Playing in your first golf tournament is an exciting experience. However, it can also be a very nervous time, especially on the first tee. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about feeling nervous, but it can be a good thing.
If you feel nothing on the opening tee of your first golf tournament, you are unlikely to play to your best. A bit of arousal is what all sports people need to get the maximum out of their game. Being nervous is natural and nothing to be ashamed about.
Almost every other player in the tournament nervous, regardless of their experience. You are not alone so expect to feel nerves and embrace them.
No doubt you will have spent time practicing on both the range and putting green. You will know which shots you play well and the clubs you can trust for each shot on the golf course. Nevertheless, you will be having second thoughts when the tournament begins.
”I know I can play this shot, but is it the right thing to do?”
It is a thought often found in the mind of players in their first tournament. There is nothing wrong with thinking clearly about a shot before committing. However, you must trust in your swing so back yourself to make the shots you have practiced.
Even the most confident casual golfers will question themselves in their first tournament. Expect it to happen and be decisive when it does.
Rules are very important so expect them to be enforced vigorously during a tournament. You may not be used to playing strictly to the rules in every situation with friends. This can come as a shock when playing in your first tournament. However, having a good understanding of the rules will help.
Do not expect any favours from other players or officials when it comes to breaking the rules. Expect to be disciplined or at worst eliminated from the event if you do.
Timing is very important during a golf tournament and you must expect it to be strict.
You must know your tee time and be there 10 minutes before to make sure you are ready. If you miss your tee time, chances are you will not be allowed to play in the event. You may also be banned from future tournaments.
You may also consider how long you are taking over shots. If you are playing too slow, you will be asked to speed up or face a penalty.
Finally, despite being a tournament you still want to have fun. Remember, you are not a professional so not expect to hit a miracle score but play with a smile on your face. Everyone is out to win but also to have a good time. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself if something doesn’t go quite right and enjoy the experience of playing in your first tournament.