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10 THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE PLAYING COMPETITIVE GOLF

The game of Golf is one of the most competitive and technical sports any individual could partake. Indeed, some golfers are just in it for the fun and leisure they derive, while others aim to improve their skill levels and someday become a professional.

Irrespective of the goals and motives of every skill level golfers, there are specific guidelines or tips to help ensure every golfer gets the best knowledge, techniques, and approach on how to get started playing golf.

Here are 10 things every golfer should consider/keep in mind when embarking on a competitive golf game.

1) Competitive golf is addictive and not easy as most individuals think:


It is imperative to keep in mind that golf is addictive and not an easy sport to play, although when newbie’s watch professionals like Tiger Wood and Dustin Johnson take a swing from tee to green or hole-in-one, they often assume it’s easy to putt that ball in the holes.

The game of golf like most sports will offer golfers great days when all will go as planned with excellent results, and it is also capable of bringing golfers down with series of bad results which bring negative feelings, moods, and disappointment.

For any individual to be a great competitive golfer, he/she must be patient enough to endure constant failures such as mishit or an excellent round ruined by missed putt. Playing on a competitive level is very challenging, but it also helps you see and deal with life due to the many lessons learned from it such as humility, persistence, and patience.

2) Having friends and socializing in any golf-related activities is very important:


My experience over the years at various golf tournament buttress the fact that the game of golf is not one you’d enjoy without having friends or a particular group one belong to, hanging out with friends while putting the greens or after every major tournament helps improve the golfers’ various ways.

This social interaction helps reduce pressure heading into any games to improve results while consoling and uplifting one’s game spirit after every bad result. Taking advantage of pairing during tournaments can also help reduce budgets; an example can be seen in planned trips or joint accommodation.

Though sometimes everyone needs privacy, however making friends every chance you get will numerous add advantages due to the various knowledge and information acquired in that process.

3) Competitive Golf is not cheap:


The golf world boasts of various competitive tournaments, and the cost of participation is far from inexpensive, costs like tournament entry fees, equipment cost, club membership, lodging costs, range ball plan fees, practice round costs, traveling cost, lesson fee amongst others makes it not so cheap.

Any individual prepared to venture into competitive golf must be aware of its financial implication. The level of competition often determines the financial returns, although junior tournaments and mini-tour offer little earnings more reason why some golfer quit at an early stage.

For any individual hoping to spend small and earn big from the onset, I’d remind you that golf is not a casino. Most people quit early and voluntarily because of low financial return, low confidence amongst others.

4) Cheating in golf is prevalent:


Golf sport has been riddled with various form of deception used by different players; this unacceptable approach must be watched and reported else the correct result of any tournament will not be guaranteed.

This prevalent cheating habit is fast becoming a norm in the game irrespective of skill levels as some golfers would result in any deceptive act to win the competitions. Some of these habits include but are not limited to, the following:

a. Dropping the ball out of your pocket.

b. Playing Non-Conforming clubs.

c. Sandbagging.

d. Practicing in the sand.

e. Too many clubs the bag.

f. Greasing the club face.

g. Making a Bogey but writing a Par.

h. The foot wedge.

i. Fluffing up a lie.

j. The Mulligan.

This above listed common cheat styles any competitive golfers should watch out for and be addressed in appropriate ways to ensure the integrity of the scores are maintained.

5) Money saving tips:


As earlier stated, competitive golf can be expensive, so it’s advisable to follow these few tips to save up some cash for other financial endeavors.

Buying quality used golf equipment and getting the best discount course membership plans with excellent facilities and amenities is often the best way to begin cutting your cost. Golfers with a minimum budget should stick to walking rather than cart rides.

Golf bulk lessons span over a long period and not too frequent interval is usually the best for cutting cost, another alternative is a ride with a professional while taking notes and acquiring knowledge to help improve your game.
Sharing accommodation and ride with friends is another means to save cost.

6) Employing the service of a great golf coach:


Any golfer hoping to excel and improve his/her handicap must not solely rely on golf books and article because the practicality of this tips would be challenging to achieve without a great golf coach to put you on the right path and help you improve your all-around games and emotions.

In the game of golf self tutoring is not often the best path toward been a professional, and improvement on swing and putt would need help from a pro to scale that huddle and many more.

Note: not all professional golfers are a good coach.

7) High mental state:


The reason why most people often end with a bad game is their attitude and response to each shot, and some golfers game often goes south after one mishit or putt which reflect on the remainder of their game.

Keeping your focus in a competitive golf game is very important, and the mental state must always be high and focused from the get-go.

8) Been friends with or caddied for an incredible golfer:


Having a professional as a friend or be a caddy for any pro may not pay much or at all but will help you improve your game skills when you hang around them, learning their swings, techniques used in overcoming roughs, drinks, and sand is a significant advantage.

Pro golfers’ calm state of mind all through the rounds and respond to different situations are exceptional based on my past experiences. These experiences often serve not only as a lesson but also a form of motivation for other competitive golfers.

9) Expect to be nervous and improve your pre-shot routines:


Being nervous at the beginning of every tournament is normal, embracing these nervy feelings with enhanced confidence in your ability while taking a deep breath is the antidote to this feeling.

A pre-shot routine is an essential approach to help focus on the shot and target; it can also be used to avert the nervous feelings too. Pre-shot helps visualize the shots and block every form of distraction and negatives vibes, and it’s a common trait amongst professional golfers.

10) Range practice:


Having an excellent range will help improve golfers’ game results, while frequent range practice with quality rangefinders will ensure an individual know what to improve and correct to get a better outcome; these practices should be made a habit and taken seriously to improve game skills.

Author
Afeez Oladipo
A serial golf writer

ladoime View All

I'm a Political Science graduate, with a Diploma in Mass Communication. I love Sport, Photography, Dogs and Writing.

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