1. A Stool or Chair
You may not have to wait long during your practice rounds or local league, but in tournaments there are enormous amounts of standing around. Take the time to sit and save your legs for the drives and putts later in the round. I have seen so many players wear themselves out prematurely standing all day.
Side Note: Find the right size chair that is comfortable and allows your legs to rest.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and for good reason. In a tournament it is the primary source of energy for warmup and at least the first round. A single granola bar is not going to keep your energy and mental acuity at its peak for a tournament.
3. Mid-Round Snacks
With tournament rounds being 2-4 hours of walking, thinking, and finally throwing, your body needs to replace the energy exerted. Pack a variety of quick snacks that include protein, sugars, and carbohydrates. I personally pack beef jerky, cliff bars, and Swedish fish.
4. Hydrate Continually
Dehydration creeps up on you during a round and normally by the time you feel dehydrated you already are. On a cool day you may not even feel like you are sweating. Drink a variety of both sport drinks and water. Drinking just sports drinks all day can be just as bad. Your body needs water.
Sunscreen matters even on an overcast day or on a wooded course. You are exposed to the sun for the entire day at tournament and protecting your skin, especially your face is vitally important.
6. A Change of Socks
A single blister can affect your entire game. Dew on the morning grass, high humidity, rain, and sweat can all cause your socks to become wet mid round and trying to push through the round until you can change at the car is a mistake. Your feet are the foundation to your game, protect them at all cost.
7. A Towel
Almost all of us have disc golf towels; if not go spend $5 on a 10 pack of microfiber auto detailing towels at Walmart. But many forget to bring it with them during the round. I cannot count how many times I have been asked to bum a towel. Towels have so many uses during the round besides drying off discs that get wet. Towels can be used to on the ground to enhance slippery footing. Towels can be used to keep sweat off your hands or protect your head or neck from the sun. Towels can be wetted and placed on your neck to cool you down. They are versatile and don’t take up much space.
8. A Course Prep Sheet
Keeping a handy 3×5 card in your bag with comments and tips about the course is not cheating, it is key. Though this requires preparation planning out your disc selection for the drive on each hole ahead of time take much of the guess work out of what to throw. Making note of key things to avoid or placement you want to achieve also helps in knowing what to throw. Finally note which holes are safe or hazardous to go for shots on; marking risk and reward when you are not emotionally charge is important.
9. Your Putting Cue
You spent all this time practicing your putting only to get frustrated with your lack of putting in a tournament. Your putting routine should always begin with your cue that reminds your body of the routine you practice. Mine is my mini. I line my mini up and always have the image on its face in line with me. You may think I am crazy or overdoing it, but the attention to this detail focuses my body when I place my mini to be prepared to putt. Find what works for you, but remember the cue.
10. The Right Attitude
Your attitude affects your game. First and foremost the game of disc golf is to be fun, if you are not having fun why do you play. Second, your attitude affects how you will respond to adversity that every will face throughout the tournament. I am reminded of Paul McBeth’s roll away OB drive during the final round of the European Masters in 2014. Yes he was frustrated, but he laughed it off because it happens to everyone even the McBeth. Finally, your attitude affects those around you. What makes you a professional is not your rating but your attitude.
Team Dynamic Discs