Golf doesn’t always have to be a competition, Golf is about enjoying yourself, and we’re here to help you make it happen with a few great ideas.
- LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD
Fourteen is far too many clubs. They’re too heavy, and they make the game boring. Play a limited-club challenge where you play with one to five clubs and get additional shots above your handicap accordingly–12 extra shots if you played with just one club, eight shots for two clubs, five shots for three clubs, two shots for four clubs and zero shots for five clubs. Your best bet would be using a hybrid and a 9-iron.
It’s liberating to stroll unencumbered down the fairway with just a couple of clubs over your shoulder and a spare ball in your pocket. On top of that, having fewer clubs forces you to be inventive and create “shots” rather than simply “swings”.
- PLAY FEWER HOLES
When golf starts to get tedious, play in smaller doses. Like nine holes, or maybe 12.
A dozen is ideal: Think of it as two six-hole “nines.” You don’t get caught up in your usual scoring benchmarks, like breaking 40 or 80, and can just enjoy the game. At the very least, it’ll give you less time to beat yourself up.
- THROW OUT THE SCORECARD
The no. 1 thing to make the game more fun is to stop keeping score. Throwing away that little pencil and ripping up the scorecard on the first tee feels so liberating and is very therapeutic when being result-obsessed. It takes a lot of will to do it–and during the round, you’ll constantly have to stop yourself from adding strokes over par in your head. But once you get there mentally, it completely liberates your game, which is crazy fun.
- TUNE IN, DROP OUT
Listening to music while playing. Take with you your phone, iPod or music playing device and plug it into a small battery-powered speaker and leave it in the cart. Make sure it’s loud enough so you can hear but soft enough not to disturb other golfers. Set the playlist to shuffle, and listen to everything from R&B to disco, soul, reggae, hip-hop, country and classic rock. I find that the more random the playlist, the better. It’s not for everyone, but I’ve personally found that it helps my tempo, keeps me relaxed and makes those long rounds more enjoyable
- SAY GOODBYE TO STROKE PLAY
There are many different formats of playing that help put the fun back into golf for. Two-Ball, Four-Ball, Sixes, Team Match Play, Stableford, the Callaway System and countless others. The Pinehurst/Chapman format is a favorite. You and your teammate switch balls after the tee shot, pick the better ball after your second shots, and play alternate shot until that ball is holed.
I love the way you become a team after that first shot, strategizing together, helping recover from your partner’s bad shot, or being the hero. Each format emphasized a different goal or aspect of the game and all offer escape from your normal playing routine!
- MAKE PRACTICE A WALK IN THE PARK
Its not easy scheduling time for practice and it’s not always fun! But your clubs in the trunk with a shag bag of limited-flight practice balls. These balls–the brand name is Almost Golf–look and feel like regular golf balls, but they travel about a third of the distance. It’s great because when you have a few minutes, you can pull over and hit balls in your backyard or at a park… or really anywhere with some open space. It definitely helps with the short game, and it’s a lot more fun than going to the range and hitting a bucket of balls off a mat.