The keys to everyone enjoying golf

Have fun golf is a great game filled with highs and lows enjoy the good shots and accept the poor ones it’s all part of the game.

Enjoy your playing partners and understand your positive attitude is a big part of them enjoying their day.

Safety whilst there are minor risks involved in the playing of golf the following information will keep you as safe as possible.

· Always stand a minimum of 4 meters away from golfers while they hit.

· Never get on the target side of a golfer when they are hitting.

· Before you swing a club always make sure it is safe to do so by checking your surroundings.

· Make sure the group in front is out of your range.

· If you do hit a shot that has potential to hit another golfer shout out “FORE” loud enough to be heard. If you hear “FORE” being yelled out cover your head and turn in the opposite direction from where it is being yelled

Speed of play, is the second most important key of playing golf. As a golf course is a communal space its important, we do our best to keep moving so other golfers are not held up as people are here to play not wait for you to play.

· Clearly mark your ball with a permeant marker and watch it closely after you hit it so you can find it.

· know when it is your shot and be ready to play without delay when it is safe to do so

·  Your job is to keep up with the group in front, if they are not yet out of range at very least be on the tee or by your ball ready to hit as soon as it is safe to do so.

· If there are other people following you and you hit a bad shot it is not acceptable to hit another ball. You must own the shot good or bad and play it from where it goes. If it is lost while in social play simply go to a point near where you last saw it and play another one when it is your turn.

· Golf conversations are stop start and playing golf is the priority so you must play your shot when it is you turn and return to the conversation after the shot is played

Understanding your ability is the third key to enjoying your golf.

· Golf is the greatest sport because people of all different abilities can play together, playing your own game rather than trying to emulate your playing partners is very important.

· If the shot you know you can play with the highest percentage is only a half swing with an iron that’s fine even all the way down the longest hole. The key is to keep practicing and gradually you will improve to bigger swings and the ability to hit more clubs, trying to rush improvement never ends well.

· Having shots, you know you can play on the course is very different to the what you can do on the driving range. The driving range can create a false rhythm of ball after ball which you can’t reproduce on the course. To improve on course play, try and get out and play more holes in quiet times without scoring where you can try different shots and new clubs with worrying about results.

· Don’t listen or give advice while playing a round of golf as having new information buzzing around you head when trying to play generally doesn’t help you get better. Giving or receiving advice during a round is actually against the rules of golf so even if you not competing it’s good to not fall into the habit of taking advice from others. Whilst advice is generally given with the best intentions it is always best to only take advice from qualified teaching professionals.

· Accept bad shots and simply try again you will be amazed at the slight alterations your subconscious makes to improve. Golf is an inconsistent game played in ever changing conditions on uneven surfaces so your brain has to make all sorts of calculations to adjust and nothing beats experience, be patient.

Course care is the fourth key to everyone enjoying golf. Because golf is played in a beautiful environment its important all golfers do their best to look after it leaving it in as good if not better condition than they found it.

· Replace divots and or fill with sand if sand buckets are available

· Rake bunkers to smooth out foot marks and divot marks made through entering and playing shots. If no rake is available use your foot to do as good a job as possible. Avoid walking up steep banks in bunkers always try and access and leave from the lowest point of the bunker.

· A ball that lands on the green often leaves a pitch mark using a tee or pitch repairer fix the indentation by pulling the grass back into the middle and then tap down with your putter.

· Fixing damage made by others when you have time to do so is a great habit to get into and example to set. If we all do our bit golf will be the better for it.