100 Things Every Golfer Should Do Just Once

By: | Tue 28 Apr 2020 | Comments


Article by Golfshake Ambassador Andrew Picken


Golfshake Ambassador Andy Picken has been playing golf since his mid-20s, later taking a break for around a decade to concentrate on work and family, but since then has become a total addict, desperate for his fix each week. During lockdown, he has been reflecting on his journey in the game, the courses played, the experiences ticked off, but also what he hopes to sample in the future once normality returns.

Having completed his WhereIPlayGolf profile, detailing the 254 different golf courses that he has played, Andy has been working on his own bucket list, starting to dream and plan. It got him thinking about what drives his passion for golf, and those crucial rite of passage moments that every golfer should take. Those must play venues, must visit locations, trips of a lifetime, and things that every golf does or wants to do.  

Broken down into sections, you will see 100 Things Every Golfer Should Do Just Once, including things that you may want to do or may have already done, but also those situations that you would rather forget, but what ultimately contribute towards a fully enriched lifetime experience in golf. Read through below and score yourself one point for every item you can tick off and see how you rank in the final table.

Andy has scored an impressive 62. Can you beat him?

Because It's Fun...

Record 1 point for each that you have done. 10 points in total.

  • Play 18 holes while carrying no more than four clubs.
  • Play 18 holes while listening to music.
  • Play a course that’s floodlit for night play.
  • Failing that, play a few holes with a Day Glo ball.
  • Be the first to tee off on an early spring morning.
  • Be the last to finish on a late autumn evening.
  • Take an overnight golf trip with your mates.
  • Play 18 holes after consuming at least three adult beverages.
  • Play when there’s snow coming down and the fairways have turned white.
  • Play and don't keep score.

Because It's Character Building...

Record 1 point for each that you have done. 14 points in total.

  • Choke on the last hole to lose a tournament.
  • Five putt (while actually trying very hard on each putt).
  • Survive the shanks.
  • Suffer through an extended case of the yips.
  • Play 18 holes in a hard, steady rain.
  • Play a Scottish or Irish links in a wind of at least 40 mph.
  • Play a foursomes match.
  • Play in a three club challenge
  • Cry on a golf course.
  • Top an opening tee shot in a competition.
  • Win a sudden-death playoff.
  • Play a U.S. Open course from the championship tees.
  • Lose because of a rules infraction.
  • Give up the game (for at least a few months—and not in the winter).

Because, Despite The Embarrassment, It's Part of Golf's Colourful Tapestry...

Record 1 point for each that you have done. 16 points in total.

  • Finish last in a tournament.
  • Hit at least three consecutive shots into a water hazard.
  • Hit at least three consecutive shots out of bounds.
  • Break a club in anger.
  • Sneak on and play a course—all 18 holes—without being caught. [The more illustrious the course, the better.]
  • Do damage to your home or its contents while practicing your swing indoors.
  • Hit—but not hurt—someone with a golf shot.
  • Be hit—but not hurt—by someone else’s golf shot.
  • Call in sick so you can play golf.
  • Play the wrong ball in a tournament.
  • Find yourself in need of a toilet (not just a tree) and not find one in time.
  • Tumble into a bunker or water hazard.
  • Sign an incorrect scorecard.
  • Oversleep and miss your tee time.
  • Break a window (or windscreen) with a ball you’ve struck.
  • Run out of balls.

Because It's The Right Thing To Do...

Record 1 point for each that you have done. 25 points in total.

  • Introduce someone to the game.
  • Call a penalty on yourself.
  • Caddie for a family member or friend in an important event.
  • Visit the World Golf Hall of Fame.
  • Visit Pinehurst.
  • Visit the graves of Old and Young Tom Morris.
  • Give something back to the game [volunteer at a tournament, work for a golf charity, donate your old clubs].
  • Get yourself custom-fitted.
  • Read the Rules of Golf from cover to cover.
  • Go to The Open Championship
  • Go back and play the course where you played your very first round.
  • Play 18 holes without consulting any yardage markers, books, or devices.
  • Play 18 holes with hickory clubs.
  • Go to a golf school—or a get a series of lessons.
  • Have your swing videotaped. [It’s like hearing your voice on tape for the first time.]
  • Play 18 holes in 2 ½ hours or less—walking.
  • If you’re a dog owner, find a course that allows you to take the hound along, and then play it, just the two of you.
  • Play 18 holes alone.
  • Determine the exact distance you hit the ball in the air with each of your clubs.
  • Spend a few hours practicing nothing but bunker shots.
  • Start a golf collection of some kind.
  • Learn how to regrip a club.
  • Read at least one book by Bobby Jones.
  • Read at least two books by Bernard Darwin.
  • Read at least two books by Alister MacKenzie.

Because It Validates Your Skill...

Record 1 point for each that you have done. 15 points in total.

  • Shoot your age.
  • Failing that, shoot your age net. [It’s easier, but not much.]
  • Shoot your career best score in a tournament.
  • Drive a par four and make the putt. [The forward tees count.]
  • If your handicap is over 10, reduce it by at least five stokes in one season—if it’s under 10, cut it in half in one season.
  • Make a hole-in-one.
  • Win a tournament.
  • Make at least three birdies or nine pars in a row [net if you must].
  • Get your home course eclectic score—the total of your career best on each of the 18 holes—under 55.
  • Come back from at least five holes down to win a match.
  • Play at least 72 holes without losing a ball.
  • Hit a drive of 300 yards or more.
  • Sink a putt of 100 feet or more.
  • Play 18 holes without a three-putt.
  • Birdie the last hole to win a tournament.

Because It's An Unforgettable Experience...

Record 1 point for each that you have done. 20 points in total.

  • Play Augusta National.
  • Play Pine Valley.
  • Play Pebble Beach.
  • Play the Old Course.
  • Play Valderrama
  • Play Midnight Golf
  • Play An Open Venue.
  • Play TPC Sawgrass.
  • Play at least one course in each of the English Counties.
  • Play golf in at least eight different countries
  • Play two courses in different countries in the same day.
  • Play at least one course in each continent of Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, and South America.
  • Play at least 36 holes in one day—and walk them if possible.
  • Complete a profile on WhereIPlay.com. Create a full tally of all your played courses.
  • Get a private lesson from a world leading coach such as Butch Harmon, Pete Cowen, Hank Haney, David Leadbetter, Jim McLean, or Dave Pelz.
  • Get custom fitted for a new set of clubs.
  • Play in a European Tour Pro-Am with a player whose name is familiar to even the most casual golfer.
  • Make an Albatross.
  • Go to The Masters.
  • Go to the Ryder Cup

Score - How Far Are You Into Your Golf Journey?

How did you score out of 100?

86–100: Yours is a golf life well-lived—now go for a perfect score.

71–85: Well done, but don’t rest on your laurels.

56–70: Pretty good, but this is one time you don’t want to finish under 70.

41–55: A decent start, but you have so much more to experience.

< 40: And you call yourself a serious golfer!


How many things have you checked off? What else is on your personal golf bucket list? Let us know!


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