How to Make Golf More Enjoyable

When your golf swing is off and your score headed north, it's easy to forget golf is just a game.



Poor golf play causes many golfers to lose perspective – especially if they're hyper-competitive (with others or themselves). The challenges that make golf so addictive also make it maddening, to the point that some golfers throw clubs or storm off the course.

Here are a few things to try if you or someone you know turns into a miserable cur on the course:

• Make a game of it: Instead of giving up because your score is toast, inject some fun back into the round. Try playing an entire hole with just a 5-iron, or skipping a shot across a pond. (Just keep up the pace if there are groups behind you.)

• Crisis equals opportunity: Everyone has days when their golf swing isn't there. Good players are always ready with Plan B – a go-to shot or adjustment that minimizes the damage. Experiment with your grip, stance or backswing to find something that works when you just don't have it.

• Matter over mind: Look around. Pretty, isn't it? Forget your score, enjoy the surroundings, and imagine how many people would gladly trade places with you right now.

How to Make Golf More Enjoyable

How to Make Golf More Enjoyable



Golf is supposed to be fun. That might be obvious to some people, but you wouldn't necessarily know it when you head to your local golf course on a Saturday morning. Often, when you hang around a golf course – public or private – you will see players taking the game very seriously. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, but it is important to remember that you should be having fun while also doing your best to shoot a good score. If you take the game so seriously that you wind up not enjoying your time on the links, it might be time to look for another hobby.

In this article, we are going to provide some advice on how you can make golf more enjoyable. There are a variety of ways in which you can 'breathe new life' into your game, which may be necessary from time to time – especially if you have been playing for a long time. It is easy to fall into patterns that just repeat themselves over and over again. Those patterns may cause you to be a bit bored on the course, and golf should never be boring. Remember, you are investing both time and money into this pursuit, so you want to make sure the satisfaction you get from the game is worth what you have sacrificed.

It is important to point out that every golfer is going to take something a little different from this game. Some players love to spend time outdoors, some like to chat with their playing partners, and others enjoy the competition the game provides. To make sure you can enjoy this game over the long run, you need to find your own motivations for heading to the course on a regular basis. These motivations don't have to match up with anyone else's idea of what makes golf fun – as long as you find it enjoyable, you are on the right track. We hope the content in this article will help you think about exactly what it is that you love about golf. Along the way, you might pick up a few new ideas that allow you to have even more fun on the course.

It's All About Perspective

It's All About Perspective



In order to have as much fun as possible on the course, you will want to have the right perspective in mind when you arrive at the first tee. Unfortunately, this perspective is difficult for many golfers to find, and they wind up frustrated and annoyed on the course, rather than enjoying their time. So, what is the right way to approach this game as an amateur golfer? Let's look at a few keys.

  • Optimistic. For starters, you want to think about your game in a positive light. This is one point where the average golfer definitely struggles. Most golfers think about their games negatively, focusing on the bad shots they hit, or the embarrassment they feel over not being as good as their playing partners. If you would like to get more enjoyment out of this game, you should do your best to turn this perspective around. Think about your game positively, focusing on those things that you do well. Even if you are a beginning golfer or high handicapper, you probably have one or two shots in your game that give you confidence. Take pride in those strengths and work on improving your weaknesses as soon as possible. With the right attitude, you'll be surprised at what you can accomplish on the course.
  • Realistic. In addition to thinking positively about your game, you also want to think realistically, especially when it comes to setting goals. A common mistake made by many amateurs is to set extremely lofty goals for a given round. When these goals are unrealistic, they are just going to lead to frustration and disappointment. For example, if you are a golfer with a handicap in the 20s, you shouldn't be expecting to shoot a score under 80. That would be exciting, sure, but it probably isn't going to happen. Instead, set a target that is within your reach, as long as you remain patient and play a good round. As you continue to improve your skills over time, you can gradually move your goals lower and lower. Eventually, you will be able to set a goal of breaking 80, and you'll know it's possible because of the hard work and preparation that has gone into your game.
  • See the big picture. Take a moment to think about why you play golf? Are you only out there to shoot the best score possible? Probably not. Sure, if you are like most other golfers, you want to play well each time you make a tee time. However, you also want to accomplish some other things, such as spending a few hours outdoors and chatting with your friends. Golf, as a hobby, should be about more than low scores. It is fun to pursue a better game, but never lose sight of the many other enjoyable aspects of this game. When you focus on the big picture, and not just on your scorecard, you will find that each of your rounds can be enjoyable in its own way. Whether you play well or not, you should drive home happy, feeling that your time was well spent.

