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Thoughts on moving up

Posted by kary 
Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 03:38PM
I would like to get the SN community's thoughts on moving up divisions. I feel that I'm at a decision making point and I wonder what your experiences have been.

I've been playing for a little over a year and a half. The first tourny that I competed in as an Am was the Tishomingo Fall tourny of 2001. I struggled that SN season and met with some success. This SN season, I've been doing much better. I told myself at the beginning of this season that I would move up to Advanced at the beginning of next season - June 1, 2003. So I hoped I would win one tourny before moving up. This season I've won 3 tournaments, 1 small and 2 big. I'm thinking of moving up now instead of waiting for next season. I think that I've proven to myself that my game is improving. I feel ready mentally to start over in a different, more difficult division. Is this the right thing to do? I guess one thing that gives me hesitation is that I'd like to make a run at winning the Am SN points. But is it worth it? Should I just forget about that and move on with my game?

I would love to hear from some people who have been here before. How did you know it was time to move up? Were you really ready? Would you have done it differently looking back - any regrets?

You input is appreciated,

Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 04:45PM

This is Griff (Memphis). Move up when you are ready. For some it's sooner, some later....some choose to never go Pro for their own reasons.

Personally, I ended up winning the first Am tourney I entered(tupelo-99?), I was encouraged to move up by fellow players at all levels...basically, I was told that once you win a tourney you should move up.

That was then, this is now...and in just a few years the competition has not only grown in number but also in skill.

My opinion is...if you are creaming evryone in your division, then by the end of that seasonal year you should move up. I've won several of the smaller tourneys in the advanced division (3), never a large tourney..but attempted to move to Pro and was getting waxed(literally 10+ strokes out of the last actual pro playing in 3 separate tourneys)...obviously at that point I moved back down to Advanced...some may state I'm really an AM in Advanced clothing!!

Nowadays the advanced division is pretty'd be happy there. But you might consider staying in Am for the rest of the season in that you may want to try to win the Am championship and go to Worlds, etc. as an Am.

I work way too much now and my game has suffered for lack of opportunity to play. BUT if you look at Todd Alexander from Memphis....he was basically new to the sport and is a competitive Pro within a very short time.

Your game should be your judge accompanied with your interest to compete at whatever level you choose. Jut a thought...Griff
Tony Bass
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 05:52PM
I've followed your play for quite some time now, as well as a lot of other players (REALLY bored at work). As well as played with you a couple of times. I would definately say that you are ready to be an advanced player. The top advanced players in the area are not much better than you are now, beleive it or not. And with just a little time you could be better than they are!! Myself personally I moved up to advanced after my first win as an amateur player. It happened to be by 12 strokes I think, but only because it was at my home course and I had a really good weekend! But I think most players SHOULD move up after there first amateur win for a few reasons. 1) I think the amateur division should be for fairly new players only. Because you have to think that a person can only play novice at his first tournament. And at his second he has to play amateur, which means he is competing against a lot of good players out there such as yourself, Kary. And most second time tournament players don't stand a chance in the amateur field at big tournaments such as the Ice Bowl. 2) Probably the most important factor when you move up!! You start playing better, when you play with better people! If you just keep smokin' the same old people, your game will suffer. I always used to hear that saying, and I believed it, but not as much as I do now!! I never thought that when I moved up to pro I would cash in my first five tournaments. Not in a million years. Now I know that "old saying" couldn't be more true!! You do actually play at the level of the competition around you. 3) There are not enough advanced players out there. This is why I moved up! Because there were never more than 10 advanced players at almost every tourney I went to. It's like people only want to play either am or pro. SNDG needs more people to move up to advanced to help even out the competition. More importantly give some of our newer touring players a chance to win in the amateur division. So Kary these are some things you should think about. And as far as the point system goes, I think advancing your game to the next level should be much more important than getting a disc with your name and points on it. Just my 2 cents!
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 06:37PM
Hi Kary,

I've been toying with the thought of moving up to Pro Masters in the SN series after the end of the season. Here's my opinion on the matter, for what it's worth. First and foremost:

Don't let anyone tell you to move up until YOU decide YOU are ready. Tune out the rest.

I am taking into consideration the following for my decision:

1) Winning one or a few events in your division is not, IMO, sufficient for moving up, without considering all the factors. Did my wins occur on courses I play frequently? (Mostly) Were the fields small or large? (both) How well do I play on courses I don't play frequently? (Improving fairly rapidly, but am just now getting around to new courses.)

2) How do I compare to others in my division, across several tourneys? Right now, I am competitive with the top points leaders in the Am Masters division. I have beaten and have been beaten by the top two players (points-wise) in my division. Both of these good players are from the southern part of the region. How do I stack up against those in the northern part? (Dunno yet.)

