.). Use only that disc for the majority of your upshots (unless special circumstances call for something very different). Practice approaching and parking the basket from 30'-150', while having to take left, right, straight, up, down, etc., routes to the basket. Get inside your magic circle every time, and you'll have a great round.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby ArcheType » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:09 am

Whiz wrote:What do you usually score on the course at Sinnissippi? I am talking about an average score, not your best and not your worst. If you can tell us that we can probably compare the score to past PDGA events there and give you a good idea of what division to play. I love that course by the way. I don't know how strong the league play is near Rock Falls. You might have better luck driving to Aurora to play in the leagues there. I believe during the summer they have both Saturday and Thursday(?) events in Aurora that are a lot of fun and there are some good players. They usually rotate between Jericho Lake and Eagle Ridge in Oswego. If you can I would highly recommend playing Brett's IOS tournament series when it stops in Sinnissippi. He adds a number of really fun and cool temporary holes and I have played it two out of the last four years and had great fun.

Also, Scott Pitner runs the IOS, no clue who Brett is.

edit: I lied, apparently Scott doesn't run all of them, my bad, lol.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby isobar » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:44 pm

The easiest way I can think of to know if you are ready, is to jump in and play one. You will find out quickly if you can hang or not.

Other than that, the most common way is to compare your scores from a local course with the scores of a tournament played there. Add 2-3 strokes to your score to compensate for pressure and see where you stack up.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby bcr123psu » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:56 pm

Don't over think this. Just play one. Good luck!
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby Itchy » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:46 pm

Not tourneys, but I recently joined a league. First night I threw ELEVEN over. I was nervous as heck and couldn't make a putt (+8 front 9, +3 back 9). My second time out I went 4 under (tied for my best 18 on that course). So yeah, stick with it and learn from everyone else throwing on your card.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby Whiz » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:48 pm

On hole one at Sinnissippi just play for the safe 3. It is always tempting to try to crush a drive down that hill but just playing for a 3 with start off the round right. Throw a straight disc backhand or throw a forehand down on the right side and just play a safe layup approach shot. Shooting well at Sinnissippi is all about playing smart. Off the top of my head I don't think the (real) par out there is more than about a 57 or 58 (par 4s would be something like 5, 7, 16, 18). Honestly the pars on the signs are outdated. Play all the holes as par 3s and once you are shooting near a 54 for the 18 holes there you will be doing well. Try to take a three on every hole. Don't worry about twos. Just play for pars and you may get a birdie here or there and that will just be gravy.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby WesV » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:07 pm

Just play one. My New Year's resolution for 2007 was to play one disc golf tournament, just to try it out and see what it was all about. I played Rec. My first round was right around my current skill level, and then the second round I was little off, because of the self-perceived pressure to win. Right away I realized that my skill level (i.e. the highest possible level at which I was then capable of performing) was higher than that of the Rec division, so I moved up.

I had a great time and got hooked - ended up winning two AM2 tournaments that year. Good times. I decided to move up to AM1 after that, and especially after realizing that I could make the cash while playing well below my ability. I didn't want that kind of negative reinforcement - being rewarded by performing at less than my best in pressure situations.

Just go out and play in a tournament. Preferably at a course you know well. Play Am3, or Am4, or whatever. If you win, you win. If you don't win, you got an idea of what the whole tournament thing is about, and you win. I bet you'll realize you're capable of competing in a higher division, as well.

TL;DR - Disc golf tournaments are super fun! You can win some cool stuff. Go try it out.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby garublador » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:41 am

I've only played a couple tournaments, but I played my first one (non sanctioned) five months after I started. I played in the lowest division and after the first round there were pretty much two of us who had any chance of winning then a big gap and a couple more who had 3rd and 4th in the bag and then a big gap and everyone else. I'd suspect that most tournaments have spreads similar to this in the lower divisions. Really the worst that can happen is you were too good for your division and you'll win by a lot. If you're scared of this you can always turn down the prizes. No matter how bad you are chances are there will be people just as bad, if not worse than you there as well. I've found that sitting near the bottom of the heap in the second round is actually a fun place to be. No one on your card really cares about winning and they were just there to have a good time in the first place.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby Dcon67 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:33 pm

garublador wrote:I've found that sitting near the bottom of the heap in the second round is actually a fun place to be. No one on your card really cares about winning and they were just there to have a good time in the first place.


This reminds me of a tourney I was in last year (am2)...I played horribly in the first round, it's never a good round when you're hitting chains 3 times on the same holes. Anyway, as I recall I shot something like a 75...so I was on the bottom card the second round (non PDGA, so people were drinking...and this was definitely the drinking/party group card), I just laughed it off relaxed drank a beer or two and shot nearly 20 strokes better with all the pressure off in the second round. I almost cashed.
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby fanter » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:54 pm

Any advice for someone whose second round is consistently worse than his first? I figure I should try make the second round as much like the first as I can, which might mean drinking a coffee before play. I play my morning rounds on my caffeine high. But that can't be the ONLY thing. Tips?
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Re: How do you know when you're good enough for tournament p

Postby Dcon67 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:44 am

Bring a stool so you can sit, trail mix or something to provide a little energy...and play multiple rounds when practicing.

BTW, what is the issue during the 2nd round? When I'm just tired, I tend to miss putts low. When there's a lot of sitting/waiting, my back gets stiff during the 2nd round, and it will affect my hard pulls....so I'll usually take a couple of tylenol if play seems like it's going to be slow to hopefully help keep my back loose. That and stretching.
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