As great as membership at a golf club can be there are some disadvantages to it. For some playing other golf courses is not in the budget. However, even if money is not an issue once you pay for a membership you almost feel obligated that is the golf course you have to play when available.
I may have talked about this before in another blog post but when you play the same golf course all the time it can stagnate your golf game. You get to know the golf course so well that you play the same shots and may even be hitting the same clubs on every hole. You can mix up what tee you play from but around the greens, you still end up with the same chip and pitch shots that you know how to play on that golf course. Some golfers score better at their home course and this can give those golfers a false sense of what their handicap should be. Then there are some golfers that actually play better away from their home golf courses because it causes them to focus on their game a bit more.
There are 3 ways playing different golf courses can improve your game. All you need to do is add a different golf course 1 or even 2 times out of every 5 rounds of golf you play.
The main reason for this is to get a truer measure of your handicap. In many cases, it may actually raise your handicap index. This will happen based on the different difficulty ratings of each golf course. For those that play in money games at their home course, this may benefit you in an extra shot or two.
You can learn to play or get more comfortable with multiple shots. When you play different golf courses you get a different design and layout that allows you to play a wider variety of golf shots you may not play at your home golf course. This could be off the tee(s) or just around the greens. Having multiple shot variety in your game allows you to be more creative around the greens or manage your way around the golf course better. Both lead to lower golf scores.
Get better at reading greens. Seeing greens at different golf courses with different contours can cause you to pay attention more to the breaks in the green. At your home course, you get to know how every green break and you may no longer read the greens the way you should. At a different golf course, you are not used to you pay attention to the slopes a bit more. When you start reading putts at multiple golf courses you start to learn and see more of the contours of the greens. This allows you to see them better for any round of golf you play and may even improve your green reading at your home course.
To be honest with everyone this is not something that may benefit every golfer. There is a slight drawback and that could be that there is not enough consistency to play better. However, unless you are playing courses in different regions there is enough consistency between golf courses in the Greater New Orleans area. The majority of golf courses in our area are all pretty flat and have the same or similar grasses.
Of course, there is one other great benefit of playing multiple golf courses. It is a good way to show support for New Orleans area golf or the area you live in.