Now that you've taken up golf, chances are a friend or co-worker is going to invite you to play in an upcoming outing. Whether you're just getting into it or you've enjoyed the game for some time, the invitation is a testament to your personality and a great chance to put your budding golf skills to work in a generally low pressure arena.
Most outings are for charity or for fun; typically, you are part of a team! If you're not yet as talented on the course as you'd like to be, someone else in you're group will likely make up for it. If you're a whiz on the links, you will be most appreciated by your higher handicapped teammates. Either way, getting ready for your next outing is a snap when you perform these three easy steps:
1. Prepare Your Look
If you look good, you feel good and ready to take on whatever comes your way. Most golf courses have a dress code, but don't be intimidated by it - embrace it! Golf attire is traditionally shorts, skirts, Capri's or pants and a polo shirt with collar, golf shoes with a low profile sock, sunglasses and a ball cap or visor if desired. Maybe you want to have a little more fun with it then that; check out our Nike pro shop for the latest in women's golf fashions that are both comfortable and stylish. Whatever you wear, be sure to:
Call the course ahead of time and ask about dress code.
Ask your host what others plan to wear.
Check the weather for the day of the outing. Bring additional layers if necessary. Make sure you have rain gear in your golf bag.
Take a peek in your closet at least a week before the event so you know you have something that will work.
Shop if necessary!
2. Prepare Your Game
Depending on your handicap and playing experience, take some time to hit balls at the range or practice chipping and putting at least twice before the event date. This will build a little confidence before you step onto that first tee and start swinging away. Even though outings tend to be just for fun, consider these tips to help you prepare:
Ask your host what she would like to accomplish. Is your team going to be competitive and try to win or just have fun?
Tell your pro that you are playing in an outing and ask her for help with parts of your game that would most help your team.
Visit the course's website and view the scorecard and or/hole layouts.
Establish a handicap. If you do not have one, at least be prepared to give the pro shop your average 18-hole score.
Ask your host about the format of the outing. Will you be asked to play your own ball or is it a team "scramble" (play from the best shot of the group each time)?
Check your equipment at least a week before the event.~Do you have at least two sleeves of balls?~Are your clubs clean and arranged neatly in your bag?~Do you have a clean towel?~Is your glove in good condition?~Are your shoes missing any spikes?~Do you have a ball marker and divot repair tool?~Do you have enough tees?~Do you have an umbrella? Do you have your rain gear?~Do you have a few dollar bills for bag room/caddie tips?
3. Prepare Your Mind
Golf is not exactly a no-brainer. There are a few things to keep track of while you're out on the course. The last thing you want to be is the person on the team everybody else has to look after. Show your respect for your playing partners and the event by executing the following before, during and after the round:
Pack your gear or put it by the door the night before. Make sure you have gas in the car!
Be there at least a half hour before your tee time. If there is a registration "window", arrive in the first half of the timeframe, not at the last minute.
Greet your host as soon as you arrive.
If it's a shotgun start (everyone goes off at the same time), be at your cart 15 minutes prior to the start.
READ the rules sheet for the event, don't just glance at it and expect someone else to explain it to you later.
On the course, encourage and demonstrate fast play. Be ready to hit when it's your turn.
Be supportive of others' shots; don't be too hard on yourself!
Remember: any day on the golf course is better than one at the office. No matter how you play, you will be remembered longer for how you behaved.
Write down your playing partners names and e-mails so you can follow up with them after the event.