The biggest difference between advanced and intermediate is CONSISTENCY. Intermediates have the abilities to shoot like advanced, but can't always put a full round together, or a full tourney. When you begin to shoot within a range of 3 or 4 strokes most of the time and that range competes with other advanced players, move up.
after your first nocturnal emission. just kidding. i can definitely understanding not wanting to be in the bottom of the division either. i'm starting to agree with the guys who go strictly by player rating. its the most standardized, fair way to do it.
I am not ready yet. I want to play a whole season on this southern national tour I am on. Their has been a lot of talk about baggers and I was lucky enough to make the second card this past weekend at a local tournament. Dude in our group shot 4 down and was throwing some good ones. Didn't look like an amateur. He won.
Our local club has a rule that if you beat out a field of 10 or more then you have to move up to advanced for a local event that they put on. It only makes you a better golfer playing with better players. This isn't the case for PDGA though.. I agree with the 935 or the given the "stink-eye"... which ever comes first.
move up now! you will loose for a while, but you will play with better golfers and it will pay off in the future. besides, getting called a bagger can spoil your whole weekend even if you dont think you are baggin!
IMO, you know you are ready to move up when you feel like you did not have a good day (say, average or worse) and you still finished top 3-5 (basically top 15% or so). If you aren't playing at least slightly better than average to place that high in the division, you're probably getting a bit too good for it. At least, that's how I knew I was done with Advanced and ready to turn Pro a few years ago. I realized even when on days where I was "struggling" with my game, I was still finishing second or third...which I interpreted to mean if I just played average, I probably would have won easily. It was time to move up.
And when I say "bad day" or "good day" or "struggling", I mean relative to how *you* feel about your own game, not necessarily relative to your scores or other players' scores and certainly not relative to how you would have placed in higher divisions. That's the other thing...don't feel you have to move up right away because you had one extraordinary day where everything broke right and you lapped the field. That's the nature of being an AM...one day, heck one round in the zone, the next not so much. Moving up the ranks is about becoming more consistent, as has been said.