HERE ARE SOME FIRST TOURNAMENT TIPS:
- We post Tee Times 2-days before the Tournament. We will typically update the Tee Times 1 or 2 times – so check the Tee Times the night before the tournament.
- When you get to the golf course – come into the Club House and Check-In so we know that you have arrived for the tournament.
- Get to the golf course about an hour before your tee time – that will give you time to hit some range balls and putt.
- Get to the Tee where you are Starting at least 15 Minutes before your Tee Time
- We will have your Scorecard at the 1st Tee and we will give you your Instructions for Tournament Play.
We can’t choose the weather for the date of a tournament. So if the Golf Course Staff has “Opened the Golf Course for Play” we play golf. That means it could be rainy, windy, cold or hot. You will play in tournaments under all types of weather conditions – now is the best time to start learning to adapt your game to the course conditions.
DURING TOURNAMENTS WE PLAY “READY GOLF”
“Ready Golf” allows the golfers within a group to take their swings when each member of the group is ready to play. If you reach your ball and are ready to hit, while other members of your group are not yet prepared (like they are looking for their golf ball), then go ahead and hit. So after you and your fellow competitor’s tee off, you will walk up to your own golf ball and figure out your yardage and what golf club you want to use – then get ready to hit the ball. On the putting green, if your putt is inside of 2 feet – you can go ahead an putt out if you want to.
We play “Ready Golf” to keep the Groups moving – so we are looking for each Group to finish 9-holes in 2:00 hours to 2:15. So you should finish your 18-holes in 4 hours to 4 hours and 30 minutes.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT YOUR SCORE!
Whatever you normally shoot during a practice round at your home golf course – players normally shoot about 10-strokes higher in their first year or so of tournament golf. So if you normally shoot a 96 on your home course, don’t be discouraged if you shoot a 106. I wouldn’t worry about your score too much – you mainly just want to start getting use to Tournament Golf.
The idea is to start getting use to playing in golf tournaments – carrying your golf bag and walking for 18-holes. Figuring our yardages on your own and deciding what club to hit. And figuring out rulings – and if you are not sure about a rule – ask your playing partners – between you and your playing partner you can figure it out. If in doubt, play a second ball (Rule 3-3) – keep score for both balls – and after the completion of play, the tournament committee will determine which ruling was correct and what your score was on the hole.
During tournaments, parents have to stay on the cart path and cannot help with club selection, yardages, score-keeping, or rules.
HAVE FUN AND MAKE NEW FRIENDS
What is really fun is you will start to meet and know golfers your own age from all over Alabama. And if you keep playing junior golf through High School – you will have a lot of friends from all over the State that you will see at tournaments on a regular basis.
My son, Will, met Alex Harper when they were both 9-years old and playing in their very first junior golf tournament. Will and Alex grew up in different cities and only knew each other through tournament golf. They still play golf together on a regular basis – and they have known each other for 15-years! (Update: Alex caddied for Will in the 2011 US Open!)
You are going to have a lot of fun and you will start to make golfing friends who you will know for years and years.