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It’s true that golf is a competitive sport, but it should also be fun. However, there are days when doing the course is anything but. In fact, it’s even sometimes called a ‘good walk spoiled’. Keep reading to learn a few ways to reduce the frustrations of the game and what benefits they might offer.

First of all, avoid playing the blue tees. Unless you’re so good that your handicap is 10 or under, what’s the point in making golfing more difficult than necessary? If you consistently shoot your way into the 90s or higher, then there’s no real point in consciously deciding to make the whole course harder than it already is. Play from the white tees, and you’re removing a lot of anxiety from your game.

Secondly, improve your lie. If you play recreationally, don’t be stringent about the rules. If everyone did this, than a typical round of golf would wind up taking 6 hours or more on most of the courses around the world. In fact, golfers would either by looking for every one of their lost balls for 10 minutes or going back to their tees when they nail their first one out of bounds. You’re probably already fudging some rules just to save time, so why not play winter rules all year long? Bend the rules so you can improve your lie. You’ll have more fun and save time, which benefits you, your golf party, and those playing behind you.

Third, shake up what games you play. Having regular golf buddies is great. Playing the same game and watching the same people win every time isn’t though. Try variants, like the most single-putts, fewest three-putts, and most fairways hit. Spicing things up takes the boredom and staleness out of your golfing day, challenging everyone to try new things, some of which might become favorites.

Fourth, just try to ground your expectations. Some ‘average’ golfers are lucky to play once or twice a week. Nearly everyone doesn’t practice as much as they should. Don’t worry about where your game should be; just take it as it is. Even professional players have a bad day now and then. Just keep swinging and enjoying.

Fifth, play with those that are close to your level or even a little better. If you play with those far better than you, frustration and doubt are going to build up over time. Likewise, if you play with those a lot less skilled than you, things will get boring quickly. Don’t destroy your enthusiasm for the game by tackling courses that are too hard for you yet or playing with the wrong group.

Sixth, try a good breathing routine or exercise. Breathe deeply anytime you are about to hit the ball. You can learn how to calm yourself down so you’re better able to focus on the ball.

Seventh, spend some time working on the components of your game. That means spending time at the driving range so you get better at teeing off. It could also mean time playing miniature golf with friends and family. The crazy holes mini-golf has can actually help you learn how golf balls work in unpredictable circumstances, which can help your short game.