Jack Nicklaus says “Play golf for fun!” Here’s How
After I became a charter member of my home golf club, I was treated to an inaugural round of golf with our course designer and famed golfer, Jack Nicklaus. As we played the course with Jack and started to tee off on hole #3, he turned to our group and said, “Let’s play from the blue tees on this hole”. Then he added, “Unless you are a serious, competitive golfer, who keeps his handicap index score every round, I recommend changing the tees you hit from on each hole. You know on some holes, it just seems like more fun to play from the forward tees, and on other holes, you might like to see what you can do from the back tees. Don’t be afraid to change tee boxes to have more fun, change it up and make the course fit your game. That’s what I had in mind by putting five tee boxes to choose from on every hole.”
That comment and Jack’s tacit approval for the “non-competitive” golfer to play golf differently from the “serious” golfer”, and to play golf for FUN, has allowed me and my friends to play golf in a much more enjoyable way ever since. Oh sure, I’ve played serious competitive golf at my home course, Pebble Beach and other courses, including Torrey Pines in San Diego, where I made my only “hole-in-one” on hole #8 South Course, ( 6 iron from 170 yards.) But truth be told, I have more fun, playing the way I discuss in my monthly columns.
I find that many older golfers especially, have given up golf because they can’t hit the ball the way they used to and because their body is not as flexible and capable as it once was. This is a shame and not necessary, especially if you approach the game differently, with new ways to play it and new guidelines for emphasizing FUN! I hope to bring these ideas and practices to our readers every month and encourage all of you to think about playing golf, the FUN way!
In this monthly column, I’m going to make the case of playing FUN golf, versus playing SERIOUS golf.
Hitting a golf ball straight is hard enough. Let’s not make the game even harder by following some very strict and sometimes puzzling rules and “proper etiquette”. In my sessions I joke with my clients by saying, “If the ball goes to the left, it’s a “hook, if it goes to the right, it’s a slice, and if it goes straight down the middle…it’s a MIRACLE!”
Playing golf can be very enjoyable and stimulating. Its outdoors, its great exercise and it’s very social and good for you in so many ways. Most golf courses are beautifully landscaped with flowers, waterfalls, ponds, and bridges. They are a treat for the eyes and senses. Why not have fun while you are taking in ALL THIS BEAUTY?
PS When you’re ready to Putt more FUN in your game, give me a call!
By Tom Lynott, Golf Basics Coach 619-955-0633