If you are good enough as an amateur golfer, the time will come when you have a go at tournament play.
This doesn’t mean that a few years of practice will have you ready to take part in the Masters or PGA golf tournaments, but you may well be good enough to enter a competition at your local club, and this is where things get really interesting.
Testing yourself against the best players from a club and invited outsiders can be fascinating – it allows you to see how you fare under pressure – and maybe win some cash into the bargain.
Golf tournaments differ depending on the level you play at.
Professionals play in tournaments that last four days, taking them through seventy-two holes of raised pressure and hair’s breadth competition.
If they don’t play well enough on the first two days, then they may fall below the ‘cut’ – usually ten strokes behind the leader – and take no further part.
If you make the cut, then you play for the final two days no matter what happens. If you finish high enough on the leader board, you’ll win some money.
At amateur level, tournaments rarely last that long – after all, everyone has a job to go back to.
They will frequently last a weekend though, and if you are playing in a tournament then pressure is always at its highest in the final holes when you stand a real chance of winning.
It makes for fantastic sport, and even gaining tournament experience in readiness for the next time is valuable.