Are you ready for your golf outing?
Whether this is your 1st outing or 100th, I have put together 10 ways to prepare for your golf outing that if you follow, will help make your round more enjoyable!
1. Do you have the Right Equipment
Alright, so before we jump out on to the course, it’s best to get an idea of what golfing equipment you have. Make sure that you have a COMPLETE SET so that you won’t have any distance gaps in-between your shots. A distance gap is when there is at least a 15-yard difference between one club and the next. For example, if you hit your 7 iron 150 yards and your next club is a 9 iron that you hit 125 yards, there is a distance gap between your clubs. In this particular case, having an 8 iron would close the distance gap so you’ll be able to cover more yardage!
Next, make sure that you have a working golf bag to hold all of your equipment. If you are looking for something quick and cheap, I would recommend grabbing this bagon Amazon. Also, all of your clubs should be clean and ready for play. Dirty golf clubs will affect your consistency out on the course. A quick examination of your golf equipment will let you find out if you need anything extra before your outing starts.
2. Stock Up on Golf Supplies
Now that your equipment is ready for play, it’s time to get your supplies in order. If you are confused with what you need in your golf bag, you should check out my article on my golf accessory recommendations here!
You should be fully stocked up with:
- Golf Tees
- Ball Markers
- Divot Repair Tool
- Golf Towel
- Golf Balls
If you are looking for my choices on golf balls check out my post here
3. Different Types of Outings
Each outing has it’s own set of “golf rules” that the playing field must obey. These are the most popular types of outings that you will find:
- Scramble: This type of outing is the most popular and most used team tournament. The rules of a scramble are to play from the “best shot,” selected by the group, for each shot. At the end of the round, each group will turn in their scorecard where it will be tallied up for potential prizes. Most courses give out a reward for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. This is the best type of outing to play in when you are a beginner because it allows you to learn and become acclimated to the game as you don’t have to hit your every shot.
- Stroke Play: This type of outing is more competitive and usually requires that you have a golf handicap. A golf handicap is the recorded average number you are over par throughout multiple golf rounds. Your handicap will be used to place you with others that are around your same handicap(playing level). A stroke play outing will be an individual event where the lowest score wins. (There are many variations of stroke play events that include your golf handicap as to “level” the playing field.)
4. Signing up for the Event
It’s time to sign up for an outing!
The first step is to find who you are going to be playing with (if playing in a scramble)
- Ask some of your friends who have played golf before
- Ask your family members if any of them are interested in playing in an outing
If you don’t have anyone to play with, let the course know that you want to join as single and they will pair you up with a group. (This all depends on the type of outing you are signing up for)
The next step is finding an outing you want to play in
- Call or look online for outings at local golf courses
- Find a public outing that sounds fun and affordable
Most public courses will host public outings offering prizes, trophies, and dinner. Once you have your team, feel free to scope out courses around your area and find a day that works for everyone in your group!
5. Research Course Scorecard
After you are all signed up, you should now research the course scorecard. A lot of golfers choose outings at courses that they have never played before. While this is a great way to play new courses, it does leave you at a disadvantage for not knowing the hole layouts. That’s why you should review the course’s scorecard to learn:
- Where the hazards are
- Where the hardest holes are located
- What the par of the course is
- What tees you will be playing from
If you are a beginner, I highly recommend reading my article about how to read a scorecard. This will teach you everything you need to know to properly take advantage of the card out on the course!
6. Hit the Driving Range
Get to practicing! It’s time to get your game elevated before you play in your outing. The best way to do this is to go to a nearby driving range and practice areas of your game that you are struggling with.
When out on the driving range, you need to practice the right way by:
- Going through a pre-shot routine for every shot. This simulates real golf play and helps your mind get into a comfortable ritual. Your muscle memory will improve at a much faster rate when you implement a routine.
- Visualize hitting at a flagstick or fairway to hone in your accuracy. Many driving ranges have distance measured flagsticks that you can aim at to mock a real golf shot.
- Remember to hit the practice green after the range to practice your short putts, long putts, and chip shots.
If this is your first outing and you are still hesitant about playing, I would recommend reading my article on why you should invest in a few golf lessons from a PGA Professional.
7. Practice Round
After you are feeling more confident with your swing, it’s best to get a practice round in at the course where the outing will be played at.
Feel free to take notes on the:
- Green Slopes and breaks
- Distances (scope the course)
- Anything else you want to take note of to help during your outing
If you are curious about how to find tee time deals or how you even book a tee time, take a glance at my article here!
8. Show Up Early
- Make sure your equipment is cleaned and organized
- You have all of the necessary golfing accessories
- Are you feeling comfortable with the course and your golf game?
The key to being prepared for your golf outing is to be ORGANIZED. Following the steps listed above will help you feel more focused for play. The next step is to show up early for your outing. All outings start at a specific time. If you are playing in a stroke play tournament, you will likely have gotten information regarding your starting tee time.
You need to show up early for several reasons:
- Most likely, your outing will be in a shotgun format. A shotgun format is when each player is assigned a specific golf cart, and everyone heads out to their assigned hole at the same time. By showing up early, you will be able to find your cart and get situated without feeling rushed.
- You can stock up on any food or beverages that you want before your round.
- Showing up early will allow you time to practice. It is essential to get your muscles warmed up on the driving range and to feel the speed of the greens before play.
9. Figure Out a Game Plan
Before you (or your group) tees off, you need to have a game plan or strategy for your round. This is where all that preparation and research you need did earlier is going to pay off!
Scramble Game Plan
- If you are in a group playing a scramble outing, figure out the order that you want everyone to hit. I see many groups just randomly hit without having an order. This leads to inconsistencies and un-organization on the course. The best strategy is to have your longest hitter go last off the tee. This is best because the other players in your group can hit an iron or layup in good position while the long hitter can swing harder to maximize distance.
- On the putting surface, it’s best to have your most consistent putter go first. This allows the whole group to get an accurate read on the putt, improving your chances to make it.
- Most scrambles use a shotgun format meaning that you will be starting on a specific hole. Take a look at which hole you will be starting on and (if you did your research) prepare for that hole.
Stroke Play Game Plan:
- Know your specific tee time and hit the driving range before your round
- Find your assigned golf cart (if you are using one) and get your bag organized
- Take out your notes from your practice round and go over your strategy for the first hole
- Make sure you are hydrated and have food before your round (notably if the outing doesn’t include food)
10. Understand the Instructions Given at the Course
Each course will have a set of local rules or guidelines that they will go over before the outing. They might explain them over a loudspeaker or on a note in your golf cart.
It is essential to know:
- Which areas may be ground under repair
- Where the pin locations are
- Which tees you are playing from
- Where drop zones are located if you hit in a hazard
- Where to get lunch at the turn
- Where to turn scorecards in after your round
The staff will explain what you need to do out on the course and the rules that you need to follow, so pay attention!
You are now ready to play!
Remember, our ultimate goal is to have a fun time out on the course with either friends or family. These steps are made to help enhance your enjoyment and to improve your confidence when playing.
Here they are again:
- Get all of your golfing equipment together
- Get all of your golfing accessories together
- Sign up for the outing event
- Know which type of outing you are signing up for
- Research the course’s scorecard
- Hit the driving range
- Plan a practice round at the course
- Show up early on the day of the outing
- Figure out your strategy and game plan
- Understand the course’s directions for the outing