Let's put FUN back into the game of golf! PLAY GAMES!
WHAT DO YOU WANT GOLF TO BE FOR YOU? I often hear from women, “my husband/boyfriend wants me to practice, practice, practice. . .and he wants me to be competitive! I don’t want to practice.. .I don’t want to compete! I want him to lighten up!” On the same hand I hear from men, “Beverly, you’ve got to get my wife/girlfriend to practice more, play in tournaments, and get better.” My answer to both parties is: Golf is only fun if you are playing within Your Own Style. It is a game to enjoy, not to be pressure filled with anxiety and worry! So how can you enjoy the game without a lot of anxiety?
I would like to talk about how to add fun to your round of golf. Now listen-up you guys who want your spouses/girlfriends to be more competitive. . .and listen-up you women who want your spouses/boyfriends to lighten up. There is help for you in this article!
First of all, no two people learn the same way nor are they motivated by the same things. Recognize the differences and enjoy them. That is what makes life interesting and what makes people interesting. I love teaching because these differences challenge me to have teaching styles that fit my students needs.
Golf is the only game where you walk around with a report card in your back pocket! Imagine: your score card looks like an elementary school report card with circles and stars. Competition intimidates some golfers and motivates others. Both types of golfers can have a blast on the golf course if games and bets are made to increase competition yet make it fun.
Let’s look at some interesting betting games that will add creativity and fun to your round. . .and make that non-competitive person competitive without them even knowing it! Here are just a few games that you can play with your golf partners. All of these games can be played with a handicap. Some games can be played even if you don’t have a handicap. Here are just a few that you may try to increase your enjoyment.
SKINS: Skins is match play…using handicaps/indexes. Each hole is given a point or a monetary value. You and your partners have to agree on the value placed on each hole. The harder holes usually have a higher value. The player with the lowest score on the hole wins the hole and is awarded the “skin". In case of a tie, the predetermined value of the hole is carried over to the next hole.
BINGO, BANGO, BONGO: This is one of the basic games in golf. Played hole-to-hole, a player collects points as follows: first on the green,1 point; closest to the green, 1 point; first to hole out, 1 point. Add some fun to the game by doubling the bet if a player takes all three points. Or triple the bet if a player takes all three with a birdie.
NASSAU AND PRESS BETS: these are probably the most frequently played bets and the most fun. Nassau is a series of bets that are set up three ways - bet on your first nine holes, second nine and the overall round. If you win more holes on the front nine, you’ll take a Nassau. Press bets are new bets, usually declared when a player is down two holes to his opponent. They are declared because the losing player wants to start a new bet with the hopes of nullifying his losing play or drawing even. You then begin to play the original bet with a new press bet. Here’s an example: If I’m playing John and he’s up two on me (two holes ahead) after two holes, I will press to start a new bet. I then win the next four holes. Not only have I drawn even on the original bet but I am now two up on the press bet. When computing press bets, only the number of bets won count, not the total number of holes.
SCOTCH FORESOME (or twosome): four players play as two partners. John and I play against Steve and Susan . We decide on a playing order in which I tee off first to start the round. My partner, John, hits my second shot, while Steve hits Susan’s second shot. We keep this pattern of play throughout the entire play - in other words, we alternate shots. The person who holes out the previous hole defers to his partner to drive the next hole.
Word of advice however…decide and agree on the game AND the rules before you go out. Playing “golf swing” when you go out to play golf only brings on misery…so play GAMES instead and have a blast!
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