Learning how to golf can give you a game that you’ll enjoy for several decades. But it can take a little while before you actually deem your golf game as “enjoyable.” It’s important to avoid putting high expectations on yourself when you’re a novice player; this is a game that takes a long time to master, but some frequent visits to your local golf course and some lessons with the course’s pro can put you on the path toward success. As you work to develop your skills, there are a number of simple ways that you can make your game more enjoyable — and shave some strokes off your score while you’re at it. Here are some suggestions.

Keep Untrustworthy Clubs In Your Bag

The more you play golf, the more that you’ll realize some clubs are just challenging to use. While some lessons can help you refine your skills with certain clubs, don’t be afraid to keep them in your bag for now. Nothing can derail your score and enjoyment of the golf outing as quickly as errant shots from an untrustworthy club, so focus on using the clubs that you hit fairly consistently. For example, many novices struggle with their long irons; instead of using a 3-iron, try a 5-wood, which is often easier to hit with consistency.

Wait For People To Pass

Many beginner golfers feel self-conscious when they make their shot around other players; this can make teeing off on the first hole particularly challenging. It’s easy to rush your shot and end up hitting the ball poorly. When possible, wait for people to pass so that you don’t feel as though you’re hitting in front of a crowd of spectators. For example, if your ball is near the edge of the fairway and there are golfers on the next fairway over, wait until they move on before you take your shot.

Make The Safe Shot

It’s easy to want to play aggressively, especially if you see the pros doing so on TV. Too often, however, an aggressive shot will land in the water, sand, or deep rough, leaving you in a foul mood. There’s nothing wrong with making the safe shot. Instead of trying to drive the corner of a dogleg hole, play it safe by aiming for the middle of the fairway. Your score will likely end up better, and you won’t get the frustration that occurs with losing your ball and taking a penalty stroke.

Keep these tips in mind next time you visit a course like Chaska Town Course.