BY JIM COLONY, 93.7 THE FAN
You’ve been watching golf on TV for a couple of months now, so you must be getting that itch to hit the course yourself. Problem is, almost none of us play a game remotely related to what we watch on TV. As the great Bobby Jones advised more than 80 years ago in his instructional films, “The average golfer is not interested in winning championships. The chief benefits of the game must be recreation and the companionship of congenial friends.” And beyond that, there are those of us who aren’t even average. As the great Ty Webb told über-hacker Al Cervick in Caddyshack, “You’re not … you’re not good, Al. You stink.” But you can still play the game the right way. With that in mind, here are some helpful hints to make the game better for yourself and, more importantly, the rest of us.
1. Don’t get mad at yourself. This is the toughest part but, remember, you’re not Tiger Woods and you’re not Phil Mickelson. You aren’t supposed to be good, so don’t expect to be. The problem is, every once in a very great while you do hit a shot like Tiger or Phil, which is what makes the game so addicting, yet more frustrating at the same time.
2. Just hit the ball. How many times have you taken one, two, or even three practice swings only to hit a terrible shot and thought, “My practice swing was smooth, why did I duff it?” So, why not just step up and hit it? In fact, you should take your practice swings before it’s your turn.
3. Play “ready” golf. Unless you’re in front of — or close to — a playing partner, “away” doesn’t count until you’re on the green. (See above.)
4. If you can’t find your ball within a minute or two, give it up. If you keep looking because it’s a Pro V1, that means you’re not good enough to be playing a Pro V1 and it must have been a gift. Let it go, and go back to your orange Top Flite X-OUT.
5. Fix your ball marks on the greens. If you’re lucky enough to finally hit the ball high enough into the green to make an imprint, then fix it as you mark your ball. If you’re good enough to do it on a regular basis and you don’t take the time to fix it, that makes you a bad golfer.
6. Leave your cart close to the green for a quick exit to the next hole. Nothing is worse than being ready to hit into a green — after already watching an entire foursome 3- or 4-putt — and watching a bunch of tools walk back to their carts parked 30 yards in front of the green.
7. Don’t hit into the group in front of you. Unless they are never ready to hit. Keep looking for lost balls, and park their carts in front of the greens.
8. Swing like a “girl.” Trying to swing like the PGA guys doesn’t work for high-handicappers. If you emulate the women on the LPGA tour — and slow your swing — that will help your game.
Hopefully some of this will help you to…have fun! See you on the course.