Before my first tournament, I looked at the entry list in my division and my expectations dropped. Every tournament round played is rated based on what propagators (players who have played in many rounds over the past 12 months) score in that round as well as everyone's score and the ratings of the others in my division are significantly better than me (anywhere from 5-8 shots per round)
In spite of that, I played against them and was pleased with the people I met and they were the people I was hoping to face in that division. Though I could compete for a 6-12 hole stretch, over a two round tournament, I was no match. Even though I was fourth out of 12 after one round in a tournament, I was still 9 shots out of first and after my second worst tournament round over the last two years, finished 12th 31 shots back. My overall rating after the three events I played in 2015 dropped the equivalent of 2 shots per round.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, I played in a club event which had one amateur division and after my best ever tournament round, was 7th out of 29. The second round was difficult for me and I ended up 16th. That event allowed me to gain enough player points to qualify for the 2016 world amateur championship next summer. I am eligible for this year's event but due to work/vacation issues, I can not go.
I decided to look at the play of the top amateur in the 50+ division. He has played 17 tournament rounds over the past 10 weeks. His worst rating of those rounds is better than my best one on July 4th weekend. Noticing that, I decided to for now play in the lowest rated open age division with players whose ratings are close to mine giving me a chance to compete.
Since the Illinois Open Series disc golf tournaments show hole by hole results on their website, I was able to create this showing the individual rounds both the top player in IL (and as far as player points #1 in the US) and me. (This was created a week after the original post after a tournament played on Sunday where I finished 16 shots out of first but one from cashing.)
(Click on it to read)
MG1 refers to Men's Grandmaster Amateur which is the name of the 50+ age division
MA4 is Men's Amateur Novice which is the lowest open amateur division