Category: Gameplay

How to Read a Golf Course – Guide for Beginners

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Golf, often described as a sport of precision and strategy, offers you as a beginner an exciting journey. That journey is filled with challenges and opportunities for improvement. Among the fundamental skills is the ability to know how to read a golf course. It might take time and effort, but it is worth mastering it.

At its core, reading a golf course entails insights into the terrain, hazards, distances, and the unique character of each hole. A course design presents golfers with a blend of natural beauty and strategic challenges.

Now, your journey begins with a few essential steps. Those steps can significantly impact your performance and enjoyment of the course.

First, a course map or scorecard can be a valuable resource available at the clubhouse or online. Then, something like understanding the par value for each hole is key to setting realistic expectations.

Image by Andrew Anderson on Unsplash
Image by Andrew Anderson on Unsplash

In the following sections, we will delve into the specifics of reading a golf course. You will find practical advice and tips to help you navigate the fairways and greens. Understanding the layout is your first step toward a more enjoyable and rewarding golfing experience. So, let’s get started, one stroke at a time.

Assessing a Golf Course

This is the very beginning of the process when it comes to reading a course. Nonetheless, here are some tips to help you assess a golf course effectively.

  1. Course Map and Scorecard: They are easy to obtain, usually available at the clubhouse or online. These resources provide essential information about each hole, including yardages, par values, and hole layouts.
  2. Study the Yardages: Pay close attention to the yardage for each hole. Note the distances to various landmarks like bunkers, water hazards, and the center of the green. This information will help you choose the right club for each shot.
  3. Know the Par: Understanding the par for each hole can help you set realistic expectations and determine how well you are playing.
  4. Consider Tee Selection: Golf courses typically have multiple tee boxes, each catering to different skill levels. As a beginner, choose the tee box that matches your skill level. Consequently, starting from a shorter tee will make the course more manageable.
  5. Local Rules: Familiarize yourself with any local rules specific to the golf course. Briefly, these rules may involve out-of-bounds areas or ground under repair. Thus, there could be some unique course features that have their own rules.

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Image by

Understand a Course Layout

In brief, understanding a golf course layout as a beginner is essential for making informed decisions. Equally important, it will help you improve your game. Here is how you can better comprehend a golf course layout:

  1. Analyze Hole Distances: Pay attention to the distances of each hole. Note the total yardage of the course and the yardage of each hole. Understanding the lengths will help you choose the appropriate clubs for each shot.
  2. Look at Hole Layouts: On the course map or scorecard, observe the layout of each hole. Subsequently, identify the position of the tee box, fairway, hazards, and the green. Also, note the doglegs or unique features of the hole.
  3. Note Hazard Locations: Pay special attention to the location of hazards. Bunkers, water hazards, and rough areas are common obstacles on golf courses. Hence, knowing where they are positioned will help you strategize your shots to avoid them.
  4. Understand the Green: Study the shape and size of the green for each hole. Look for any spoles, undulations, or challenging pin placements. This information is crucial when planning approach shots and putting.
  5. Visualize Your Shots: Before teeing off on each hole, take a moment to visualize your shots. Therefore, consider the best path to the fairway and potential hazards to avoid. Furthermore, consider where you want your ball to land for the most favorable approach to the green.

Strategize Your Shots Effectively

For you as a beginner, this is crucial for improving your game and minimizing mistakes. Here are some tips to help you develop a strategic approach to your shots:

  1. Select the Right Club: Choose your clubs based on the distance to the target and your own abilities. As a beginner, focus on accuracy over distance. Familiarize yourself with the typical distances you achieve with each club through practice.
  2. Understand Your Abilities: Be honest about your skill level. If you are not comfortable hitting long shots or controlling certain clubs, opt for more reliable choices. Over time, you can work on expanding your shot-making abilities.
  3. Plan Each Shot: Before taking a shot, assess the hole layout and factors that can influence the outcome. For example, consider wind direction, hazards, and the shape of the hole. Visualize your shot and decide your target.
  4. Aim for the Center: In general, aim for the center of the fairway or the green. Avoid overly ambitious targets near hazards, especially as a beginner. Consistency and avoiding trouble are key.
  5. Manage Risk: As a beginner, it is essential to manage risk. Avoid overly aggressive shots that may lead to trouble. Consider your comfort level with various shot types and choose the safer option when in doubt.
  6. Play With Your Abilities: Focus on executing shots that you feel confident about. Trying to mimic the shots of professional golfers can lead to frustration and errors. As your skills improve, you can gradually attempt more challenging shots.

