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so almost a year to the day after I started playing disc golf, my and my buddy have decided to play in our 1st tournament. with no rating or outside reference point to go off of we figured that intermediate is the division to go for. when we play casually, we're par golfers for the most part. is this the correct choice? (yes I know it's a tough and very relative question to be asking people that have never seen me play)

and part 2 of the post: any survival tips?

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As for what div you should be in, I checked pdga's tourney results, looked at tourneys on courses I knew and also saw people who I played with.  From that I could guage about how I shot and what div I should have been in.  It worked out fairly well.  Divisions are fairly flexible depending on region.  Here in LA, we have alot of killer talent so you can often find guys shooting in the 950's playing intermediate.  They'd have no shot in Adv so I'm not sure I blame them.

Basic survival tips - Go in with no expectations.  Just play and let the chips fall where they may.  Tournament rounds take alot longer than casual rounds so plan on that also.

Another option, if the tournament is on a course you play often, is to contact the TD. Tell him what you normally shoot on that course, he can probably advise you what division is appropriate.

Star Shark's advice is good---no expectactions, let the chips fall.  Have fun.  If you end up in the wrong division and lose by 50 strokes, it won't do any permanent damage.

Is intermediate AM3? If it's anything around here like it is in your area, that bracket can have a wide variety of skill levels involved. I guess it depends on what you want. Do you want to get better, or do you want to be handed a victory? There really is no glory in winning AM4, and you will improve more if you play with people who are better than you.

I did roughly the same thing. I started playing last year in April, and played in my first tournament in January of this year. I signed up for AM4, but no one else did, so I had to move up to AM3. I had some good shots, but I also had some career low shots. But I got to see how a tourney works, and also learned some rules which is really important because some people are real sticklers about them. Shot in the double digits, and didn't come close to anything, but on the bright side you can only get better from there. Flash forward to today, I played a few more tournaments, and in a summer disc league. Aside from my sprained ankle about 7 weeks ago, which made me fall back a couple strides, my strokes kept dropping on a fairly consistent basis. I got my first ace during a league night, and I even shot negative a couple rounds.

I guess what I would suggest is don't be afraid to make mistakes and don't put too much pressure on yourself. One of the pros in our league said that golf is a game of patience, and good things come to those who wait. As long as you keep at it and constantly trying to get better, it will happen.

Intermediate is AM2.

Also, don't dwell on any bad shots. Take things hole by hole and develop a very short term memory when it comes to miscues. Everyone makes mistakes. Good players just handle them better.

thanks for the advice guys! oddly enough, the main thing I'm stressing about is making sure I don't make any protocol mis-queues. I'd hate to lose strokes for something stupid. I've downloaded the rules and the competition manual and am trying to play strictly by the book for the next few weeks to prepare.

It really depends on the people in your area. The fact that you know the course is to your advantage. Just give it your best shot. Base your future division decisions on how you do compared to others. The best two tips I can offer are hit your putts and play one hole at a time. Dont think about last hole or the next hole, just the one your on. Good luck and have fun!

I have run a lot of tournaments and played a lot of tournaments.  Here are the main two stupid ways you are going to lose [gain, actually] strokes for something stupid:

1. Assuming that the other guy knows what the rule is.

2. Not adding up your own score correctly at the end of the round before hand ing the card to the TD. 

As to the first one, not a lot of players are going to call the rules, but when they do, they call the rules wrong half of the time.  If someone is calling you on some rule you've never read, hand them your copy of the rules and ask them to show it to you.  And then, make sure that you understand from reading the rule what the penalty or consequence is for violating the rule.  Maybe it is just a warning for the first violation.

As to the second one, at every tournament the TD gets incorrectly added cards and has to give out the two-throw penalty for that.  You are responsible for having a correct total on your card.  You are responsible for handing the card to the TD.  If someone else in the group is taking in the card, you should take in that person. 

I always recommend that someone playing in his or her first tournament, tell the people you're grouped with that it's your first tournament.  In my experience, they'll almost always be helpful, especially with protocol and etiquette, and understanding of missteps you may make.  After all, every one of them once played in their first tournament themselves.

Enjoy your 1st tourney,hydration is important also,energy bars/apple slices,good breakfast,relax/have fun.Check your scorecard before signing.

I'm the buddy he's playing with.... hehe.

Seriously thanks for all the tips guys....

I played in a couple tournaments now. Just think of it as a regular disc golf round, its no different. Relax like they said. Eat a good breakfast too, I keep a small something in my bag if I get hungry during the later rounds. And dont forget to warm your arm up before your rounds. First I stretch, then I like to play catch, and then play a few holes before the tourney starts. Then im ready to go when it does, nice and warmed up. 

Tournies are great fun!

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