I am playing in my first sanctioned tournament in a couple of weeks and I was curious if there were any must haves to put in my bag before the big day! Now, I am not talking about discs and minis and such, I mean those little extras like food, drink, rules, pens....etc. you know to smooth my transition to from a recreational player to a tourney player, any insites would be welcomed!
1. Rule book (and read it before you play).
2. Water or other hydrating beverage (no alcohol...see #1 above)
3. Snacks - tournament rounds take longer than casual rounds, so you may get hungry.
4. Sharpie to mark any discs you haven't previously marked. Unmarked discs are a rules violation and a pain in the butt to get back.
5. If you live in poison ivy or poison oak territory carry Technu. It's a lotion that washes off the oils from these nasty plants. It'll save you months of scratching...
6. Extra golf pencils. Leads break...
7. Advil, aspirin, etc. A must-have if you're over 40...
8. Cell phone on vibrate (if you must have it with you...)
9. Good positive attitude - can you pack that in your golf bag?
I would say to invest in a pair of quad-shocks if you carry a lot of discs and other stuff. This will save your shoulder and balances the weight you're carrying, which is important over the extra holes you play during a tourney. Like the other posts say, also take some snacks, try something like trail mix or muesli bars for slower-burning energy, and a bag of soft candy will give you some glucose for quick burst energy.
Also, heaps of Gatorade or any other sports drink. Dehydration causes mistimed throws and breaks in concentration, which will kill your game.
Unfortunatly John, however effective, taking a lighter to your disc is illegal. Rule 802.01 C. Stay hydrated and have snacks. If you are playing a course that does not have benches, a chair could be very nice. One of the ways I save energy at big tourneys, although minimal, is not use a mini. You should be able to make any put you have, by standing behind your disc, without the extra eight inches of setting down a mini. By not using a mini you save yourself bending down needlessly many times. It may not seem like much energy wasted but every little bit helps. As said in the first post, one of the bigest things you can do to prepare for sanctioned play is actually read the rule book. It is unfortunate that the PDGA decided not to give members rule books with their renewal this year. Every TD that holds a sanctioned tourney gets at least ten rule books. If you don't have one ask the TD for one. Hopefully they won't try to sell it to you since they recieved it for free.
If you carry your phone for an emergency, take the battery out. Not worth risk of it being jolted into making a noise.
-Small scorecard sized ziplock bag (if there's any chance of rain)
-2+ golf pencils, don't assume they are readily available or the other guys surely have one
-a band-aid or two (if you get cut by a thorn bad on the first hole, it's good to have one and it weighs nothing)
-1-5$ for side bets is always good, or get up to tourney central and forgot to get in ace pool with 5 minutes before tee off
-melting disc edge is illegal
-water, if your bag is designed well, you should be able to carry say 16oz. on one side and 16oz on the other, better than a 32oz bottle on one side making it akward to carry, i always make sure i have water, with or without gatorade etc, say i touch tree-sap or berries and need to get it off my hand to throw!
-a wet-nap, for just that reason
-rule book is a must, people don't know the rules too well, you want to be sure you don't get screwed by that or someone else gets away with something because of it
-spare car key in a pocket that zips, never taken out until the day you need it
-tiny can of bug spray, tiny 'gluestick' like stick of sunblock for touch ups