By “serious,” you know what we mean. Golfers who think about the game just a bit too much, who have an extra set of clubs—or three—around the house, and who keep running lists of just how many top courses they’ve played at home and around the world. In short, our kind of people. Here’s another list, more proof of your devotion to the game.
Play Golf In Wales
We’re assuming you’ve been to Scotland and/or Ireland. Wales doesn’t get nearly the golf attention it deserves, which is a shame, for its great courses—like Royal Porthcawl, Pennard, and Royal St. David’s—are as good as any, while its dozens of smaller tracks like Tenby, Southerdown, and Nefyn and District are charming and unforgettable.
Take A Short-Game Lesson
One mark of a serious golfer is the desire to improve. Not fanatical about it (in fact, knowing your limits while managing expectations is also part of the DNA), but getting better matters. A fast way to cut strokes while having more fun is a better short game: Mastering short shots with a variety of clubs is the sign of a real player.
Regrip Your Clubs
Golf’s version of the new-car smell is the new-grip feel. Grips should be a little tacky and soft, not dry, hard, and slippery. New grips increase your awareness of what the club is doing. Any golf shop (from your pro to a big-box store) can regrip a set of irons in about an hour; extra points for doing it yourself.
Work With A Golf-Fitness Specialist
Much has been learned lately about training the body for better golf, and there are golf-specific trainers at health clubs, working at your golf club, and at specialty golf gyms. Working out while helping your game is the ultimate win-win.
Get Putter Fit
Of course you’ve been club-fit, computer analysis that determines your ideal clubs, shafts, grips, etc. But have you been putter fit? Putting accounts for at least a third of your score, so let science and a trained fitter size up your flat stick. Shaft length, shaft bend, grip size, head construction, head weight—lots of variables could be keeping the ball out of the hole.
Give Your Old Clubs Another Try
Play a round or two with the equipment you yearned for 5, 10, or 20 years ago—knife-thin irons, woods actually made of wood—and see just how much equipment has improved. Or maybe you’ll surprise yourself and hit the ball well, which can only be good for your ego.
Go On A Golf Trip—Alone
No doubt there’s a nice golf destination a few hours’ drive away where you can spend a few days, maybe a long weekend, by yourself. Play as much golf as you want while being paired with new people. Breaking the routine of always playing with the same guys is good for your game—and your civility.
Introduce a Friend To Golf
What could be better than introducing someone you like to the game you love? Your friend might fall in love with it, too, which means you’ve created a new golf partner. And you’ll be helping grow the game. Bonus points if this person is family; double points if he or she is considerably younger than you.
Watch TV Golf With The Sound Off
Try analyzing the swings and strokes of the world’s best players without being influenced by the announcers. You may see something you otherwise would have missed, something that could prove valuable in your own game. (Plus, they all talk too much anyway.)
Take A Non-Golf Golf Trip
Done Scotland? Try Thailand. Played in Phoenix? Now go to France. There are golf resorts and good courses in many locales around the world where the attractions off the course are the main draw. Continental Europe, Asia, South America…bring your clubs and play a few rounds, but make the local culture your prime concern. The golf will be that much more fun, and who knows what else you’ll experience?