Five Things To Know Before You Play A New Course For The First Time

Posted on: 5 August 2015

Getting a little tired of playing the same course all the time? Often, joining a golf league will give you an opportunity to play other courses; some leagues select a different area course each week.

While you may be enthusiastic about experiencing new courses, you may also have some apprehension. Preparing for your golf outing will help you gain new skills and give you the confidence to play your best. 

Remember that not everything you need to know about a new course is related to your game. You can pick up tips for course management of a new course. But learning a little bit about the club itself can reassure you that you're ready for your round. Here are five things you should investigate before you set foot on a course that's new to you:

1. Dress Code.

Public and private courses may both be part of your golf league's rotation. Even if you're only playing courses that are open to the public at large, there can be variations in preferred attire. You don't want to be the one who shows up in a T-shirt when that's not acceptable under the course's dress code.

If you can't find the dress code on the course's website, and you don't have time to call, play it safe. Wear a collared shirt and long pants that are not made of denim, and you should fit in at nearly any course. 

2. Course Amenities.

Does the course have a restaurant? Is it open when you'll be playing? Is there an on-course pro shop in case you need to buy more golf balls or a hat? 

Knowing what to expect will help you know what to take. You won't need five bottles of water if there's a snack bar or a drink cart that makes the rounds. And, if you lose or break something, you'll know if you have a chance of replacing it right away.

3. Practice Facilities.

Almost all courses have a practice putting green, and many have driving ranges and chipping areas. If you show up a little early, you can warm up and get an idea of how the course plays. Hit a few balls on the range, then learn what you can about the greens from how the practice green putts.

The practice green will show you the approximate speed of the greens on the course, since it will be maintained and mowed the same way. Getting a feel for the speed of the greens will make your round more enjoyable.

4. Condition of the Course.

This one will necessitate a phone call to the pro shop. Find out how long the rough is, how narrow the fairways are, and when the greens were last mowed and how fast they are playing. Don't feel uncomfortable calling to ask; pro shop employees should be familiar with the conditions and let you know what to expect. 

For example, you'll find out if the course is set up for a tournament (harder to score well) or whether some essential maintenance like sanding the greens has taken place recently (slows the greens down). 

5. Basic Layout.

It's nice to know what to expect from a course. Is it really long? Are there more par-3s than normal? You may be able to find out this information online -- sometimes a course website even has tips from the pro about how to play it -- but you may need to settle for grabbing a scorecard as soon as you arrive. You can review it while you warm up.

If you're facing a course that is really hard, remember that you don't have to shoot par to enjoy yourself on the course.

No matter what course you play, you should have fun with your golf league friends. Don't hesitate to ask at the pro shop or starter's tent if you have questions about the course and its facilities.

To learn more, contact a golf course like Beaver Creek Golf Course


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