9 Things to Do in Golf Before You Die
The game of golf is often gift enough for many of us. Being out with friends as you explore some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, whilst also being able to challenge yourself to improve each time you set foot on the first tee. However, what if you want more? What if you really want to tick of the absolute best things to do in the sport before you sink your last putt. Check out our list below of the 9 best things to do in golf during your lifetime!
Play at St Andrews
It’s the Home of Golf and a pilgrimage that everybody should make at least once in their lifetime; although it may take several trips to become fully entranced with the Old Lady, as it’s often known. The routing is famously out-and-back, with a loop around holes 8-11 turning you back for home. This means that more often than not you’ll come away feeling like you’ve played two entirely different golf courses given the regularity of the wind. However, despite all the grandeur and legacy of this famous track, the real beauty is in some of the subtleties. There’s barely a flat putt on the course, and seemingly benign holes such as the 18th can become dastardly with a pin tucked over the ‘valley of sin’ on the front left of the green. It’s a wholly magical course, in the centre of an unbeatable golfing town, and something that everybody should definitely endeavour to experience.
Visit Augusta National
It’s not quite as simple to get a tee time at Augusta National Golf Club. Indeed, merely asking around for a connection may be enough to rescind your chances of setting foot on one of the most famous first tees in the sport. However, visiting the course is an achievable goal for every fan of the sport, regardless of golfing ability! Each year The Masters signals the traditional start to the major season, and although the ballot for tickets directly from the tournament can be tough to win, there’s no shortage of Tour Operators such as Golfbreaks who can assist in the securing of tickets, flights, accommodation and even a round of golf in the area. The best thing about heading to the tournament in person? You’ll be able to truly appreciate the magnitude of the elevation changes at the course every time you watch the tournament in years to come!
Attend a Ryder Cup
Another tournament to tick off your bucket list is arguably the most rowdy of them all. The bi-annual Ryder Cup pits Team Europe against Team USA in a rivalry that dates back decades. Home Ryder Cups are particularly enjoyable, largely thanks to our dominance on European soil. That said, just making it to the event is a memory that is sure to last a lifetime. Where else can you get as dressed up in European blue and yellow, whilst belting our round after round of Ole, Ole, Ole’s?! Plus, the format means you’re able to follow your favourites around throughout their week, or simply park up alongside a great par 3 green and soak in the action. As with trips to Augusta, the kind folk at Golfbreaks are also able to assist, should you be looking to head over to Italy to support our boys in 2023.
Go On a Golf Trip With Friends
Perhaps you’re more keen on playing, rather than watching; but you’ve only ever ventured around your local area. Why not get the group together and head off on a golf trip? Whether you head overseas, or pick one of the UK’s fabulous resorts, there’s nothing quite like getting away for a few days with your mates, with the golf at the centre of the action. Dependent on the size of your group, you might even want to organise your own Ryder Cup-esq event, with points accumulated across the trip. Or conversely, forget keeping score, and simply enjoy the experience of staying and playing somewhere new!
Make an Ace
Ok, we admit this one might not wholly be within your control, but one of the greatest joys in golf is making an ace. That smug feeling of walking into the bar following the round, waiting for somebody to ask how your round went! Although tradition dictates that the lucky golfer offers to buy the drinks, many club members now benefit from hole-in-one insurance through their annual subs, taking the sting out of the financial pain that was once associated with an ace. And if being the hero of the day isn’t enough for you … it’ll also be sure to help your scorecard!
Introduce Somebody to Golf
This one is a little easier. It’s one thing to improve your own golf, but there’s no satisfaction quite like introducing somebody else to the sport. Whether it’s a child, a work colleague, a partner, or none of the above, the thrill from seeing the light go on in their head as they make that first sweet connection with the ball is unsurmountable. The game has long depended on its players to pass that enjoyment on to future generations, and if we all endeavoured to introduce just one person to the sport during our lifetime, golf will be destined to continue long after we’re gone.
Play With a Caddie
It’s not just the tour pros that can benefit from the use of a bag-man. Every golfer can learn from a second set of eyes; acting as a positive sounding board, or helping to read a tricky putt. Whilst there’s few things more enjoyable that being in the company of friends throughout the round, it can be a little awkward to ask if they’d like to wander around carrying your bag, rather than playing themselves! That’s where organisations such as the Tour Experience come in. During their off-weeks, professional caddies from the European and PGA Tour offer out their services to average golfers - with no stipulation on the sort of round you might be playing! Why not treat yourself for the club championships? Or perhaps enlist their services for a practice round to elicit some unbiased outside counsel on your game. However you choose to use them, there’s few things as beneficial for your game.
Go Through a Full Custom Fitting
Something that has surged in popularity over recent years is the club fitting. Most major manufacturers now speak regularly about the benefits of going through a custom fitting to ensure you’re playing the right gear for your game. After all, if you’re going to be spending some of your hard earned cash on new sticks, you better make sure they’re the right ones for you! Something that Golfshake Travel Editor, Andy Waple recently discovered. Even if you aren’t necessarily looking to purchase right away, understanding what you need from your golf clubs (and making sure yours fit the brief) can be hugely helpful, giving you peace of mind as you enter a new season. What’s more, like utilising a caddie, custom fitting is no longer the reserve of the world’s best, with most pro shops offering some sort of fitting service.
Win a Competition
So you’ve worked with a caddie, and bought some shiny new clubs after a custom fitting. Heck, you’ve even had an ace! Now the time has come to step up and finally claim the ‘W’. Any victory is enjoyable, but being the toast of the club for a few weeks is particularly special … you might even get your name on the honours board! Check out How to Improve Your Scores in The Monthly Medal for inspiration. One of the things that makes golf so enjoyable is the ability for everybody to compete on a level playing field, thanks to the handicap system. And so with all that in mind, we’d say this is something that you definitely want to tick off your golfing bucket list before you … well, kick the bucket!
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