Touring

My first out of state tournament was the 1988 Laurel Springs Open. I was feeling like a part of something special - the friendship and the people I met. It was a lot of fun. I knew I like doing it and would be doing more of it in the future. Road trips and small tours are very beneficial for most players. I've learned a great deal in my years of traveling and would like to share some of my travel tips.

Preparedness is essential to shooting well. At the 1988 LSO it rained and we had camped out. Everything was soaked and it was tough. Bring everything with you - lots of clothes, discs, your bag, cleats, umbrella, sports bottle, toothbrush, toothpaste - bring it all. It's all part of preparedness and if you don't have everything, you may not play as well and your expenses will likely be higher. Be wary of where your drives end up. Unnecessary equipment costs can really mount if you lose your disc or worse, your whole bag.

Go home often.
I don't like to stay away from home too often. Three weeks is the longest I really like to spend on the road. I just like being at home - home keeps your sanity and you're always more comfortable. And I want to see my son often. Even before I had Koeghan I liked coming home to keep the mind, body and soul fresh. Most of the better players do not do extended tours, but do make it to the biggest events.
Going home is just like how I play on the course - touring is the stress or tension, going home is the release or recovery.
A big advantage of having a home base is income - you can go home and earn an income, then hit a tournament and hopefully earn more. Try to live off tournament income alone. The reality is if you're not making first or second place in most events, you're probably losing money after all expenses are paid.

Plan
Look at the maps and the PDGA schedule and keep your tour centrally located. Try to hit as many sponsors as you can to make it more affordable. Then perhaps your winnings can actually be winnings instead of paying for expenses. If no one else is planning on going to a particular tournament, I might not go. I might not want to travel a thousand miles by myself. The courses have a lot to do with it as well. I make a lot of my touring decisions on what courses I enjoy playing. I played a Super Tour event where 36 holes were played and only two were over 300 feet. It's not fun for me to go and play something like that. Super Tour events need to be on super courses.

Stretching the dollars
Rooming with two or three people, driving with two or three people - sharing is the key. Don't go out to the extravagant places to eat. Take as much food as possible or get food and keep it in coolers. Hit the occasional restaurant to keep the taste buds satisfied, but if you do it every meal, you're looking at higher costs.

Be a tourist
See the scenes and sights in the area. Don't just go to play disc golf. Be open for more experiences. If you pass a historical site, go ahead and check it out. It may be more fun than you think.

I would recommend to all players, ams and pros, to take small tours. The prime benefit of touring is the experience, experience to improve your golf game - different courses, different situations, different competition, learning from other styles and different climates. Putting up a hill for the first time, throwing off a cliff for the first time, whatever. It will all make you a better golfer.