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How to prep for a tournament.

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Biggest piece of advice is don’t worry about getting off to a hot start. Pars will win you holes with the strokes you’re getting. Even bogies may win some holes for net pars. Steady golf is threatening in match play. If you start making him feel forced to make birdies to beat your pars, he’ll make mistakes.


also, don’t leave putts to halve holes short, obviously. Good luck!

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hes 0 and you are 13. If you went out and played right now, he would have the slight advantage, because hes more likely to not make mistakes. You can shoot better than 13 or worse, and with tournament pressure, odds are worse.

However, you have time to prep. You have 13 free strokes to work with, so you will train, and take the advantage.

Biggest thing in tournament golf is keeping it in play. The moment you see his 300 yard drive you will take out your driver, and put one OB. You are not playing your opponent, you are playing the course. Depending on the length of the course and your swing speed, I would say take the club that will most safely get you inside 175 yards off the teebox. Then while preparing for the tournament you should spend your time practicing chipping and putting. Dont waste your time on the driver (you can easily eat up 2 weeks and go backwards, while your irons fall apart), unless you are playing 7400 yard course.

1) choose safe over distance off tee

2) smack an approach shot on/close to green

3) chip/putt for par/bird

4) dont hit it ob

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Yeah be confident man. It's a handicapped tournament, he has to give you shots so just play your game.

The toughest part for me about giving shots in tournaments like this is on the really tough holes, that's where you can get a low index. Like the 460yd par 4's or long par 3's (if they exist on your course) because playing those for bogey is much different than playing for par. So play extra safe on those and know that a bogey for you has an excellent chance of winning the hole.

Like, the top 5-6 most difficult holes. Even a Scratch might bogey 75% of those in a normal round because they are hard holes. You can bogey them all and maybe win 3 of them.

You can make a bogey playing safe off the tee, laying up in front of the green , put it to the middle and 2-putt.

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In my experience, you as the higher handicapped player have the advantage if you are getting your full 13 shots because it is match play and not stroke play. I'm guessing in a typical round your handicap isn't evenly distributed among all holes, you have good holes and bad holes. Be confident, the pressure is on the 0!

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I am a scratch player who lost last week to a member who is a 9 handicap. I shot Even par from the WHITE TEES. I just didn't make my birdie putts and had 7 pars 2 birdies. I lost on hole 7 (9 hole twilight league). Pars and bogeys will win you holes. I play in this for some fun and our membership likes for us to participate so it is a casual round for me, but even still like a comment above said, if you are steady with your own standards I started to feel pressured to make birdies,.. I made a mistake trying to cut a corner on a Par 5 with tall trees, typically a relatively easy shot for me but I hit it off the neck and it came out lower and I walked away with double-bogey trying to make something happen LOL. Just play your game and have fun! Focus on your shortgame not just for that match for for any match you ever play in. One of the birdies I had were neutralized because of his handicap. The same will be for you! Have FUN

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lost my first match 1 down. was a great match and we both played well. Couple silly mistakes on my part. I tied up the match on 17 leading us to the par 5 18. it's under 500 yards dogleg left, normally a big cut for me being left handed works well. This time it was too much but i still got on the green in 3. His second shot was from 150 yards, lol. he lipped out his eagle putt and that left me to make birdie from 15' to take it to a playoff hole. I hit a great putt but it lipped out as well. 

I've played that course a few times now so my next match is Monday there vs a guy who is a 14 and normally plays at a course that is wide open. I'll have an advantage I think, so I 'll play conservative and smart to win it. 

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