3) How would I have fared had I played the same tournament as a Pro Master? (bottom third to DFL.) Even if I do well as an Am Master, my score often puts me well down in the Pro Master ranks. This doesn't mean I won't jump to Pro Masters until my Am Masters scores would regularly cash in Pro Masters. I would like to jump in at the middle of the pack and work my way up. I don't necessarily want to jump into a series of DFLs. I may be ready for that jump at the end of the season as my play continues to develop.

4) How consistent is my play? My drives are strong, my approaches are getting better, but my putts are still very eratic. The lack of consistent putting is my main weakness right now and usually determines where I finish in a tournament. Better players are more consistent.

5) You play much better when you play with better players. Competing in tournaments against those who are much better players will cause you to improve your game steadily and probably faster than playing with players of similar ability. For casual play, it doesn't matter. Go out and have a good time!

6) Am I serious about trying to learn new types of throws, so that I have a variety of techniques in my bag (oh my yes)? IMO, and especially for moving to a pro division, the ability to pull out particular throws (backhand and forehand rollers, thumbers, etc.) is very important. This gives you a better chance at shooting well on unfamiliar courses.

7) Points are gravy. Just as winning one tournament is not sufficient reason to move up, winning the "points title" isn't a good reason to hang back in a division. Plus, points don't always reflect how you play. You can get points by quantity of play as well as quality of play. Of course, a large quanity of quality play is a big plus!

For me, these are the main considerations. They may not apply to you directly, but I hope they help guide you in your decision. Regardless, have fun playing.

Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 06:58PM

move up when you think you are ready. the ice bowl was my first advanced tournament and i happened to do well. evry tournament i played in this season people have given me crap, some go as far as not even talking to me, which i think is kinda dirty. this is one of the reasons i decided to make the move. i also was noticeing that i was still placeing even though i didn't play me best game, or even close, this made me realize that it is not really fair to the other ams with less experience. i decided that moving up might cost a little more and i would get my butt kicked for a while if i didn't bring my game, but that is the way it should be. a player shouldn't be able to play an average game in his division and place in the top group. you should have to work for it. i know most of my points are leaning towards moving up, don't let this sway you. just some thoughts in my head. it is an awsome feeling to move up and bring your game with you. i think you have a great, smooth game, i hope we can get a round in together soon.

i thought i herd your home course was columbus, if so tell jeb cade to suck me beautiful. ( i hope this is not to affensive for the forum)


please excuse my spelling and grammer
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 07:38PM
boy all of you must be at work, first of all thank you for asking , i know you play in a area where there are no pro players , you and jeff may be the first pros in your course. but not now, move up when you think you can take last place prizes, if you wait til you think you can win you will never get better . the top 5 players in the s.n. points standing should move up only if they to can take last place money in open tournaments. many times we run good players off by forcing them to move up to soon. they get there and get spanked ever week and that gets old quick. most players just want to be in a group of players of their own skill levels . we have talked about duing some tournaments that had a-b division in pro and ams that would get rid of the age thing and make pools larger and put players in there skill levels. but then how would get other cities who run pdga tournaments to stick with the s.n. think about these things .thanks jim
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 07:48PM
Jim-O, I have two questions for you:

1) Do you have to play in a SNQ Pro Division to be able to complete in the SN Pro Championships in August? Or, can you play as as Am and still play in the Pro Championship (of course, in a pro division)?

2) If I move to Pro Master at the start of the next season (in June), can I still play in the Am Championships (in August)?

Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 08:11PM
From someone who moved up too soon and moved back, take your time and get comfortable playing in tournaments. Watch where you place in the advanced and pro ranks, providing everyone it playing the same tees. When you consistently place midway and higher, that's when you should consider moving up. I too have seen your scores and met you at events and you're a great am player. You could probably compete well in SNDG advanced events. Remember, there will always be tournaments when you don't do so well and you'll question why you moved up.

I made the mistake of moving up to pro after a supertour advanced win and regretted it. Of course, the pros in the south are the cream of the crop in my opinion and I never was able to compete on that level. That's fine, I've since found a home in advanced master where I compete with people of my skill level. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don't, but I always have a chance.

(and Goby, I hope we can meet up somewhere this year so I can see how I stack up against those "southern" Southern National Adv. Master<G> (probably get my butt kicked, but what the heck) If nothing else I hope to be in the Top 10 by Hattiesburg!

I've been playing 20 years this year and I've bounced around in every division. There's a lot of good young SNDG players today that have been playing a fraction of that time and they're beating me regularly. Don't feel pressured to move up. Just because you win a few events and people give you a hard time doesn't mean anything. LIke Griff said, enjoy another year in Am and if you continue to kick ass, look at moving up after the points season ends or after the championship.

