Jim, I posted this on a different bulletin board for a first timer coming to the World Am.
This year will be my 35th consecutive year to play in the World Am so I can offer up a few tidbits.
First of all, let yourself have a good time. Do not put too much pressure on yourself. Enjoy the entire experience. You can’t win your flight on the first day but you can certainly just about shoot yourself out of contention on the first day. Do your best to avoid getting frustrated and down on yourself.
Rules…have a good understanding of your options if you hit a ball into a penalty area. Since it tends to be rainy season in MB area, understand your option when it comes to casual water. Hopefully it will not be wet but you never know. If dry, you will be playing the ball down. If you play a lot of casual golf at home, think about what you are doing. If playing flat, don’t mess up and roll the ball around. And, all putts must fall…none of the “that’s good, pick it up”. If you do familiarize yourself with the rules, you will be less nervous. Try to stay as positive as you can. Most likely you will have a bad hole or two along the way. Don’t dwell on what is already done…think about what lies ahead of you. Make sure the ball(s) you are playing have some distinguishing personal marks on them. If someone in your group(s) is trying to be a rules nazi, having a good understanding of the rules gives you a heads up if that person is trying to call something or tell you you have to do something that simply is not right. Carry the Rules of Golf rules book. It is ok to have the app on your phone but in a dispute with another competitor, I like to be able to point him to the printed rule to read for himself.
Because of rainy season…have good rain gear. Unless the course becomes unplayable or there is threatening weather in the area, you don’t just go in because of rain. You play in the rain. If you don’t usually play in the rain at home…if it rains…go out and play. Get used to it before you go. Rain gloves…make sure you have a good pair.
Slow play…it is a fact of life. Shouldn’t be, but it is. Try not to dwell on it being slow either. If we are waiting and waiting, I don’t grab a club and stand there. I figure out what club I am going to hit, what kind of shot I want to hit, and I sit in the cart and chit chat just to stay loose in the moment. Then when it is time, get out there and execute in 20 seconds or less.
19th hole…Monday night is very crowded, food and drink lines are long unless you purchase the “fast” whatever they are offering. (I am not). Tuesday on, smaller crowds, shorter lines. Many people complain about the 19th hole based solely on Monday nights. If you come back year after year like me, this is where you go to see the people you have played with in previous years. This is a big deal for me. The young man I played with my very first round ever in the WA and his wife are two of the people I look forward to seeing every year. I have been to their home in Tennessee. What a great friendship. I have made many many friends thru the years and I look forward to seeing all of them every year. Have I ever played with a total jerk…you bet I have. But, the great people I have met, some from outside the US, is probably the reason I keep coming back year after year.
Sorry for the long post. But remember…let yourself have a good time. Enjoy the whole experience. Hope to meet you at the 19th hole. Will “buy” you a drink of your choice.