Golf has a negative reputation among non-players. They see it as boring and unchallenging compared to contact sports. Even golfers who love the game get bored if they’ve played the same way, on the same San Diego golf courses, for a long time. If you’re an avid golfer who feels stuck in a rut, there are several ways to spice up your game.

Go for Challenging Courses

San Diego golf courses are some of the most challenging in the country. Maderas Golf Club and the surrounding clubs offer several difficult holes that will improve your scores, confidence, and overall approach to the game. The par 5 14th hole at Maderas, also known as The Monster, is one of the most difficult.

This hole is more challenging on the green than off, because everything slopes directly toward a canyon. The hole also contains a large ravine, which makes it impossible to go straight to the green without a long walk uphill.

Of course, par 3 holes are often more challenging than their longer counterparts. The 17th hole at Grand Golf Club is a great example. The wind usually comes from the west, making it more fickle and distracting than usual. You also have to use a wedge to get the maximum spin, height, and velocity from the ball. Lining up each shot is crucial.

Courses with hazards are also excellent challenges. We recommend the par 4 4th hole at Torrey Pines golf course for those who enjoy hazards. Water surrounds the hole on the left, while the right side is covered in bunkers.

Make Fun Rules

Rules are the cornerstones of any sport, but in golf, you have more room to make your own. Tee off anything you like, such as the tops of beer cans. Have a death match on the putting green or at a mini-golf course if a round ends in a tie. Put down your clubs altogether and see who can toss a ball closest to the pin. These are great ways to take the pressure off intense golf games, especially in the days leading to competitions. They’re also a great way to get beginner golfers invested in the game.

Plug In

Technology has so infiltrated our world, we’re all anxious to stay “unplugged” when we can. However, technology spices up a golf game like nothing else. Take along your iPod and leave it in the golf cart, but park a short enough distance so you can hear. Be careful with the volume; don’t disturb other golfers.

Once the distance and volume are taken care of, listen to anything you like. Let the music set the mood. For example, try “Eye of the Tiger” or “We Are the Champions” for a difficult par 4 or par 5 hole. Play Handel’s “Water Music” to poke fun at water hazards or invoke the classical, gentlemanly and ladylike spirit of golf. Consider incorporating music into the rules; for instance, you must do the grapevine up to the green when a Motown song comes on.

Drop Holes and Clubs

You don’t have to play 18 holes for a good round of golf, and you don’t have to bring a full bag of clubs. Some golfers recommend a dozen holes for an ideal game, but you can play as few as nine or even six. Bring only your favorite clubs, or those that will serve you best on a particular course. If you feel especially confident, one to three clubs may suffice.

Stop Keeping Score

Yes, you read correctly – throw out the scorecard, particularly while you’re learning. Ignoring the score removes personal pressure and gives you more time to build camaraderie with other golfers. It also gives you more time to focus on improving your stance and swing, not you’re your strokes.