Image by Edewaa Foster on Unsplash
Image by Edewaa Foster on Unsplash

Build a Solid Foundation

In conclusion, mastering the art of reading a golf course is a pivotal skill for any golfer. It is the foundation upon which your game strategy is built. As you gain familiarity with the course layout, you will find yourself making more informed decisions. Moreover, you will be avoiding hazards and ultimately lowering your scores.

Remember that reading a golf course is a gradual process. It is perfectly normal to encounter challenges along the way. Approach each round with a willingness to learn from both success and setbacks. With practice and experience, you will develop a deeper understanding of the intricacies of each hole. That will enable you to play with greater confidence and enjoyment.

So, embrace the journey of course mastery as an integral part of the sport. Be patient, persistent, and committed to learning. That way you will cultivate a profound appreciation for the artistry and strategy of the game. The ability to read the course will be your guide to unlocking the full potential of your golfing experience.

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Mental Game Strategies for New Golfers – How to Play Better

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For you, as a new golfer, developing effective mental game strategies is crucial for a few reasons. It is not only about improving your performance but also enjoying the game more. There are several mental game strategies for new golfers worth exploring in order to help enhance your mental game.

Mastering the mental aspects of golf is as crucial as honing your physical skills. The mental game can often make a difference between a good time on the course and feeling frustrated.

Golf is a sport that challenges not only your physical abilities but also your mental resilience, focus, and attitude. This is where the art of the mental game comes into play.

As a novice golfer, it is easy to underestimate the influence of your mindset on your performance. However, seasoned players and professionals understand certain things. They understand that the thoughts, emotions, and strategies you bring to the course can significantly impact your outcomes.

Image by Andrew Anderson on Unsplash
Image by Andrew Anderson on Unsplash

The mental game is the inner realm where composure, concentration, and confidence intersect. It is about cultivating the mental tools to overcome the challenges that arise during a round. Additionally, it is also about managing pressure-packed moments, and staying positive even when things don’t go as planned.

In the following guide, we delve into a set of effective strategies tailored specifically for new golfers. These strategies are designed to empower you to take charge of your mental game. They allow you to navigate the complexities of the course with a sense of purpose and poise. Let’s check them out.

Stay Patient and Manage Expectations

Golf is a challenging sport that takes time to master. As a new golfer, you should set realistic expectations and be patient with yourself as you learn and improve. Understand that progress will come gradually, and setbacks are part of the learning process. Set achievable goals for improvement and celebrate small successes along the way.

Focus on Process, Not Outcome

Instead of fixating on the final score, focus on executing each shot to the best of your ability. Concentrate on your pre-shot routine, alignment, grip, and swing mechanics. When you aim for a consistent process it often leads to better outcomes.

Develop a Pre-Shot Routine

Establish a consistent pre-shot routine that includes visualizing the shot and choosing a target. On top of that, you can add setting up your alignment and stance, taking a practice swing, and then executing the shot. A reliable routine can help calm nerves and ensure consistency in your approach.

Practice Visualization

Visualizing successful shots can improve your confidence and concentration. Before each shot, close your eyes and imagine the shot you want to execute. Imagine the ball’s trajectory, flight path, and landing spot. Do that each time until it becomes a habit.

Practice Mindfulness and Focus

Stay present in the moment and focus on the current shot. Avoid thinking about past mistakes or future shots. Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing and staying aware of your senses, can help keep you in the present. Feel the breeze, hear the sounds around you, and focus on the feel of the club and the ball.

Control Negative Self-Talk

Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Instead of swelling on mistakes or potential failures, remind yourself of past successes and focus on your strengths. Positive self-talk can boost your confidence and attitude.