Respect the game. Golf is hard – really hard. When you make mistakes on the course, remind yourself of this fact. This is an extremely challenging game, and you are far from the only golfer who struggles from time to time. It doesn't take much to get off track during a round, and it can be hard to bring things back together again. By having a healthy respect for the difficulty of this game, you will find that you are more willing to forgive yourself for mistakes. There is nothing wrong with being competitive and wanting to play your best, but you should also acknowledge the fact that you are playing one of the hardest games in the world.

It's amazing how far a good mindset can go when you head to the course for a round of golf with your friends. Not only will you find that your rounds are more enjoyable when played in the right frame of mind, but you'll probably play better, as well. A golfer with a good attitude is typically able to stay more relaxed than a player who is stressing about every single shot. And, as you already know, staying relaxed is one of the keys to great performance.

Put Yourself in Good Situations

Put Yourself in Good Situations



There are many decisions to be made each time you play a round of golf, both during the round and before the round begins. By making good decisions – decisions that are meant to put you in good situations – you should be able to extract more enjoyment from this game. You should get better at making good choices as you gain experience in golf, but we hope to help you move in the right direction with the list of tips below.

  • Pick the right set of tees. This is an important one, and it takes place before you even start your round. When you are getting ready to play, take a moment to review the scorecard and pick out a set of tees that is a good fit for your skills. It is a common mistake for amateur golfers to move back too far with their tee selection, making the game harder than it needs to be. You shouldn't be trying to impress anyone based on which tees you play – the choice should be made exclusively on maximizing your enjoyment of the day. On a course you have played many times, it should be pretty easy to pick the right boxes. However, the task can be a little trickier when playing a course for the first time. In that case, opt for the shorter of the two sets you are considering. You don't know what kind of challenge you are going to find on a course you have never played, so take the safe option and stick with a set of tees that is well within your comfort zone.
  • Pick the right clubs off the tee. Nothing can make a round of golf more stressful – and more exhausting – than having to search for your ball in the tees on nearly every hole. If you keep driving your ball into bad spots, you are going to spend half of your time just searching for lost tee shots. That isn't anyone's idea of fun, and you'll probably be holding up the groups behind you, as well. To improve your chances of keeping the ball in the fairway, think carefully about your club selections before hitting each tee shot. You don't have to hit driver on all of the par fours and fives, so us less club when the fairway is narrow or there is a major hazard in play. Professional golfers regularly club down on the tee to gain control, and you should be doing the same thing in your game. It might be hard to put down the driver at first, but once you get used to using fairway woods and hybrids off the tee, you'll come to love the feeling of control and precision.
  • Pick smart targets. The average golfer plays far too aggressively in terms of picking targets. In fact, many players don't really think twice about their targets – they just aim at the hole and swing away. That strategy might work on out occasion, but it will often lead you into trouble. Golf courses are designed to test your decision-making skills, so you need to be smart about when to take the aggressive line and when to play the ball to a safer area. For instance, if you are hitting an approach shot to a hole which is cut just beyond a deep bunker, it probably isn't wise to aim right at the cup. Instead, plan to play the shot a few yards past the hole, for safety. This will make it less likely that you will hit the ball into the bunker, and your chances to make a par will improve dramatically.

Remember, golf is much more enjoyable when it is played from the short grass. The decisions you make during your rounds should largely be based on keeping your ball in good positions. It is easy to fall into the trap of playing aggressively and trying to hit your shots as far as possible, but golf doesn't tend to reward aggressive players very often. If you can teach yourself to make patient, smart choices, you might actually be able to lower your scores while having more fun at the same time.