Golf column: the long and short of it

Last weekend, my daughter Payton, 3, hit her very first tee shot. While it may have only traveled a short nine yards, it was immeasurably enjoyable to see the smile on her face. It reminded me that golf is a game that can provide lifelong enjoyment, unforgettable moments and plenty of difficulty.

PGA pro shows his little one how it’s done.

PGA pro shows his little one how it’s done.

The decisions book for the rules of golf is 713 pages long. Rule 19-1/7 states that if a player takes a stroke on a putting green and it is picked up, carried away or deflected by a dog that the stroke is canceled and must be replayed. Unfortunately, this is very bad news for those of you who have trained your dog to put golf balls in the hole.

Many golfers complain that they hit the ball too short and that the golf course is too long. Because of this, many decide to forego taking up the game altogether. For these reasons the USGA and PGA of America are promoting Tee It Forward. This program encourages all golfers to play faster and have more fun by moving up a set of tees. This allows you to hit more lofted irons into the greens, lower your score and hopefully increase your enjoyment of the game.

While teeing it forward will most certainly speed up your round, the stigma that golf takes too long remains. A typical 18-round of golf can take over four hours to play, which is more time than many have in one day to devote to a single round of golf. There are many golfing options that are far less time consuming and equally socially enjoyable.

Golfing options

• A nine-hole round on a championship course

• A round of golf on a short/executive length course

• A trip to the driving range and/or short-game practice green

• Mini golf (hint: hit the putt as soon as the clown’s mouth begins to open)

Get Golf Ready

Have you been away from the game too long or are having trouble knowing where to start? Get Golf Ready is a program designed to teach everything you’ll need to play golf in just a few lessons. PGA and LPGA professionals will show you that there are lots of ways to play by combining fun, friends and fitness.

Each session will focus on the various golf skills you will use while playing. In addition to learning the basics, you will be guided onto the golf course to put your skills into action in a casual, friendly setting.

Bring yourself, a desire to have fun and perhaps a few friends to enjoy the great outdoors. Golf clubs, balls and other equipment will be provided for your use.

Year-round golf

Some say that the golf season is too short in Minnesota. Bunker Hills is among several facilities that have year-round golf through the use of state-of-the art golf simulation technology.

We all know that life is short and golf will be there for you as long as you live.

For information on golf pricing and availability at Bunker Hills Golf Club, you can visit bunkerhillsgolf.com or call the Bunker Hills golf shop at 763-755-4141.

For a full list of golf courses and contact information visit the Minnesota PGA website: minnesotapga.com.

For more information on Tee It Forward and Get Golf Ready programs visit www.playgolfamerica.com.

Tim Anderson is PGA pro at Bunker Hills Golf Course, Coon Rapids.

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