A Guide to Attending A Golf Tournament

golf tournament

Attending a professional golf tournament can be an awesome experience. Whether you head to Augusta for the Master’s or check out a Web.com event, there are several things to consider and do to make the most of the experience. Here’s a quick guide on what to do before and during a golf tournament.

Before The Golf Tournament

The first and most obvious thing is to consider before the tournament is what to wear. Look at the weather and keep in mind that you’ll have limited access to indoor spaces. Be prepared to do a great deal of walking too. One of the most overlooked items is sunscreen. The venue will have some if you forget but know they’ll be charging a pretty premium. Having your own ahead of time goes a long way. The final step in preparing is to know where parking is and how to get in and out. Preparing a route and planning ahead saves you time, giving you more time to enjoy the event.

At The Golf Tournament

Augusta National

Those used to watching a tournament on TV can get shocked when they attend their first event. They’re used to seeing every big shot from every player in the field. Keep in mind that you’re limited to what you can see in person. You must choose to follow a certain group/player or sit at a hole and watch groups come through. There’s no wrong choice, only what you prefer. I’ve done both. I’ll follow a group for a handful of holes. When I want to take a break, I’ll park it and watch groups play through. The two most exciting places to sit, in my opinion, are par 3 greens and par 5s that are reachable in two. There’s just something about watching birdies and eagles that’s so exciting.

The first thing I always do when I arrive at an event is go to the driving range and putting green. Spending an hour or so there gives you a relatively close look at many players warming up.  You see how great these guys are as you watch them hit all different types of shots. Their consistency and accuracy always amaze me. Watching pros on the putting green shows how consistently they roll the ball on the correct line with the correct speed. You can also pick up some tips on a warm-up routine to take home with you for your game.

Another thing to consider, if you get there early, is to just walk the course, especially if you’re somewhere special like Augusta National. You get an appreciation of the course design and the conditions the players battle.

Finally, plan ahead for what sort of souvenir you might want to pick up. The merchandise tent is a place that can easily break your budget. The sheer volume of what you can buy can also be overwhelming. To avoid huge lines, don’t wait until the end of the day to go. I like to go either mid-morning or mid-afternoon to avoid the rush. Having a plan of what you want to buy and when to go saves you money and time.

To Summarize

Before you get to the course

  • Dress appropriately for the weather and walking.
  • Don’t forget your sunscreen!
  • Know the parking situation.

At the Tournament

  • Decide if you’ll follow a group or sit at a hole.
  • Check out the driving range and putting green.
  • Walk the course.
  • Have a plan when you hit up the merch tent.

Attending an event is something everyone should do at least once. Just make sure you have the right expectations and a plan and it will be something you never forget.

A Few Other Helpful Guides:

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Rudi Fann

Rudi Fann has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 2008. He began his career in 1998 as the Assistant Golf Professional at Wake Forest Golf Club in Wake Forest, NC. In 2002, Rudi accepted a similar position at Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He spent a year there before moving to Nipomo, CA where he worked at Blacklake Golf Resort. Over the next 10 years, he worked his way from Assistant Golf Professional to Head Golf Professional and finally Director of Golf Operations. In his time at Blacklake, Rudi devoted much of his time to running tournaments and other activities in order to create a social atmosphere at the club. After Blacklake, Rudi spent one year as Head Golf Professional at Paso Robles Golf Club before deciding to return home to North Carolina. Since returning to North Carolina, Rudi has worked with the First Tee of the Triangle helping to instill life skills and core values through the game of golf to local youth.