I was introduced to golf when I was 9. Three of my friends and I joined a youth league at a local par-3 course that summer. We played our rounds every Tuesday morning and followed them up with ice cream and swimming. It was pure ecstasy.
From the moment we decided to join the league to the moment I stepped onto the first tee, I knew what golf was all about: hanging outside with the fellas. It's the core essence of the sport -- and a good chunk of enjoyable things in life. As I got older, I'd say I've mastered this aspect of the game along with keeping my handicap exactly the same as it was when I was nine.
It's why I'm here with you today.
Sure, golf is fun if you can "hit it straight" and "make putts" consistently, but how about hearing the chorus of "Fly Like an Eagle" before ripping a drive?
This is what a casual golf is all about, and I, as a casual golfer am here to lay out how to play the perfect casual round.
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Before you start your round, it's crucial you get a six-pack. Any lite beer should do -- I'm personally a Miller Lite guy. This is where you build rapport with the staff. Crack a joke. Tell them "the only reason I play golf is to bug my wife. She thinks I'm having fun." That's guaranteed to get you some extra ice.
Also, Koozies are a must. Always keep a few extra in your bag. (Pro tip: always keep sunscreen in your bag, too.)
Drinking on a boat with music is what I imagine heaven is like. Golfing with music is the cousin of that.
Every group needs a music/speaker guy to keep everyone loose. Oh, you want to think about your shot? Ok hardo, I'll let Lynyrd Skynyrd take the wheel on my approach. Make sure your speaker is charged, too. The round lives and dies by its battery.
As for playlist selection, classic rock always plays, but it's a group decision.
You're teeing off on the first hole and completely botch it. If you're a real casual golfer, this is to be expected as you didn't stretch or get loose. This is where the breakfast ball comes in.
The breakfast ball is a mulligan on the first tee shot. All group members get one, although not all group members use it. It's always referred to as a breakfast ball by the way, no matter the tee time.
One mulligan per nine. Period. NEVER on putts.
Fluffing it Up & Always Playing Ready Golf
As casual golfers, we still respect the game. We don't talk during back swings, we don't walk in each other's lines, we mark our ball, we take drops.
However, when it comes to letting the guy who's furthest out go first, you can completely ignore it. If you're ready, go for it. Just be sure to let everyone know you're going because, again, you respect the game.
We aren't playing for a green jacket, either. If you're ball's buried deep in the grass, go ahead and fluff it up. If it's under a tree or in the dirt, go ahead and move it to the grass.
Looking For a Lost Ball
Some people will look for their lost ball for hours. We aren't those people. We look for a clean five minutes and call it. Take the drop. Crack open another beer.
At the Turn
Hitting up the bathroom, getting another six-pack (when the bartender asks how your round's is going, respond by saying you mistakenly brought your hacksaw instead of your clubs. You're bound to get extra ice and maybe even an extra beer if you're lucky) and grabbing a bite to eat are essential.
My personal go to is a hot dog, chips and Snickers. Eat it in the cart and be done by hole 12.
The After-Round After Party
A casual round always ends with a post-round beer. No exceptions. Go with a draft if available and change into your street shoes. The low man never pays.
Pick a spot on the patio if you tee off in the afternoon and enjoy the sunset. Inside is acceptable on a hot day.
Follows these steps and you're bound to have a great time on the course. The outdoors, friends, beer and some friendly competition are the true pillars of golf.
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