If you’re looking for a way to take your love of golf to the next level, there’s no greater challenge than participating in a golf tournament. Participating in a golf tournament is an opportunity to push your skills to the limit, find out what you’re made of, and spend time getting to know other golfers who love the sport as much as you do.

If it’s your first time to play in a golf tournament, you might find yourself a bit nervous about taking up this new endeavor. But don’t worry – our team of golf experts at Totally Driven has you covered. In this post, we’re breaking down our top tips for playing in your first golf tournament. Check out these tips and then give us a call to get ready for your next golf tournament!

1.   Pack your golf bag well.

The last thing you need when you’re about to tee up at a golf tournament is to realize you’re missing something essential in your golf bag. Not only can this be a frustrating experience, but it can also put a very real hitch in your plans. Whether you’re a casual golfer or you’re serious about going to tournaments, having a well-packed golf bag is a must.

Make sure you’ve got all of your clubs and they’re cleaned and ready to go, and then add any other essentials. Don’t forget a glove, plenty of labeled golf balls and tees, a ball marker, a couple of pens, a towel, an umbrella, a few snacks, and a bottle of water.

2.   Learn the rules.

If you’ve only been playing golf casually, it’s a good idea to brush up on the official rules of the game, since golf tournaments tend to take them seriously. Check out USA Today’s breakdown of some recent changes in professional golf rules before you attend the tournament. Additionally, you’ll need to give the individual tournament’s rules a read, as occasionally there may be special guidelines for a tournament.

3.   Practice, practice, practice.

This probably goes without saying, but one of the best ways to alleviate your nerves when you’re planning to play a tournament is committing plenty of time to practice. After all, practice truly does make perfect, or at least the next best thing to it! Be sure to practice regularly in the days and weeks running up to the tournament. Just before the event, schedule some extra time at the practice range to solidify your best habits.

4.   Have your warm-up routine down.

Most pro golfers have a go-to warm-up routine that they use to help prepare mentally when they play and get their bodies ready so they are less likely to experience golf–related injuries. The best warm-up routines include getting in a few practice swings and putts as well as incorporating stretches into their pre-golf strategy.

5.   Don’t forget to eat and drink.

We mentioned putting a granola bar or two in your bag and a bottle of water, but it bears repeating that you need to plan to nourish your body while you’re in a tournament. Dehydration is a common problem on the golf course, especially when the summer heat is blazing. After all, most tournaments will have you in the direct sun for as many as six hours.

While you’re at the tournament, get into the habit of keeping your water bottle on hand. Every chance you get, drink a few sips of water to remain hydrated. After you’ve played a few holes, grab a snack to keep your energy up. Granola bars are a great thing to stash in your bag, but protein bars, dried fruit, and trail mix are also a good bet for lasting energy.

6.   Make like Taylor Swift and learn how to shake it off.

Before you tee up for your first tournament, one of the best things you can do is refine your ability to move on from failure and frustration. Bad strokes happen to everyone – even professional golfers. It can be tempting to ruminate on your mistakes, but all this will do in the long run is sabotage your golf game.

The best golfers have the ability to accept their mistakes and move on from them. Tiger Woods reputedly practices what he calls the “10-step rule,” taking ten steps every time he hits a bad shot. Apparently, he also rewards himself with a little twirl when he likes a shot.

7.   Be ready for action on the day of the tournament.

When you’re playing a tournament, you’ll need to prioritize punctuality more than you usually would. Tournament weekends can be extremely busy, and you want to be respectful of everyone else’s time. Show up ready to play early and expect to spend most of the day at the tournament and likely outdoors. That way, if you’ve left something in your vehicle or you’re forced to go through any unforeseen protocols, you’ll still have plenty of time to spare.

Once you’ve arrived and checked out the scene, be sure to put on plenty of sunscreen since you’ll be spending the day outdoors. Additionally, stop by the restroom while you’ve got time to spare since the lines for the facilities can be long.

Get Ready for Your First (or Next) Golf Tournament

Are you ready to take your golf clubs on the road? It’s time to step up your golf game with Totally Driven in Edina. We can get you the best clubs for your swing with a custom golf fitting or help you improve your distance, range, and accuracy with golf lessons. To get ready for your next big golf tournament, contact us online or give us a call today at (952) 681-2728.