All's Fair In Love And Golf
Q: Both of my teenage sons play golf, but one is better than the other, and there's a lot of jealousy between them. How can I keep the game from ruining their relationship?
A: Sibling rivalry is a healthy part of growing up as long as it doesn't get out of hand. If one of your sons has a clear talent advantage on the golf course, urge him to remain humble about it and to encourage his brother rather than tease him. And remind your other son that winning isn't nearly as important as doing his best and showing good sportsmanship. If the problem persists, separate their practice as much as possible. Put them into different clinics and events, and you'll eventually see a change in your teen who's lagging behind. Removing the constant reminder that his brother is better will allow him to start having more fun when he plays. And having fun ultimately should be the goal for both kids, no matter who plays better.
Q: I hate playing cartpath-only golf, but our club enforces it this time of year. Any tips on how to make it less of a headache?
A: If ditching the cart altogether is out of the question (sadly, driving is mandatory at many courses), here are some tips that can make the cartpath-only round more tolerable:
• Declare either you or your partner the "cart captain" to avoid a situation where you might both get out to play a shot and leave the cart behind. It happens. The captain is responsible for designating who is driving the cart.
• Even if you're not the captain, always keep track of where your cart is and think one step ahead in terms of where it should be parked.
• Don't be afraid to grab half the contents of your bag when you go from the cart to your ball. Erring on the side of caution is a lot better for pace of play, and for your score, than having to run back and forth to the cart before you hit your shot.
• If you get sick of carrying several clubs in your hand, you can always start aiming close to the cartpath on your tee shot. That's a joke--partly.
Q: Why do golfers only wear one glove when they play? Wouldn't two gloves give you a better grip?
A: Glove habits are highly personal, even among the best players in the world. Lorena Ochoa preferred not to wear a glove at all, but others, such as PGA Tour winner Tommy (Two Gloves) Gainey, favor the double-fisted approach. Most golfers wear a glove on their top hand (the left for right-handed players) to keep a firm grip on the club. It also helps prevent blisters. The other hand is left bare to provide the golfer with better feel.
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JOIN THE CLUB
You'll never get invited to join Augusta National, and the initiation fee for Sebonack on Long Island is probably more than the value of your house. But there's a way to join a prestigious private club for less than you'd think. Some of the top courses in Scotland offer memberships to golfers living elsewhere. For example, you can join Royal Dornoch, No. 4 on Golf Digest's 100 Best Courses Outside the United States, for $765 and annual dues of $449. Nairn Golf Club, which once had an initiation fee of more than $1,000 for out-of-country members, is free to join for a $592 yearly charge. Here are four more deals to consider (based on the pounds-to-dollar conversion rate as of Dec. 4):