Image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Embrace Mistakes

Mistakes are a natural part of golf. Rather than getting frustrated, use mistakes as learning opportunities. Analyze what went wrong, make adjustments, and move on. This growth mindset helps you improve and reduces frustration.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Approach each round with a positive attitude. Embrace challenges and setbacks as opportunities to grow and learn. A positive mindset can enhance your enjoyment of the game and lead to better performance.

Set Short-Term Goals

Break down your overall game improvement into smaller, achievable goals. Focus on improving specific aspects of your game, such as driving accuracy or putting proficiency. Accomplishing these mini-goals can provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation.

Stay Relaxed Under Pressure

Nervousness and pressure are common on the golf course, especially in competitive situations. Develop relaxation techniques like deeper breathing or positive visualization to stay composed and focused.

Stay Physically Fit

Regular exercise and flexibility training contribute to your mental game. Consequently, physical fitness supports endurance, balance, and overall well-being. All that is essential for maintaining focus and concentration throughout your rounds.

Learn from Mentally Strong Golfers

Observe how professional golfers handle challenges and pressure. Watch their pre-shot routine and note how they manage their emotions. Also, you can listen to their insights on mental strategies through their interviews. You can apply these techniques to your own game.

Image by Cristina Anne Costello on Unsplash
Image by Cristina Anne Costello on Unsplash

Apply Some Strategies and See the Changes

In conclusion, developing a strong mental game is a journey. It complements the technical aspects of golf. Hence, by integrating these strategies into your approach, you can cultivate resilience, focus, and a positive attitude. All that will serve you well on the course. Remember that progress takes time, and setbacks are part of the learning curve.

Embrace the process of improvement, stay present in each shot, and celebrate your achievements along the way. As you continue to refine your mental game, you will find that not only does your performance flourish. Your overall experience of golf becomes one of enjoyment, growth, and personal satisfaction.

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Categories: Beginners Gameplay

How to Play Golf in the Wind – Control Your Shots

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Golfing is hard by default, add a bit of wind to it and it becomes next-level hard. Now, you are probably aware, like I am, that we’ll hardly get to the pro level of playing in windy conditions. That does not mean you can’t learn how to play golf in the wind to improve your skill set. It is challenging but doable.

Some have the fortune to golf in mild weather conditions which do not include too much wind. For the rest, there are things you will want to know.

Having different shots in your bag that can help you control what your ball does is beneficial in any case. The better you get, the fewer things will be able to surprise you on the course.

Image by Noah Rosenfield
Image by Noah Rosenfield on Unsplash

Weather affects golfing all the time. Every change in temperature, seasons, and current conditions, as slight as some dew on the grass, can make a big difference. The wind is one of the most extreme conditions because of its unpredictability. You won’t be able to entirely predict how your ball is going to act when it is windy, but you can do a lot to gain more control over your shots.

Keep It Low

This is probably the most important thing when it comes to playing in windy conditions. Whatever you do try to keep your ball flight low. When you think about it, it makes sense. The higher your ball flight, the more vulnerability your ball faces. It means you have to forget about your regular round when you can fly the ball high.

Your ball will be exposed to winds less if you keep it closer to the ground. That does not mean you should barely get it off the ground. It means the ball flight should be more penetrating at a height lower than the usual one. That usually translates to less spin which will help the ball hold the trajectory.

This is especially the case on shots from a longer distance. The wind will not affect ball flights from short distances as much. If you golf in extremely windy conditions, that might affect all shots including putts. Next time you go to the range try to hit some lower-flight shots, it will be worth it next time the wind decides to show up at the course.

Mind the Wind Direction

The wind direction is the most important thing to pay attention to when it comes to aiming. For example, if the wind is coming from the left side it will be pushing the ball to the right side. In other words, you will have to aim toward the left side of the fairway to land the ball in the middle of it.

How much you will have to shift your aim will depend on the wind strength. Sometimes the surroundings will shelter your ball if you keep it low. In other cases, if you are playing a links-type course with no trees around, your ball will be affected even if flying lower. At best you will have to adjust as the round goes on to see how much tweaking is needed.

