Whether you’ve been playing golf for a couple of months or several decades, you can get stuck in a rut. You enjoy playing, but don’t look forward to it as much as you used to. Does this sound like you?
We want to help you renew your love for the game. Many golfers fall into a trap of doing the same thing every time they visit the course. Variety is the spice of life! If you want to enjoy your next round more, try one these ideas.
- Build a Network – The best thing about playing golf is developing relationships that can last for years. Do you have a normal group, or do you end up playing in singletons? Try to build a network of other golfers that enjoy the game like you. Strike up a conversation on the driving range and invite them to join you the next time you play.
The ultimate goal: create an email list or group text of 8 to 20 players. You can grab a couple tee times and see who is interested in playing. As you learn about everyone’s skill level you can build teams each time you play and maybe have some side bets. Enjoy a couple drinks in the 19th hole after your round. There are no better buddies than golf buddies!
- Use Golf to Exercise – use your love of the game as a way to make yourself healthier. Turn down the cart and walk the course. The golf course is the perfect way to exercise in the great outdoors. Depending on the course, you will walk between 5 to 7 miles during an 18-hole round.
At first you will be tired when you leave the course. You may notice that your feet and back get tired on the last few holes. This will improve over time and there are things you can do to improve your body health on the course. If you continue to struggle with foot pain when walking the course you may want to consider a couple things. Do you have the right shoe to support this activity? Would a custom insole help your experience? The right custom insole may be all you need to confidently stroll down the fairways.
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- Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously – wow, golf can be frustrating. We have all seen the crazy videos of golfers breaking clubs or throwing their entire bag in a lake. We hope you haven’t been in one of these! Why do we let a little white ball make us act like a toddler throwing a tantrum?
You will enjoy your round more if you learn to laugh at yourself. Why so serious? Unless your name is Tiger Woods, you aren’t playing for millions of dollars. Simply accept the following: you will hit some great shots and you will occasionally do something terrible. Laugh at the terrible and move on. The next shot might be perfect, but not if you are still furious about the previous one. Try your best to execute and accept the results. Leave the course smiling – your next round could always be better.
- Charity Golf Tournaments – did you know that many local charities use golf tournaments as a way to fundraise for their cause? This is a fun way to give back to your community and have a blast with a few of your golf buddies. The format is typically captain’s choice, which is perfect for all skill levels.
Reach out to your network or golf friends (#1 above) and see who is interesting in joining you. These events are low stress and typically include food and drink. The perfect way to spend an afternoon.
- Get Your Kids Playing – do you have any little ones running around the house? During these scary pandemic times, many youth sports have been cancelled, but golf can be safely played. Give your child a gift that will last a lifetime – get them hooked on golf.
Start simple. Take them out to putting green and challenge them to a contest (maybe, even let them win). Next, get them a bucket of balls and try the driving range. Just let them see how far they can hit driver. It might be that simple – all of sudden they will start asking you to go to the golf course.
You will be amazed how quickly they are able to hit the ball and make putts. Take them out on the course and let them play holes from short distances. Your son or daughter will be the best golf buddy you ever make. Just be careful, before you know it, they might start beating you!
- Set Goals, Track Results, & Celebrate – we have a simple question for experienced golfers. Are you getting better? If so, how do you know?
You can get more enjoyment out of the game by tracking your results and stats. Keep it simple. Track # of putts per round, # of fairways hit and # of greens hit in regulation (# of birdie putts). We would recommend you establish a golf handicap – this gives you a measurement of improvement and allows you to compete in “net” golf tournaments.
Once you start properly tracking your game, you can set goals. Reduce your putts per round by 2 or lower your handicap by 2 strokes. Don’t forget to celebrate! Reward yourself when you reach a goal. Buy a new club or have a drink in the 19th hole. If you fail to reach your goal, who cares – set a new one and go after it. Having a goal will motivate you to practice more and invest in your game.
- Try Different Formats – do you play the same course every time? Do you play from the same tee box? Find ways to keep golf fresh. If you are playing with a group of golf buddies, try different formats. Play best-ball, captains’ choice, match play, dots, alternate shot, or worst ball. There are endless ways to play the game or have a match with your friends.
If most of your rounds are on the same course, try playing different tee boxes. There is no rule that you always must play the white tees. Challenge yourself ever once in a while and go back to tips! Do you want to work on your short irons - play the red tees. Or play a mix of tees depending on the hole. Playing around with the tee box is a great way to make the same course feel different.
Get out to the course or the driving range. Reinforce your love for the game. Have a great time with your golf buddies.
What other ideas do you have for getting more out of the game? What do you enjoy the most?