Be prepared for anything and everything on the day of your tournament. Here are 10 tips to prepare for your first tournament from what to wear to what to bring!

It’s tournament day! A day full of excitement and often nervousness, even for the most seasoned golfers.

While your nerves might be shaking, the best play comes from being comfortable in your environment. Knowing that your bag is prepared with everything you might need will give you more confidence.

This list of 10 top tips will help you be the most prepared day of so you can focus on your swing.

1) What to wear: wear comfortable golf clothing. Try to avoid casual athleisure wear or jeans and instead play it safe with a collared shirt and athletic/golf pants that are not too tight. If it’s warm, opt for a skort or shorts that are no shorter than an inch above your knee.

Pack layers in your side pocket for all imaginable weather: sun, wind, and rain. Pack a sun hat, a rain hat, and a toque. Your head needs to be protected from the weather to bring out your best performance. There is nothing worse than being too hot, too cold, or too wet. No one plays their best golf if they are uncomfortable. You should use your cart bag if you have one, not a carry bag to allow for all the extras. If you usually carry, consider a pushcart to allow for the extra clothing.

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have something to wear, borrow from a friend or check out our list of affordable golf fashions and where to find them.

2) Pack a golf bag rain cover and an umbrella. A sun/rain umbrella will have silver opaque lining underneath. Make sure it has wind baffles also to prevent it from flipping inside out. Ensure your pushcart has a solid umbrella holder to grip your umbrella so it won’t blow away in the wind. Umbrellas can be used for shade in the hot sun, and for protection from the rain. It makes a difference to your play allowing for weather protection.

3) Pack an extra golf glove. Your hands may sweat more in the heat. If you have them, pack your rain golf gloves and cold weather golf gloves also. If you haven't invested in these, they are well worth carrying in your bag. They keep your hands dry and warm in bad weather. They will prevent a wet grip from slipping out of your hands.

4) Bring two full water bottles with you. Drink water frequently and refill them often. An electrolyte drink or tablets can also help support hydration on particularly hot days.

5) Pack nutritious snacks for energy. Golf requires physical output and mental concentration. You will play your best if you are hydrated and energized.

Check out some of our favourite snacks for on-the-course energy.

If you have everything you need and disaster strikes during your play, Amy Alcott advises, “Keep your sense of humor. There’s enough stress in the rest of your life not to let bad shots ruin a game you are supposed to enjoy.”

6) Wear sunscreen. This is important even in colder conditions. Apply sunscreen before you play so that you can wash it off your hands. Sunscreen on your hands can cause slippery grips. Pack an aerosol sunscreen for reapplications. 

7) Bring bug repellent. Look for a small spray bottle or towelettes that fits easily in your golf bag.

8) Pack extra socks and bandaids in case of blisters.

9) Add a bottle of ibuprofen or acetaminophen. There are not too many things worse than trying to play through a headache. Packing an antihistamine can save the day if a bug bite strikes or you have sensitivities to pollen or grass.

10) Always pack tissue and feminine products. You never know when you may need these items and you don’t want to be caught off guard halfway through your tournament.

While many things may feel important on tournament day, the most important things to remember are to have fun and don’t put pressure on yourself. You will play better if you feel relaxed and comfortable!

Now that you’re all packed, check out our list of popular tournament formats and strategies so you are brushed up on scoring.