Image by Khamkeo Vilaysing
Image by Khamkeo Vilaysing on Unsplash

Club Up and Club Down Accordingly

As much as you would think this comes automatically, a lot of recreational golfers on occasion choose the wrong clubs for shots. More often they go with a shorter club, especially when between distances. I don’t have to mention that can lead to extra strokes that could be avoided. If you’re asking yourself what that has to do with wind, I’ll tell you that next.

The wind is a force of nature that can make the ball go shorter or longer. It is as simple as that. You can see that particularly if you watch a tournament that is held by an ocean or sea. What you have to do in that situation is consider that wind for your club choice. If you don’t, your ball will go either too short or too long. Neither is great.

That is especially the case with approach shots and shots on par 3 holes. I know sometimes it is hard to predict at what point the wind will show up and there is nothing you can do there. Nonetheless, in other situations make sure you choose the appropriate club. For winds blowing toward you, chose one or more club numbers depending on wind strength. In the same way, make sure you choose a lesser club when you are hitting the ball down the wind because it will carry that ball further than you think.

Watch for Signs

By sings, I do not mean writings on the wall or any supernatural signs on the course. I simply mean you should observe the nature around the fairway or the green to read the wind strength and direction. Here you do not need any special skills, just some observation before you decide to hit your golf ball.

There are water hazards on a lot of courses out there. Use that water to your advantage. See if it is still or if it is moving and what direction the little waves are going toward. In the same way, you can have a look at the tops of the trees around the hole you are playing. Check which way the branches are bending and at what intensity.

Checking trees can be useful because you have to remember that your ball is traveling through the air. Once you develop that habit it will help you make shot decisions.

Image by Cristina Glebova
Image by Cristina Glebova on Unsplash

Steady Wind or Gusts

When it comes to golfing there is almost nothing as unpredictable as the wind. Nobody enjoys golfing in the wind, nobody. The reality is, a lot of golfers can’t avoid it if they want to golf at all. However, wind can sometimes be less bad. That is the case when it is blowing steadily. In that situation, you will be able to make better adjustments which you can apply to every shot.

It is when you are dealing with gusts of wind and changing wind directions that it becomes more challenging. When that happens you will have to pay attention to everything at every single hole. It is a constant readjustment. Before shots take a few moments to assess the situation, don’t rush it. Only when you take everything into account make your shot.

Practice and Play

It is very hard to practice golf in conditions that do not come often. The wind is one of those conditions. Unless you are in an area where your driving range is exposed to wind, it is hard to simulate those shots. Your best bet will be to go out and learn how to deal with it with experience. One step at a time.

The truth is, no practice will prepare you for all the situations you find yourself in on a golf course. For that reason golfing as often as possible can benefit your game more. In the end, no matter what the conditions are, always remember to enjoy your time on the course.

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How to Manage a Golf Course – Tips for Beginners

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Categories: Gameplay

Top Golf Putting Tips – How to Master the Greens

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If you fall into the recreational golfer category, there is a good chance you are neglecting your putting practice. Don’t worry, it is a common thing. Most of us tend to prioritize our swing over putting all the time. With that being the case, check the top golf putting tips below in order to help you master the greens.

There is no shortcut to getting better at golf, that is the truth. In the same way, there is no shortcut to getting better at putting. However, there are things that can help you on the green.

It takes time to see results when you start changing your golf game.

We all have some routines when it comes to putting. Sometimes we have to change them to see better outcomes.

There is a reason why professional golfers seem to be putting with such ease. Besides all the hours they put into practice, they do certain things that help even more. Some are related to putting techniques and others are related to knowing the greens better. You will find a few of those things as you keep reading this article.

Image by Courtney Cook on Unsplash
Image by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

Learn to Read the Greens

Reading the greens the right way is the recipe for lower scores. You can be great at controlling the putting pace, but if you do not get it on the right line all is for nothing. Now, there are things recreational golfers do to read the greens and there are additional things the professionals do.

You will not have enough time to do the reading thoroughly as the pros do, since you can’t spend that much time on the green due to the pace of play. Nonetheless, there are a few things you can do to read them better. Walking around the green and reading it from different positions is one of them.

Additionally, you can walk your putting line and stop at certain spots to see if it tilts either way and how much it tilts. It is also a good idea to observe other golfers in your group when they putt. That will give you an idea of the green speed as well as where the putts are moving toward. You can also find other ways that can work to improve your green reading skills.

