You've been playing disc golf for a while now,
but only by yourself, with a few friends, or maybe in a league.
While these are all great ways to enjoy the sport of disc golf, you may find yourself in a situation where a question keeps popping into your head,
Should I play in a disc golf tournament?
If you love to compete, then the simple answer is
Disc golf is a fantastic sport to play casually with your family and friends to blow off some steam, spend time in the wilderness, and help keep yourself active and healthier.
But, disc golf is a rapidly growing sport.
Sports are competitive because human beings love to try to do better and be better at things which are seemingly easy, but in reality difficult.
For those of us that have that competitive drive, I have to fully support the idea of getting into the tournament or league scene as soon as possible.
The one thing you need to keep in mind however is...
YOU DON"T HAVE TO BE GOOD TO START!!
While it helps to be competitive after you've already become a lot better at playing disc golf, you can start honing some of those fundamentals of playing in higher pressured situations from the very beginning.
Why should I play in a disc golf tournament?
If you're truly wanting to improve and get better quicker, along with practicing,
playing in a structured competitive environment helps to build:
calmness under pressure
techniques mimicked by other players
knowledge of more rules & regulations
visuals to other discs flight characteristics, and
drive to improve upon your current capabilities
As a tournament player myself, I've come to love the structure of disc golf events from arrival to departure. The atmosphere of so many players on the course is something to admire if you're a fan of growing the sport.
Many times, there are people sitting out with discs and other swag for sale, sometimes there's food vendors, mini games might be played following the final round of the event, and sometimes more!
All things that liven up the sport in a way that just showing up for a casual round doesn't have.
Another huge benefit to playing in events like tournaments or mini events is the player's pack.
What is a player's pack in disc golf?
Very often, upon registering for an event, you will notice in the description of the event that a "Player's Pack" is given before or after the rounds. This is a great way to start getting your hands on different discs or picking up some swag to wear or share with other players.
Not every event gives discs, but most tournament directors try to do something to give back to the players for registering.
After all, without registrants, the events wouldn't happen.
One last reason why getting yourself involved in the tournament scene is beneficial is for that PDGA rating.
What are disc golf ratings? How do they work?
While it's fun to know where you finished after an event, whether it's 1st, 10th, or last, it's even more fun from a competitive view to have a rating associated with your name that you can follow and keep track of.
Ratings are updated the second Tuesday of every month on the PDGA website and you can see the tracking progressions and see the list of events you've participated in, as long as they're sanctioned events.
Some events aren't sanctioned and therefore don't effect your player rating, but that's okay, as long as you're having fun!
Events such as Trilogy Challenges, MVP Circuits, Ace Races, and charity events are other fun ways to compete, try out different disc set ups or layouts, and challenge other areas of your game.
These events are typically listed in your player profile on discgolfscene.com
Overall, in my honest opinion and as someone who started out with a very low rating in the Recreational division a mere four years ago,
tournaments have been the driving force behind me wanting to go practice, play more routinely, and share the lessons I've learned along the way with newer players.
Performing poorly isn't something to be ashamed of when you're out there learning, grinding, and trying your hardest to improve.
With time and experience comes improvement and skill,
And that, is the beauty of disc golf!
So happy playing!
If you play in your first tournament this summer, let us know how you liked it!
We'd love to hear from you!
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