2. Grab any three clubs, a few tees and balls, and leave the rest of your bag at home.You will be surprised how much fun the game is when you simplify it. And it won't take long before you're in a groove with those clubs.
1. Declutter your golf. Toss every sweat-stained hat or shirt, battered pair of shoes or gloves. Clean out your garage, locker, trunk, golf bag, etc. Start fresh, and the game will feel fresh.
3. Before your next round, put an old driver you never really use in your golf bag, then press it into the hands of an unsuspecting kid.
4. Some weekends, persuade your regular foursome to go out as the first group. The course is beautiful, the greens are freshly mowed, and it's so peaceful. You'll be home by 11 a.m. It's like stealing time.
5. That private course you've always dreamed of playing? Hand-write a letter to the director of golf explaining how much you love the placeand what it would mean to play one round there. It's a long shot, but you never know. You might just get your wish.
7. Play for something other than money. Raise the stakes. Next time, the loser totes the bags to the car, cleans the clubs and has to tweet about the "humiliating defeat."
6. Listen to music while you play. The right playlist can soothe the sting of poor shots and instill a mojo in your foursome. A Bluetooth speaker, synced to your smartphone's library of songs, will fit nicely in your golf bag or on the dash of the golf cart. Jam on.
8. Play with a stranger.Invite a single to join you, or walk up to the counter at a muny, give them your name, and let fate handle the rest. You won't be strangers for long.
10. Play a round recklessly, without keeping score. Go for every miracle shot, every big carry, shoot for every pin and to hell with the consequences. Or play a two-ball scramble: Hit two shots from each position, and use the better one. Your score will be your potential.
9. Good golf is contagious. Seek out players who are longer, straighter and downright better than you. Teaching immortal Harvey Penick, of the Little Red Book fame, once said, "Go to dinner with good putters."
11. Keep a full golf outfit—clothes, clubs, the whole deal—in your car from the first day of spring to the first day of winter. Think like a Navy SEAL and be ready to go at a moment's notice.
13. Bubba Watson's first foray into golf was with plastic golf balls in his back yard. Buy a batch and rig some holes on your property. The full swings will do you good, and you can claim that you have a course record somewhere.
12. Enter a tournament. Who cares how you do. It's an adrenaline rush you can't get from a regular round.
14. Keep playing until it gets so dark you can't see your ball anymore. Then play two more holes.
15. Short courses are underrated. They're rejuvenating, breezy, quick and inexpensive. And think of how many shots you get at making your first (or next) hole-in-one.
16. One sure path to happiness: lower scores. State a goal on Facebook and update your progress weekly. Making it public will motivate you to improve.
17. Train in the gym to swing the club faster and hit the ball farther. There are few things more satisfying than reaching par 5s in two.
18. Go back to the course where you played your first round. Re-connect with your younger self and the excitement you felt then for golf and your future. You're still that person.