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Take a Golf Trip to Test Your Skills

Nov 23, 2014 5:28 AM
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One of my favorite things to do in golf is to travel and play courses in different locations and different climates. I have found over the years that it requires a certain level of golfer to be able to handle the adjustments to a new environment and still be able to post the same scores that they do at home. It is one thing to be able to get the ball around your home course where you know every slope and every hazard - it is quite another thing to do it on a course that you have never seen before when you are thousands of miles from home.

I believe that every golfer should try to take a trip at least once to test how their game holds up under different conditions. Not only is it great fun, but you can also learn a lot about your game and what parts of it need work. I am from the Seattle area where most golf courses are lined with trees and the turf is generally soft and damp. While my game is well suited to those conditions because they are what I am used to, I enjoy heading south to the desert to play on golf courses that are completely different than what I am comfortable with. It requires me to hit different shots, think differently, and adapt quickly in order to shoot good scores.

If you do get a chance to take a golf trip, I have a few quick tips to help you play your best -

  • Figure out yardages first. Depending on where you have traveled, there is a good chance that the ball will fly a different distance than it does at home. For that reason, make figuring out your yardages the first task on your list. Pay close attention to the shots you hit on the first few holes and quickly adjust once you figure out a pattern in the distance of your shots.

  • Ask around. There is nothing quite like local knowledge, and most golf pros will be happy to share their tips. Tell them you are visiting from out of town and that you would appreciate any advice they have on how to play the course.

  • Get out on the practice green. The type of grass used on the courses where you visit might not be the same as at home, so get onto the practice green before your round and figure out what the grass is like. Different grasses affect putting and chipping the most, so pay attention to those areas of your game while making the adjustment.

You don’t have to play great golf to enjoy a golfing vacation - I have played plenty of poor rounds on my trips and still have a memorable time. However, it is always more fun to play well, so I hope my tips can help you dial in your game as quickly as possible.


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