What to Expect in Your First Golf Tournament

Everything may go smoothly at your first golf tournament but expect to be surprised and perhaps even a bit confused. Golf courses in Bend offer many types of tournaments, from best ball to team play and straight score and handicap events. Tournaments match you against other golfers – but you should be there to have some fun.

If you’ve been playing at River’s Edge, Bend’s top golf course, you’ve been well challenged by tricky water holes and strategic sand, but tournaments do get your blood moving!

Start at River’s Edge Pro Shop

Inside the River’s Edge Pro Shop they’ve got the answers you need: from clubs, lessons, and tournament info too. If you are considering playing in a work-related event, they’ll probably skip handicaps, but for other Bend golf, you’ll likely need an established handicap. Fortunately, the folks in the pro shop can help you get a handicap card too!

Golf Tournament Advice

Register early, pay your fees, and choose a starting block in advance – your handicap may determine your flight, or group, from A to D, and usually, each group gets its own championship. Make sure you have all your gear ready to get your practice an hour before your tee time on the tournament day.
If the tournament is a shotgun start, your group begins on an assigned hole, not necessarily the first hole. A crossover starts players on the front or back nine. Be flexible and expect the unexpected. And make sure you know the rules – not just the ones your golf buddies follow. Buy a rule book and carry it in your bag or use the USGA website to bone up!
Being prepared for your tournament should include getting enough sleep and staying hydrated, but you should also expect a more significant, different crowd of golfers. Most will have tournament experience. They’ll be relaxed and know when to approach each tee box, and how long is just right between the front and back nine. Acceptance is a virtue! Roll with the punches and focus.
You can expect to have a big rush of adrenaline as you take your stance on the first tee. Breathe, let muscle memory take over, and you might even hit the ball a bit farther. So, moving up a single club might be in order.

Bend’s Top Golf Course at River’s Edge

Know the Course: You can expect to be nervous but knowing the course you are playing is a must. If you play River’s Edge, you’re a step ahead. Still, take a scorecard and physically plan your drive for each hole, marking the spot you’d like to hit. You can expect some challenging pin placements and short greens at tournaments, so carefully consider your approach.

Expect to scramble as you adjust to the other players, their aggressive behavior, and your nerves. When you are playing the best golf course in Central Oregon, River’s Edge, it’s all going to be great, and a few wayward shots won’t hurt you, but chipping and putting will likely set the tone for your day. Trying to show off with a long drive is silly. Just set your own pace and tempo, focus on a smooth swing, and enjoy the ride.