Golf Digest editors picks

36 Ways To Play More Golf

Life keeps getting in the way of your favorite pastime? We're here to help

October 2013

Some golfers are always complaining about how little they've been getting out. Work, family, an injury. Occasionally it isn't just a ploy to negotiate more strokes, and they're actually telling the truth. When life gets frantic our hobbies take a backseat, which is why we've assembled a list of 36 tips to help you squeeze more golf into a busy schedule. Many probably won't be revelations, but it takes only one useful idea to start turning your world the other direction.

1. BUY IN BULK.
Many public courses offer green fees at discounted rates when you buy packages of 10, 15 or 20 rounds. You'll be motivated not to let any go to waste.

2. WALK UP AS A SINGLE.
If your regular foursome falls apart, nothing's better than a round with strangers that ends as a round with new friends.

3. CLUBS IN THE TRUNK, ALWAYS.
Along with a pair of shorts, it's the golfer's version of a condom in the wallet.

4. PLAY A PAR-3 COURSE.
You'll be surprised by how many holes you can squeeze in in just an hour.

5. PLAY WITH YOUR SPOUSE.
Stop negotiating; make the game something you both look forward to. Nine holes and dinner is a great date night.

6. TRY SIMULATOR GOLF.
With launch-monitor technology better than ever, neither rain nor snow shall keep you from your appointed rounds. Set up a system in your basement, or find a public venue.

7. WORK PART-TIME AT A COURSE.
Golf is usually free for starters, rangers and caddies. To avoid the pink slip, make your work-to-play hours at least a 1:1 ratio.

8. PACK IT IN.
Travel to stay-and-play destinations like Pinehurst or Bandon Dunes, where 36 holes a day never seems like enough. You might play more in one week than you did all of last season.

9. TEACH A BEST FRIEND.
Start with the range and then move to nine holes. Be patient, complimentary, and give him or her enough strokes so that they beat you. Life is going to be really fun once they're hooked.

10. TIE GOLF TO A HEALTH GOAL.
If your New Year's resolution is to lose weight, achieve it the fun way by playing as much golf (walking) as you can. If you have a bad habit to kick, like smoking, keep rewarding yourself with golf—as long as you stay on the wagon.

11. TEE OFF EARLY.
That leaves the rest of the day to decide if you need an emergency nine. Or 18.

12. FIND A FAVORITE RANGE.
Practice in a comfortable setting means more practice, which leads to more good golf, which leads to more golf.

13. LOWER YOUR STANDARDS.
Become less picky about course conditions and move up a set of tees. Why not play cheap, fast and to your handicap?

14. INTRODUCE YOUR KIDS TO THE GAME.
As soon as you get the sense they're having fun, go home. Children want what they can't have. It'll be just a matter of time before they're begging you to drive them to the golf course.

Play Mow your lawn

15. POWER YOUR LUNCH HOUR.
Hit a small bucket or practice your short game on your lunch break. Your mind will be refreshed, so you'll probably shave strokes off your work handicap, too.

16. PACK GOLF SHOES IN LUGGAGE.
Flying with clubs isn't always prudent, but you can still allow for the possibility of renting a set if the opportunity presents itself on a business trip.

17. SLEEP LESS.
It's possible to squeeze in a quick nine before work, not just after.

18. MASTER THE ART OF OMISSION.
If you call to say you'll be home late, your spouse will probably assume you're stuck at work. Always tell the truth, but you don't always have to volunteer it.

19. GIVE TO CHARITY.
No one can begrudge your golf when it's for a good cause.

20. DITCH THE (OCCASIONAL) SOCCER GAME.
Become such a regularly active parent in your kid's life that missing a weekend sporting event is a blip, not a bomb.

21. BUY A NEW GOLF TOY.
Purchasing an expensive item, like a laser range finder or a new driver, will make you justify it by playing more.

22. MAKE COMMITMENTS.
At the beginning of the season, schedule rounds with all the people you meant to play golf with last year but never got around to. When an event is on a calendar, it's more likely to happen.

23. MOW YOUR LAWN ON A WEEKDAY NIGHT.
On Saturday morning you're out the door before anything unexpected and unwanted can come up.

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