Oh shit! Tourney day is tomorrow and you don’t have anything ready. No worries, we have you covered. Whether it is your first or fiftieth, tournaments can be both fun and stressful, and the last thing you want is to get out on the course without the essentials. We will go into the necessities, the accessories and some optional items, with the idea being to get you on your first tee pad without a worry in the world about anything, but the course and how many sausages and beers you will be shoving down your throat between rounds.
Gotta Have It!
We would hate to make an ass out of you and me, but we assume you have a bag. No? Go get one now and come back to read the rest when you get one. Have a bag now? How many discs can you carry? Usually, somewhere around 15-20 discs is pretty standard for folks playing in tournaments. With that, you will want to have 2-3 putters, 2-5 approach discs (Richard thinks anything that isn’t a driver is an approach disc) and the rest drivers.
- Putters - You probably have a few hanging out in your collection, but pack your two most trusted putters. Preferably, they are the exact same disc. While the putter is the disc you are least likely to lose, God help you if you do, because you are going to need that extra if you do! Also, two putters is nice at the practice basket.
- Getting close to the bucket - Drive for show and putt for dough is the old saying, but what about not worrying about putting? You need to have something that will get you close to the basket consistently so you have have a nice tap in putt. The best players out there are having tough birdie putts and tap in pars, because of their skillful approaches. When you are packing up those approach discs, you should have a few. Some will be stable and fly very straight, but it also helps to have something that will fly with a hook to hit those mid-range dogleg shots. If you mostly backhand your approaches, having something to flick and tomahawk as an approach is good to have as well in case you get into trouble and need to do it, which you undoubtedly will. If you have a mid-range that is essential for you to succeed, bring two, just like your putters.
- Do you rip it after you grip it? - Ahhhhh, the wide open fairways to throw your favorite driver 400 ft every time are just waiting for you. If only that were the case, right? In reality, every hole and drive is going to be different, so you need to plan accordingly. Have you played the course before? Brian will go through each hole and plan each drive, because he knows what each hole is like and he goes in with a plan. Never played the course? Go early and at least walk the course so you can get a good feel for the holes and what kind of shots you will be making, then pack accordingly. While your putters and mid-ranges probably won’t change very much, the course, wind, rain, etc. will all affect your throws and you need to bring the discs that will give you the best chance to dice up the course.
You’re gonna want to have these:
- Mini marker - While these are very optional for your casual rounds (we generally don’t use them for that), they are very useful for tourneys. Some folks scoff at getting an extra 9 inches to make the throw, but hit off the front of the bucket enough times and you will want that extra bit. Find a mini marker that means something to you, a favorite company, favorite color, or a cool keg cap. Make it something that you will remember so you won’t leave on the course.
- Don’t forget to bring a towelie - For a sport that is so involved with having a good grip, the main way to keep that grip consistent all day is with a towel. Any towel will do, but a microfiber one will do the best for you. Even on a dry day with no rain coming, most courses will be covered in dew in the morning. Rain in the forecast? Bring more towels! I really want to make more towelie jokes here, but can’t because I have no idea what is going on.
- Water and Snacks - We know beer is our favorite form of water, but we try to follow the park/tourney rules if not allowed. We both carry big water bottles during events and we are huge fans of pistachio nuts. It helps with the oral fixation and you can keep them in your pocket as you walk and munch. Find the snack that works for you, we highly recommend staying away from soda (Mt. Dew in particular) because it may taste sweet, but it drys you out real fast, and zaps your power.
- Random Extras - Richard keeps a baseball in his bag for getting discs out of trees due to his overconfidence in being able to tomahawk over tall-ass trees. Brian has one of those fancy golden retrievers to get his drives out of the water. A major thing is nail clippers, keep those nails off your putter. Bandages, athletic tape, alcohol wipes (for those that play in the poison ivy region), pencils, sharpie, and a rule book of course.
Now pack that bag and hit the course!