Use Practice Greens to Your Advantage

Usually, the golf course has a practice green where you can warm up before your tee time. What I notice a lot is that not that many golfers take advantage of that. It is a shame because it is complementary. On top of that, it can help you a lot for the round of golf you are about to play.

First of all, it is a good way to warm up. There is nothing worse for your body but to start hitting balls cold. Any form of warm-up is good, this one included. Besides that, it can give you information on the current greens’ condition. You can see how fast the greens are so you can adapt your putting for the day.

Image by Frederik Rosar on Unsplash
Image by Frederik Rosar on Unsplash

Rotate Your Shoulders

One of the things that lead to putting inconsistency is using arms or wrists. That way is harder to control the stroke pace and the putter head. If you have a look at the tour pros you will notice how they move their shoulders and arms in sync. It almost looks as if their putter is an extension of their arms.

When you move only your shoulders and arms while putting you leave less room for errors. It might feel weird in the beginning, but once you get hold of it brings more consistency. Everything should be basically locked in with no separate arms or wrist motion. Start doing that and you will see better results.

Strike the Ball Firmly on Short Putts

Greens can be very tricky and sometimes short putts are harder than long ones. For one, you feel more pressure in making a 3-foot putt compared to a 20-foot one. As simple as it seems, it can be far from that. There are a couple of reasons for missing short putts. One is missing the line and the other is the pace.

If you have a look at the pros they rarely make a short putt that dies off by the time it reaches the hole. They always strike the ball firmly on those occasions. Assuming that their line is correct, those firm putts will end up in the hole. That leaves less room for a mistake that can happen if the putt is too soft.

When a short putt is too soft the ball can easily get off the line on the way to the hole. There can always be some slight bend on the way to the hole that you can’t see. Striking the ball firmly eliminates surprises and makes sure your ball goes straight into the hole. Next time find the right line and hit the ball firmly enough to hold the line on its way in.

Image by Lukas Opekar on Unsplash
Image by Lukas Opekar on Unsplash

Find the Most Comfortable Grip

As trivial as it sounds, the grip is very important when it comes to putting. There are many variations of it and it can make a difference. The last thing you need on the green is a grip that does not feel comfortable. Not just that, but it is also important that it brings you consistency putt after putt.

You can try classic grips, unconventional grips like the claw, or even the lead hand lower grip. Play around with it and find the one that suits you the most. On top of that make sure you are using a putter that matches your stroke in order to feel complete comfort while putting.

Strengthen Your Putting for a Lower Score

If you were ever wondering ways you can lower your score besides hitting the ball further, putting is one of them. Think about it for one moment. When you putt with an average of 2 strokes per hole, you end up with 36 putts in a round. If you lower that to around 1.7 putts per hole, you are now at 30 or 31 putts for the round. That is 5 to 6 strokes less on your card.

Who would not like to shave off a few strokes of their scorecard? It may take some time and persistence but it is achievable. The chances are it won’t happen every single round even when you do improve. But when it starts happening more often than not, it will be a good feeling. It is definitely worth working on your putting in order to lower your score.

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Categories: Gameplay Golf Tips Putting

Tips for Playing Golf in the Winter – How to Be Ready

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In case you have never experienced golfing in the wintertime, it is something completely different. If you fall into the category of golfers who do golf year-round, you know what I am talking about. Tips for playing golf in the winter will help you to be ready to golf in more challenging conditions.

To be clear, I am not referring to golfing in areas of the world with mild to non-existing winter conditions. I am talking about cold and wet weather.

It is when you have to make changes in your game approach to have a decent round. To put it in simple words, it is another game.

Image by C. Shii on Unsplash
Image by C. Shii on Unsplash

However, there are ways to adapt your game to changed conditions. It goes from dressing up appropriately, choosing the right clubs, ensuring your equipment is clean, and potentially changing the golf ball you play. If you want to keep golfing after the nice days are over check below what can help you with that.

