Golf Digest editors picks
The Fun Issue

Make Golf More Fun

Golf got you down? We've assembled these proven methods for making your favorite game as entertaining as humanly possible

Make Golf More Fun

BOO-YAH! Wipe that frown from your face. Golf is about enjoying yourself--and we're here to help you make it happen.

January 2011

1. INVENT YOUR OWN RULES
When my club's Sunday-morning four-ball ends in a tie, we have a playoff on the putting green--although usually not by putting. Once, we chipped from the tops of beer cans. Another time, we threw balls onto the roof of the clubhouse so that they bounced through the flower bed and onto the putting surface. Another time, we hit lobs from the plastic liner in the bed of Nick's pickup truck, which he had backed up to the fence. Another time, we played foot wedges from under the big rhododendron. For that one, you had to look around, all furtive-like, and then kick your ball onto the green. Recently, we had a playoff partly in the clubhouse. There's a window just above the urinal in the men's locker room. Hacker (real name) noticed that if you leaned over the urinal and stuck your arm out the window, you could toss a ball past the fence, over the patio and onto the green. So that's what we did, closest to the pin. --David Owen

2. LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD
Fourteen is far too many clubs. They're too heavy, and they make the game boring. I recently competed in a limited-club challenge where we played with one to five clubs and got additional shots above our handicap accordingly--12 extra shots if you played with just one club, eight shots for two clubs, five shots for three clubs, two shots for four clubs and zero shots for five clubs. I went with a hybrid and a 9-iron, and it was the most fun. It's liberating to stroll unencumbered down the fairway with just a couple of clubs over your shoulder and a spare ball in your pocket. On top of that, having fewer clubs forces you to be inventive and create "shots" rather than simply "swings." --John Barton

3. PLAY FEWER HOLES
When golf starts to get tedious, I do it in smaller doses. I'll play nine holes, or maybe 12.

A dozen is ideal: Think of it as two six-hole "nines." You don't get caught up in your usual scoring benchmarks, like breaking 40 or 80, and can just enjoy the game. At the very least, it'll give you less time to beat yourself up. --Peter Morrice

4. THROW OUT THE SCORECARD
The no. 1 thing I do to make the game more fun is to stop keeping score. I'm so results-obsessed that it's very therapeutic for me to throw away that little pencil and rip up the scorecard on the first tee. It takes a lot of will to do it--and during the round, I constantly have to stop myself from adding strokes over par in my head. But once I get there mentally, it completely liberates my game, which is crazy fun. --Stina Sternberg

5. TUNE IN, DROP OUT
Lately my father and I have been listening to music when we play. We usually take his iPod and plug it into a small battery-powered speaker and leave it in the cart. It's loud enough so we can hear but soft enough not to disturb other golfers. The playlist is set to shuffle, and we'll listen to everything from R&B to disco, soul, reggae, hip-hop, country and classic rock. We find that the more random the playlist, the better. It's not for everyone, but I've found that it helps my tempo, keeps me relaxed and makes those long rounds more enjoyable. --Christian Iooss

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The Fun Issue

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6. GO IT ALONE
I have great fun playing golf alone. Those are the times when I play out a little fantasy, like having to par the last three holes to win a tournament. I constantly drop balls around the putting green, go into Walter Mitty mode and pretend I have to get up and down for some title, or give myself a bunch of eight-footers that have to be made. I can make it real enough that I'm fighting choking. When I'm playing alone, I might stay on one hole for 45 minutes.
--Jaime Diaz

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