And by the way, come to Florence in March. You'll like our course. Ask Jeff!

Tony Bass
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 08:11PM
Well put Grayson.

Also, Kary I forgot one thing I wanted to mention earlier that should be a factor when thinking of moving up. (I think) that one should look at the attendance of the tournaments in which they've competed (or won). Was it a large field of competitors or a small one? And as Grayson mentioned earlier, did you have to play your best game or did you get by with just mediocre play? I don't know about the latter, but as far as the field of players, I can say that you beat a lot of good golfers this weekend. Including about 7 locals. I would say that this Ice Bowl was about as "quality" a win as one could ask for on the SNDG tour. In all divisions!
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 09:53PM
The long and the short of it is. . . YOU are the one to make that call. A lot of factors go into it, you are on the right track though. Move when you are ready. Winning a few tournaments, be they small or large events, is not the only thing to consider.

One thing is for sure though, your game WILL improve when you play with more accomplished players (except, possibly, in MY case. . . LOL ).

As Stokley says. . . if you aren't having fun. . . go home! And I ALWAYS have fun!
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 10:18PM
Tony said "a person can only play novice at his first tournament". Does that apply to a 9 year old who played novice and was 7th out of 9?
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 27, 2003 10:34PM
Here is a point of view that you may not have considered. Go back and look at the scores in advanced from the three tournaments that you won as an am this season. I'll bet you that you would have finished in the top five or better in almost ever one of those tournaments if you had played advanced. I do remember that at tish, you and I tied for the tournament. I placed second in advanced, and you won the am division. You will be very competitive in advanced, and I say this as a competitive advanced player myself, who considers you to be a threat every time we play a casual round together. But, only move up if you think your ready. If I were you, I would also probably really want to try to give the am title at southern nationals a shot. You would definately be a top pick to win, and what a way to have to move up! If you decide to move up, I look very foward to playing with you in a few leader groups, and if you decide to stay down, I look forward to not competing against you.
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 28, 2003 11:04AM
yes you can play pro at the s.n.c. you can not go down to ams but you can move up. yes you can turn pro june 1st and still play in the am s.n.c. some players do not like it when ams are allowed in the s.n.c. pro pool but most cities have many border players and it gives them a chance to see what they have. if you are planning to do that it helps if you play in your local tournament once as a pro and turn down the money.the only player that could go down would be a pro that has won no money . you are not a pro until then.
to the novice ? yes juniors should be able to play novice as long as they like. iam sure tony meant adult players. the only time someone should play novice more than once is a player who only plays a couple times a year and comes out to support his local tournament . pensacola has sveral players who play only in their local tournaments.
also just because someone has moved to a pro division does not mean that forever. some players get hurt, stop playing for a long time, or just thought they were ready to move up.
john kittrell
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 28, 2003 11:25AM
Move up at your own pace. I moved up to pro at the beginning of the points season. For instance if you move up to advanced on June 1st all of next years points can go toward next seasons points but you should be allowed to play in the AM men division during the 2002-2003 am SN championship. The biggest concern is going from am to pro. I turned pro and cashed in one of the first PDGA events I played in. Unfortunately I took the cash and never had the chance of going to AM World, which I regret. Move up when your ready don't let people push you up, but don't be a bagger for years and years and years... you will know when it is time grasshopper
John k
Tony Bass
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 28, 2003 01:09PM
Mr. Jim,
I am a little confused now. Are you saying that on the Southern Nationals tour (not pdga) if you take cash as a pro you cannot play am again ever. Even if it is a pdga event such as the Mardi Gras Madness. I am asking because I am planned on going to this tournament, but I was going to play advanced because I wouldn't be able to take cash in the pro division, reason being I want to go to Am Worlds this year. But I don't want to go down and pay $45 to win nothing! I was under the assumption that as long as it was Southern Nationals (and not pdga) tournaments, you could still go back down to advanced. If I would have known otherwise I would not have started playing pro until after this years Am Worlds. Please reply and clear this up for me.
The Zinger
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 28, 2003 05:32PM
Tony, since the Mardi Gras Madness is also a PDGA event, we have to follow by the PDGA rules. This being said, you can play Adv since you have not accepted cash for any PDGA event. But if it was a SN only event, then you must play PRO. Errin Lewis plays Pro in SN only tournaments like you, and he plays ADV in any PDGA sanctioned events. Hope this helps.
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 28, 2003 08:20PM
yes you can play advance at the mardi gra because it is a pdga event . you can not play in the s.n.c. in the am pool. this year.i was talking s.n. only. iam supprise the pdga has not put a stop to that . there is a lot of other tours and non sanction events going on that players cash in and keep their amatuer status . we follow all pdga rules ecept the age , i bet pretty soon players will not be able to jump back in forth. td also can change rules as long as it on their flyers and told in players meeting. that is why players should always go to players meeting .
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 28, 2003 10:09PM
Tony, first of all, I talked to Mike at Ice Bowl, and Mardi Gras is not SN, just PDGA, so you don't even have to worry about that angle. Second, really, do you really want to go to Am Worlds? It's just a big contest to see who is the biggest sandbagger. A win at Am Worlds just means you should have turned pro a long time ago. Go to Pro Worlds and win some money. I am thinking of playing Open at Mardi Gras, just because I figure I can choke my way out of cash as easy as I can choke my way out of plastic.
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 28, 2003 10:44PM
If Mardi Gras is just PDGA, why is it listed on the Southern National Tournament page?

Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 29, 2003 03:53AM
i will check with mike ,i thought he was ,jim
john kittrell
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 29, 2003 07:23AM
The mardi gras tournament was annaounced at the ice bowl as being both a SN and PDGA event so I put it on the tournaments page. As Jim O stated he is checking into it. Mikey K are you out there?
John K
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 29, 2003 10:42AM
after attending Am Worlds twice i noticed there are far more folks that attend AW (they go back year after year) that have little or no chance of winning-- than there are baggers in attendance...

i'd say for every bagger there are about 75 non baggers :^p

at the AW events i was able to attend-- it seemed that 99% of the dg'rs were there just for the pure fun of it...

that, and the massive dg party that lasts all week....

tony, you should make the effort to attend AW.

at your skill level-- you'd likely do very well...
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 29, 2003 11:20AM
Thanks for all the input. I appreciate your comments. Some I had thought of, some I had not and that was the point. I had pretty much decided while driving home from Hattiesburg last Saturday to go ahead and move up. But it's helpful to hear other people's experiences before acting on any decision.

I agree with Tony and Goby that points are just gravy. It is more important to me to improve my game than to hang back for points.

I do see two differing opinions on moving up from Am to Adv Am. Some people feel that one should move up as soon as they have a win or are placing in the top 3 or 5. Some feel that you should ride out a season no matter what your performance is, good or bad. Which is better? I guess it depends on the person. I know people who have been playing and winning Am tournaments for too long. I don't want to be one of those people. I may get spanked playing with advanced players like Fair, Griff and Kenny, but I do think it will make me better in the long run.

Thanks again for your comments,

Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 29, 2003 07:58PM
Kary, you decision to move up already makes you a winner! ;-)
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 30, 2003 12:31AM
do you know the jeb i am talking about?
Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 30, 2003 09:03AM

Yeah, I ran into him not too long ago at Lake Lowndes. I told him you said "hey". He said he'd have to give you a call.

Re: Thoughts on moving up
January 30, 2003 10:58AM

Koodoz to the move up. Lookin' forward to playing with ya again. As I recall we played together on the same card at a tourney and you finished the round right with are an Adv player and perhaps certainly a top five one at that. I'm sure Fair and Kenny would agree.

It'll be great to get ya in the mix with us, Coady, Brad and Brian....we talk a lotta smack but it's all for fun!!!

P.S. Look out for Matt O....that boy's on his way for sure!!!

Matt, until we meet again.....I hope ya kick Fair's BUTT!!!!(and Kenny and Coady and Brad and Brian...etc.etc.etc). Griff
Re: Thoughts on moving up
February 09, 2003 07:54PM
Looks like it was a fine idea..LOL
Awesome round!
Hope when my time comes it works out so nice for me!
Re: Thoughts on moving up
February 10, 2003 10:18AM
Obviously Kary did the right thing as he Won Doxey!!!

Excellent showing Kary!! Griff
Re: Thoughts on moving up
February 10, 2003 10:44AM
Kary I'm sorry. I thought I made it clear that when I suggested that you MOVE UP that I was suggesting your move up to OPEN. ;) Come on, you don't get a more home field advantage swing than Wall Doxey and you wooped a pile of locals for that Adv 1st place. Kenny if I were you I'd be steamed! And Fair, man Fair you got schooled!!

And don't get me started on Judy! It's kinda sad when I have to play one of my best rounds ever at Wall Doxey to beat my wife by a stroke! Here is someone else who said "Home course advantage? BAH!" about Wall Doxey.

Hmmm maybe I could hang it up and just play caddie, it'd be cheaper!

Since my game blows goats I can atleast live vicariously through the guys that I got started! Now come on Kary and Judy bring home some cash!!!

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