There are many reasons for playing golf. If your number one reason is to have fun, try this playing style. Use a limited set of clubs, and play fast. I’ll explain what I mean.
The rules of golf allow you to carry fourteen clubs. You don’t need that many, though. You can get by just fine with only seven. In fact, Francis Ouimet won the 1913 U.S. Open with that many clubs in his bag.
With a smaller set of clubs, two things happen. You stop getting stressed over getting just the right club in your hands, because except for on the tee and on the green, you hardly ever do. Instead, you take out the club that is close enough and create your own shot. Without too much practice, you will surprise yourself at how good your instincts are, and have a lot more fun because you figured it out on your own. You’re that much more of a golfer.
My set of seven is: driver, 19-degree hybrid, 24-degree hybrid, 7-iron, 9-iron, 56-degree wedge, and putter. With those clubs, I can manufacture almost any shot I need. I shot an 81 one day on a course I had never seen before using this seven-club set. It was easy, and it was fun.
Here’s another benefit. Seven clubs don’t weigh very much. This is a really light bag to carry. Carrying is more fun than carting, believe me.
Now what do I mean by play fast? I don’t mean that you race around the course. I mean you play efficiently, and without delay. On the tee, your driver is ready, you tee up the ball, aim yourself, address the ball, and hit it, just about that fast. If you’re the last player to hit, you pick up your bag and clubhead cover and start down the fairway. You can put the cover on your driver and put the club in the bag as you walk.
From the fairway, you do the same thing. Quickly assess the situation, distance, lie, wind, choose your shot, take your club out of the bag, address the ball, take one look, and swing, again, just about that fast.
On the green, you read the putt, quickly, relying on your first impression, since it’s almost always correct, step up to the ball, take a look, and putt. That fast.
All this sounds like you’re in a big rush. You’re not. You’re just not taking time doing things that have nothing to with hitting your shot. It takes you about five seconds to figure out your shot. Why take 15 or 20? Once you address the ball, why stand there? Get into your stance and hit!
You will find, too, that hitting quickly doesn’t give you enough time to start getting worried about the things you worry about. You do your thinking, hit your shot and it’s over before you had a chance to get nervous. Have you ever played an entire round without getting nervous or caught up in the shots you hit, and instead, just hit them? If you want golf to be relaxing, this is how to do it.
What about your score? It will take a few rounds to get used to playing with fewer clubs, creating shots and playing with distances. When you do, you will probably wonder why you carried so many clubs before.
As for playing fast, I guarantee you will improve, especially on the green. This style makes you play more intuitively. That means not second-guessing yourself all the time and going with what you know is the right thing to do. That calms your mind, which leads to your body hitting your best shots more often, which means lower scores.
Play light, play fast. Give it a try yourself. You might never go back.