Ten Ways to Have More Fun at Golf - dummies

By Gary McCord

Golf is supposed to be a fun game, but often it’s more frustrating than anything else. Mistakes lead to frustration, but you can easily avoid common golf errors. Here are ten tips to keep you from suffering cataclysms that occur on golf courses all over the world:

  • Take some golf lessons. If you really want to have fun playing this game, start off with a few lessons to get you on the right track. It’s amazing what you can do with a clear concept of how to make a golf swing.

  • Use a club that can get you to the hole. Amateurs often come up short with their approach shots to the green. For whatever reason, they choose a club that can get their shot only to the front of the green even if they hit the most solid shot of their lives. You can play smarter than they do: Take a club that you can swing at 80 percent and still get to the hole. Conserve your energy; you have a long life ahead of you!


  • If you can putt the ball, do it. Don’t always use a lofted club (a wedge or other iron designed to hit the ball high) around the greens. Use a less-lofted club that gets the ball rolling as soon as possible whenever you can.

  • Keep your head fairly steady. Your head should move a little during the swing, especially with the longer clubs. But try not to move it too much. Moving your head too much leads to all sorts of serious swing flaws. Have someone watch you — or film you — to see how much you move your head.

  • Be kind to the course. In fairways, replace your divot or fill it in with divot mix, the mixture of sand and grass seed you find in plastic jugs attached to golf carts. On the green, use a divot-repair tool to fix the mark your ball made when it landed. (Left untended, a ball mark can take two or three weeks to heal, while one that’s fixed can be good as new in three or four days.)

  • Bet only what you can afford to lose. You can lose friends by betting for more money than you have. Never bet what you can’t afford to lose.

  • Keep the ball low in the wind. When the wind starts to kick up, you need to adapt. Play the ball back in your stance, put your hands ahead of the ball, and keep them ahead of the ball at impact. Keep the ball as low as you can, and you manage your game much more efficiently. You probably won’t lose as many golf balls, either.

  • Don’t give lessons to your spouse. Giving golf lessons to your spouse should be a federal offense. Don’t try it! Doing so can only lead to disaster. Invest some money in lessons from a pro instead. Get your spouse good instruction and reap the benefit: peace of mind.

  • Always tee it up at the tee boxes. Whenever it’s legal (in the teeing area), tee the ball up. This game is more fun when the ball is in the air.

  • Keep your wits about you. If all else fails, if you lose your last golf ball, you can keep your sense of humor and survive. This game is hard enough without blaming yourself for everything.