11 golf watching strategies that spectators love to use
Few tips on how to enjoy a golf tournament as a spectator.
There is a basic difference between watching golf and any other outdoor sport such as basketball or soccer. As far as other games are concerned, spectators simply take their seats at the stadium and watch the drama unfolding in the ground. But golf is different. Talk of a golf tournament and If you have been to any of the tournaments as a spectator, you know that it's simply impossible to get more than a glimpse of what is going on in the links.
Even that calls for an excellent planning. And a lot of walking. In fact, golf is one of the sports that calls for a lot of ‘action’ if you watch it in person. Especially so if you are attending a summer tournament at a tough golf course in Texas, where you will have to walk up and down the undulating course under the sweltering sun to keep up with the game.
Major golf tournaments attract big names, and that's why it's so much fun to attend them. But nothing is more frustrating than spending thousands of dollars to secure an entry pass to the golf club with no chance of watching your hero taking that epic shot. Face it. Watching golf can be extremely difficult during a major championship if you don't have a smart strategy in place.
The crowd is big, the course is challenging, and the weather is fluctuating. And with thousands of people cramming the course, it becomes next to impossible to get a closer look at the players, even if it happens to be the world's most spectator-friendly course. So, here are a few winning strategies for golf spectators:
Obtain a course map and study it carefully. This will enable you to draw out a game plan well in advance.
1) There are two ways you can catch the action in the most convenient fashion. Either secure a place by a hole and watch the groups play them turn by turn, or follow a group by walking beside the players from hole to hole. Now, that is easier said than done, especially if the group is composed of heavyweight golfers like Zach Johnson and Rory McIlroy. So why not work out a combined strategy— walk a little and sit a little? For both, you will have to come prepared. Rule one — carry a good pair of golf shoes. If you want to station yourself strategically near a hole, bring a chair, a dark pair of shades, sunscreen and a large-brimmed hat. In whatever ways you wish to enjoy the tournament, don't forget to pack an umbrella.
2) Attend one of the pro-am rounds to watch some slow-mo golfing. During these sessions, you can expect to see some dark horses of golf in action. Here the crowd is smaller, and you will find it easier to maneuver between holes. And if you are in luck, you might manage to get autographs of some of the golf's rising stars.
3) Camp within a few yards of the range if you are eager to watch your favorite players hitting the shots. You can see them make their way to the link, get a better view of their techniques, and appreciate the consistency with which they make the balls to land on the right holes.
4) Arrive early at the course when there is a smaller crowd. Take advantage of this desolation and quickly tour the course to map out a strategy. There will be fewer spectators, which means, you will be able to get a better look at the holes.
5) If strenuous exercise is not your cup of tea, simply choose a hole and stay there. However, you will have to stay content by watching all the groups taking shots to one hole. A hole near a tee box or in the bleachers behind a green will be your best bet. From these locations, you will get to see everybody, at least for a little while.
6) Are you a big Tiger or Phil fan who wants to follow the star performer for the entire round? As enthusiastic fans will tell you, this is going to be nothing short of an adventure. If you are resolved to watch your hero in action, be prepared to put up with some hassles. Even after a long planning, you may not get the best position on every hole.
7) If your goal is to see as many players as possible, invest a good deal of time in planning. Make a list of the time and location details. On a pairing sheet, map out when and where your favorite players are scheduled to tee off.
8) There was a time when cell phones were banned from the course. But the ban does not hold anymore. Of course, you need to keep it on silent mode, and never take a call while near the action. Use the designated 'Phone Zone' instead. You can take pictures during practice sessions, but don't use it during any championship.
9) You must wear the right clothes to a golf course, and no matter how excited you are for an upcoming ‘encounter’ with Woods, keep in mind that a golf tournament is definitely not an occasion to reach out to your couture wardrobe. Avoid everything that is flashy and opt for simple, classic style. Pay special attention to your shoes – a sturdy pair of sneakers or tennis shoes make the perfect choice for a golf day-out. Ladies can opt for cute sandals or pumps for a style statement.
10) Don't make noise when the players are hitting the ball. When asked, you can offer a helping hand to find a lost ball, but never ever touch a ball, if your assistance is not requested. And restrain yourself from asking for autographs even when you find yourself in the close proximity of your dream golfer.
11) Whether you got a free ticket to an amateur event at a local golf club or are headed to watch the US Open, you must chalk out a strategy in advance to make the most of your time in the greens. Know what? Golf is not an easy sport, and it's even more difficult to be a good golf spectator. Remember our tips, be sensible with your cell phone, put on the right attire, don't be an obstacle to the game, and you will be a good spectator. Enjoy the game and most importantly, let the others enjoy it too.