Jun 16, 2022

Golf Tournaments: What it Takes to Succeed

beginner golfers golf tips and tricks mental hurdles of golf on the course

When we think back to everything golf has brought into our lives, the biggest one is the relationships and friendships we’ve made. Golf is an amazing way to meet new people, build connections, and make life-long friends!

One perfect example of a golf-buddies-turned-friend-turned-podcast-guests are Christine Fero and Lauren Brown, who joined us on episode 47 of The Housewives of Golf podcast. We met during our tournament in Ireland and have gone on to become great friends.

Tori, Lauren, and Christine all participated in the Arizona MidAm tournament in June 2022 and had a lot to share about their experiences. From it, new golfers can learn more about what it’s like competing in a tournament and what it takes to succeed (no matter how you define it).

Setting the Stage: Learning to Golf

Most people don’t start competing in golf tournaments right away. It takes some time to build up skill and confidence in your game before playing. You also need to have an established handicap index to be able to play in a tournament.

Everyone has their own golf journey, too. Christine has been golfing with her father since she was a child, but never really got serious about it until moving to the Valley. At that time, she joined a men’s league because she didn’t know any other women golfers. After some encouragement, though, she tried out a women’s league and loved meeting other people on the course.

If you’re starting out as a beginner golfer, there are a few tips to help make the most of it:

  • Join a women’s league. It’s a great way to make friends! And, if you don’t connect right away, make sure to give it a few times and try again. We hate hearing that people give up after one bad experience—it can take time to connect with the right people.
  • Try multiple courses. We’re lucky here in the Valley to have so many amazing courses around us. But even if you live elsewhere, it’s a good idea to try something new. Each course is different, which provides new opportunities to gain experience and grow.
  • Find your training schedule. All of us on the podcast have different routines and schedules. If you want to improve and get better, practice is important. But it’s most important to figure out what works for you and stick to that, rather than trying to copy someone else’s schedule or goals.

The Main Show: Golf Tournaments

Beginner golfers often wonder what it’s like to compete in a tournament. Each one is a little different, but they all serve the same purpose: to put your skills to the test in a competitive environment so you can learn and grow!

Both Christine and Lauren signed up for the Arizona MidAm tournament for the experience. Christine has a handicap index of 17, so knew she wouldn’t be able to compete and win the tournament. That said, she knew that the only way to get better and one day compete at a higher level is to get out there and play in tournaments.

As we chatted about our experiences at the tournament, a few themes came up:

  • Conditions and environment. It was  Like 115 degrees hot! This significantly impacts your ability to play your best. Remember that there are some things out of your control that will impact your game. So, take care of yourself and just do your best despite unfavorable conditions.
  • Pairing. Christine was with two other women—one with a handicap of 17 like her and another with a handicap of 6. Despite this woman being a higher-skilled player, Christine didn’t let it get to her and just kept playing. She also gained confidence from the experience that she could compete with women who were “better,” and it wasn’t that scary or intimidating!
  • Performance under pressure. Lauren reflected on how she had been practicing left hand low putting and felt confident about it going into the tournament. But she ended up struggling with it during the tournament and blew a few holes. Sometimes the pressure of a competitive environment means you won’t perform at your best… and that’s okay!
  • Pace of play. During the tournament, Tori had been frustrating with the slow group in front of her (Lauren’s group… but not Lauren, as she was quick to point out!). She really had to tap into that inner calm and not let it bother her. But the lesson here is to also be aware of pace of play at all times so that your fellow golfers don’t get thrown off their own game.

We all enjoyed the tournament, despite having different goals going in. Tori was looking for a win (and came in 2nd after a dramatic last hole—read the story here), Christine for the experience, and Lauren to try out what she’d been practicing.

And this is the beauty of competitive golf—you can get so much out of it, even if you’re not going to end up on the top of the scoreboard. Other takeaways of playing in a tournament are meeting people, playing under pressure, pushing yourself, trying something new, and getting used to the competitive environment.

Aftermath: Lessons Learned and Future Goals

Coming out of the tournament, everyone felt encouraged and energized. We discussed how the more tournaments you play in, the more your confidence increase. Just think of those Juniors and college kids—they are so used to a competitive environment that it doesn’t faze them anymore.

And all golfers can get there! The more practice means more chances to build confidence and have your skills develop and grow. It’s good to work towards your goals, too. Lauren’s working towards scratch (long-term goal) and wants to improve her short game (short-term goal). Sarah and Christin both want to be single-digit handicap and are ready to put in the practice to get there.

But golf isn’t just about your scores, it’s about the community. When reflecting on what golf has brought us in life, we can all agree on a few things: fun, friendship, and enjoyment!


Everyone’s experience with golf is different. Backgrounds, skill level, access to training, community—it all impacts how we play. And that’s why we love talking with diverse people about their experiences. Hopefully the more we talk about women playing golf, the more women we’ll see out there on the green.

Check out the full chat with Lauren and Christine on the Housewives of Golf podcast (episode 47). While you’re there, check out our other episodes and socials to stay connected!


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