, 2022-08-23 13:30:24,
You can still prepare, even when you can’t play practice rounds.
August 23, 2022 by Steve Andrews in Instruction, Opinion with comments
A few months ago, I was chatting with The Upshot podcast host Josh Mansfield about a particularly challenging part of tournament play. “I play a lot of tournaments that are around 2 to 3 hours away and can’t get extra time off work for practice rounds so I often play the course blind,” Josh wrote. “Any advice for playing competitive rounds without having played the course before?”
As you might guess from reading these articles for the past year, I like to approach tournament play like the Allies’ approached the invasion of France: meticulous planning, lots of practice, and a dedication to preparing for any possible variable. A previous article on this topic described how to get ready for every aspect of tournament play from packing rain gear to planning your meals. In that article, I spent a lot of time talking about how to get the most out of your practice rounds.
But sometimes you have to play blind. You may find out about a tournament at the last minute, or even show up to try a new course and find out a tournament is about to start. Sometimes you just can’t get out to a course to play a practice round but still want to play the event. If you can’t prepare as thoroughly as you want, do you tee it up or pass?
Too many times, I’ve passed. I regret that because we will all miss out on a lot of great events if we only play tournaments that we can approach like the Normandy invasion. So, if you aren’t going to be on the course until the day of – how do you play your best?
What’s the best way to fly blind?
When You Have Some Lead Time
Sometimes you have plenty of time before an event, you just won’t be able to play any practice rounds on the course. Given social media and technology, there is a lot of preparation you can do even if you are never within 100 miles of the course.
The best place to start is with some internet stalking. Lots of courses have scorecards or photos online. Reviews of the course from Disc Golf Course Review (DGCR) can help. Even if it isn’t a well-known course, look for filmed rounds on YouTube. These are almost always available if the course has hosted a significant pro tournament, but lots of amateurs also film casual rounds. You can always go to the course website or the Facebook pages of nearby clubs and ask local players…
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