frustrated woman golfer

Don’t let golf’s frustrations steal your joy.

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There are so many new players who have taken up this wonderful game — especially after this pandemic year. And as many of you are heading out to the golf course, you may be learning how frustrating golf can be. But take heart! It doesn’t have to be! Here are a four ways to play on the course with your friends and family while also prioritizing the most important reason we play: fun!

1. Use a tee

This little object can be the difference between having fun and wanting to walk off the golf course. Because you are new to the game, you probably aren’t keeping a score. If this is the case, permission granted to tee your ball up on every shot, from the teeing ground until you get on the putting green.

You can tee the ball up just over the top of the grass with your short irons (left) a little higher for long irons, hybrids and fairway woods (middle) and highest for driver.

2. Play a scramble

A scramble (where everyone in your group hits a shot, then you choose the best one and play your next shot from there until the ball is holed) is the easiest way to play when you’re a beginner, and it keeps you engaged with your playing partners. I love this format for new golfers, because it takes the pressure off pace of play and helps you feel included with your group.


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3. Don’t try so hard

I love explaining this concept to new golfers. If you are on the range and trying to practice a skill you’ve recently learned and you are struggling, just stop doing it! There is no sense in you continuing to be frustrated or overcoached by your friends or family members who may have joined you on the range. Instead, grab three balls, a putter and go roll some putts on the putting green.

4. Play from 150 yards

There’s no reason you should feel obligated to play a course at full-length when you’re a new golfer. Instead, ease your way into regulation rounds by teeing the ball up at the 150-yard marker on par-4s and par-5s. Play the hole out from there for a fun and way less intimidating entry into the game.

Sarah Stone, PGA, is the Director of Instruction at Chevy Chase Club in Maryland, and was recently named to GOLF’s 2021-22 Teachers to Watch list.

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