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Categories: Gameplay Golf Tips

Simple Tips to Improve Your Golf Game – They Work

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Most of us golfers are really passionate about the game. How not to be, right? It is something to look forward to every week. Just the thought of hitting that perfect shot brings the chills. No matter how fun golf is, it is far from being simple. Luckily, there are some simple tips to improve your golf game. And they do work.

However, there is a catch. Of course, there is always a catch. It is that you actually have to follow the tips to improve your game. Some of them will require you to develop a habit, while others are related to a slight equipment change.

Either way, these tips will contribute to an increase in your happiness on the golf course. You might already be happy just by going out on the course, which is great. But why not increase that to make your rounds even more fun?

Image by Cristina Anne Costello
Image by Cristina Anne Costello on Unsplash

It is usually the details that will make a big difference in your round. Sometimes it is just a sequel of bad decisions you make while playing. Other times it has to do with the pre-shot routine or equipment maintenance. Whichever the reasons are, check these tips that can help you navigate your rounds in a better way.

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Categories: Gameplay

What Is Golf Club Fitting? – Complete Guide for Beginners

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Golf is hard. I have said that so many times and I will keep saying it. However, that does not mean you can’t enjoy it, quite the opposite. You can enjoy it even more if you bring your game to the next level. This is where fitting can help you. In case you are asking yourself what is golf club fitting, you come to the right place to find an answer.

Like any other fitting, the clubs should be fitted to you personally. In other words, the fitters give you different clubs with different specifications until they find the right ones for you. This saves you time adapting to your clubs, making the clubs adapt to your game.

Image by Paola Andrea on Unsplash
Image by Paola Andrea on Unsplash

It can literally change your game almost instantly. The fitters observe the numbers on the simulator in order to see which clubs suit you the best. When they see something they are happy with they suggest you those clubs. In the end, it will be up to you to decide if you want to buy the suggested clubs.

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Categories: Beginners Gameplay

Golf Tips for Beginners – How to Play Better

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Often when you start golfing you can’t wait to get out there. Every week can’t pass fast enough until the next round. You want to get instantly better to improve your game. The reality is golf is more challenging than a lot of sports. Luckily there are golf tips for beginners that can help get you closer to your goals.

Honestly, you will probably not improve as quickly as you want. The good news is that doing certain things will get you on the right path. You just have to do them consistently and the results will come. Easier said than done, right?

Image by Ottis Bunning on Unsplash
Image by Ottis Bunning on Unsplash

If you look at professional golfers, they all do things in a certain way. They do have all the help they need from coaches, caddies, and their whole entourage. But at the end of the day, they are the ones executing each and every shot on the course. There is a reason those things work for them and we’ll have a look into what some of them actually are.

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Categories: Beginners Gameplay

How to Hit a Wedge – 5 Tips for Beginners

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Among all your clubs, on average, you will hit your wedges the most each round. For that reason alone you should know how to hit a wedge solidly. That can help you shave off a few strokes per round.

Wedges are the most versatile clubs you have in your bag. There are so many situations where you can use them for so many different types of shots. Consistency is vital, and you must know certain things to achieve that.

Wedges by

Because of their versatility wedges come in so many different setups. There are longer-hitting wedges like the pitching wedge and the gap wedge. Those have stronger lofts compared to the sand wedge or the lob wedge. Ideally, you get comfortable hitting all of them or at least three out of four. Below are some tips that can make your job a bit easier.

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Categories: Beginners Gameplay Wedges

Different Golf Games to Play – Change Your Routine

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Golf is a fun game. That is true up to the moment when it becomes frustrating. As a lot of us know, that turn can happen in an instant with a simple thing as a bad shot. Luckily there are different golf games to play on the course that can break your routine and make golf just fun.

Stroke play is the most common and popular type of game with match play being the next one. However, there are so many other games you may not know about to enjoy on the course by yourself or with your family and friends. Some of them require luck, some skill, and some both.

Below you can check what types of games you can find in this article:

  • Single-Player Games – these games you can enjoy all by yourself
  • Multi-Player Games – when you are out there with your family or friends try one of these games
  • Games With Stakes – if you are feeling lucky you may try one of these games where you can win or lose a previously agreed prize.

Image by Cristina Anne Costello on Unsplash
Image by Cristina Anne Costello on Unsplash
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Categories: Gameplay