Ask Emma: Why can't I find the fairway?

The Scoop

PGA professional Emma Booth answers your burning questions, including how to help beginner golfers and cope with lazy score keeping

Do I need to relax a bit?

Question: It irritates me that beginners don’t seem to know the proper etiquette for golf. Do I just need to relax a bit or should I try and teach them some respect for the rules? Vicky, Bristol

Answer: You don’t need to relax a bit, you need to relax a lot! Can you really not remember what it was like to be a beginner at golf?

Golf is a big game to learn. Not only do you have to learn how to hit the ball, all the different types of shots and clubs to use, plus how to set up and use them you, you also have to learn the basic rules of the game, how to play on the course, mark a card, and finally on top of all that the etiquette!

So yes, you need to chill out. From my experience, etiquette is one of the last pieces of the puzzle to get a player ready to take on the course.

If you come across anyone that is missing basic things in terms of course management or etiquette, kindly advise them on what to do, but don’t be irritable about it!

Why won’t she keep score?

Question: My friend never knows the score when we’re playing matchplay. She seems to think that it’s my job to work out the shots and match situation. I don’t mind most of the time, but it gets a bit wearing! Gemma, Manchester

Answer: I can imagine that being responsible for scoring all the time does get wearing!

Next time you play tell her that you want a day off from being scorekeeper and that it’s her turn. Don’t pussyfoot around it!

Tell her on the 1st and then stick to your guns. If she knows you’ve asked and you’re not doing it for her, she’ll have to step up and do it herself. If this tactic doesn’t work, try a little gentle sarcasm, something along the lines of: “Do you want me to hit the ball for you as well as keeping your score?”

Hopefully she’ll get the hint that you’re fed up of doing it!

Why can’t I find the fairway?

Question: I simply can’t find the fairway on our 6th hole. It’s a blind tee shot, but even though the fairway is generous and there’s a marker post to aim at, I still never seem to make a good swing! Emily, Doncaster

Answer: There are two issues that need to be considered here. The first is your fear of this hole and the tee shot itself.

As I’ve said in previous answers, you produce what you fear. You’ve convinced yourself that you are unable to play the hole yet you can play all the others just fine. You need to give yourself a good talking to, roll up your sleeves, pick your target and whack the ball there! You are attaching far too many emotions to what is just another golf shot.

The second area that you may need to work on is pre-shot routine. If you’ve not got one already or you’re unsure of how to do this go to your club pro and she/he will help you create one. Pre-shot routines help to focus the mind on the task at hand. This means you’ll have less opportunity to have negative emotions towards this shot.

I hope this helps!

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