From West to East, five tournaments to help you shake the rust off this spring
05 Mar 2023
by Pete Wlodkowski of

You can hit hundreds of balls and hours of putts and chips. Play a lot of fun rounds with your friends at your favorite course to see how it's all working.

But at some point, you must post a tournament round to get the season going in earnest. That's the only way to truly experience the butterflies, the first tee jitters, and the queazy feeling over a big three-footer for birdie. What comes after the first tee shot doesn't matter as much as the fact that you're doing it. You're playing a tournament with people you don't know on a course that might not be familiar. No matter what you shoot, you'll have learned a ton and be ready to practice better for the next one.

So here are five quick ideas for April and May events, starting with our home state of California:

April 1-2, 2023 | La Purisima Golf Course - Lompoc, California

Located 15 minutes west of Hwy 101 North of Santa Barbara just outside of Lompoc, California, La Purisima is known for its fair but rigorous test of pure golf that has challenged PGA Tour Qualifiers and earned a spot on Golf Magazine's Top 100 Places to Play in the United States. It is the only course in California between Monterey and Simi Valley to be named to this prestigious list. The Lompoc City Championship is open to all amateur golfers and features both gross and net competition.The entry deadline is Marcy 29 but the tournament will likely fill much sooner. Info and Entry Form >

April 28-30, 2023 | Multiple Courses - Phoenix, Arizona

The Phoenix/Scottsdale area is known as one of the top golf resort destinations in the U.S., and it's home to the spectacle of a PGA Tour event know as the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Many of our readers have visited resorts there, especially those of us on the West Coast. But did you know that Phoenix is also known for its stable of muni courses, where locals compete alongside PGA Tour pros like Max Homa in a weekly skins game? (Homa actually showed up at Papago and won $677.50 the Monday after winning the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.) So if you need to get some tournament golf and guaranteed good weather on the same trip, why not tee it up in the Phoenix City Championship? All you need is a 15 handicap or less -- you'll be flighted accordingly. The entry fee is only $220 for three rounds of golf. And the deadline in April 21. Info and Entry Form

May 20-21, 2023 | Monarch Bay Golf Links -- San Leandro, California

Here's one of our own events that I'm proud to be adding to the Tour - presented by Callaway Golf -- in Northern California. Monarch Bay Golf Links is the host course for the San Leandro Amateur, played in honor of Anthony "Champagne Tony" Lema, winner of the 1964 Open Championship. Lema, who passed in a tragic plane crash just two years after capturing a major at age 32, was a native son of San Leandro in San Francisco's Easy Bay. The gorgeous course plays up against the bay with a linksy feel and views of San Francisco. We'll have scratch, senior scratch, and net divisions as well as a separate women's division if we get enough players -- either way women are welcome to compete. Info | Registration

I've tried to provide events with something for everyone for the first three. But owing to the nature of our site as the "go-to" for tournament players, I would be remiss not to include a couple of invitationals. The following two events are men's scratch events:

April 20, 2023 | Eagle Oaks Golf & CC -- Farmingdale, New Jersey

I promised you an East Coast event and here you have it. I can't promise you'll get an invitation, but if you are a scratch mid-amateur or senior golfer with serious tournament chops you can apply to play. In New Jersey there is a tradition of one day events on Mondays at some really nice country clubs; this is one of those. It's played as an individual stroke play tournament with Mid-Am and Senior (age 55+) divisions. Mid-Amateurs play 36 holes while the Seniors play 18. The host course -- Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club -- is a Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller design located near the shore in the small town of Farmingdale in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Info | Request Invitation

May 26-27, 2023 | Brunswick Country Club -- Brunswick, Georgia

The Golden Isles lie along Georgia's Atlantic coast between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida. The region comprises the city of Brunswick and the barrier islands of St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, and Jekyll Island. The Golden Isles are known for their marshes, beaches, and championship golf. Each year Sea Island hosts the PGA Tour as well as amateur golf at three separate Jones Cup events. Many Tour players call the area home, including the patriarch of the boys' club, Davis Love III. One of the area's hidden gems is the 1938 Donald Ross design at Brunswick Golf Club. The course hosts the prestigious regional event The Golden Isles Invitational annually, and for the third year will host a four-ball event under the same name. Although this is scratch only tournament, it does have a senior division. Make it a three or four day trip and try to play Sea Island while you're there. And ask about Davis Love's favorite barbecue joint. Entries open on March 31 -- you can request an invitation now to make sure you get a crack at it. Info | Request Invitation

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