If you’re a golfer, and you’ve got a bucket list, odds are that playing Augusta National is on it. There’s a decent chance you’d also like to join Pine Valley and play in the Crosby Clambake with Kelly Rohrbach. Here’s another idea: a list that doesn’t hinge on vast wealth or fabulous connections. We’ve got one for you: 37 (realistic) golf-y things to do before you hit that clubhouse in the sky.
1. Play shoeless, like Sam Snead. It’s amazingly liberating and can actually help free up you (and your swing) to post a great score.
2. Donate a set of clubs to charity. The First Tee is among the many worthy organizations that will take them.
3. Caddie for your son or daughter.
4. Attend a U.S. Amateur. The players are nearly as good as Tour pros and you walk with them in the fairway. This summer would be a good time to make it happen: the Am visits an L.A. classic, Riviera, from Aug. 13-20.
5. Play in less than three hours. (Whaddya know, now you have time for another 18.)
6. Play with hickories and in plus fours. You can even make it official by playing in a hickory golf tournament, like the kind organized by playhickory.com.
7. Read the Rules of Golf. A digital version is available at USGA.org.
8. Play an entire round without making an excuse, talking to your ball or complaining about a result. No tips on how do that. It’s all on you.
9. Take a lesson. The PGA of America can direct you to your nearest pro.
10. Commit to a swing change. Really commit.
11. Concede a sliding four-footer for a half.
12. Play in an LPGA pro-am. It’s surprisingly affordable and the players are refreshingly affable. You’ll find the tournament schedule here.
13. Hit a 300-yard tee shot (even if it’s downhill, downwind and hits the cart path seven times).
15. Make an ace and buy everyone drinks.
16. Forget the ace. Buy everyone drinks anyway.
17. Stop plumb-bobbing. Please.
18. Attend all four majors in one year. And to max out on spectacular venues, try 2019, when you could hit Augusta National, Pebble Beach, Royal Portrush and Bethpage Black in one star-studded season. Check out future major championship venues here.
19. Party your ass off at Topgolf, Las Vegas. Wake up. Repeat.
20. Sleep in the parking lot to land a tee time at Bethpage Black.
21. Charge every putt.
22. Hear a John Daly story — from John Daly. You’ll find him during Masters week, hocking merchandise at the Hooters on Washington Road.
23. While you’re there, scalp tickets to a practice round. For a couple of hundred bucks, you can walk Augusta National, sip $3 beers and raid the killer merchandise shop.
24. Play the Old Course at St. Andrews with a caddie. Here are guidelines on how to book a time.
25. Play a round, anywhere, with just three clubs.
26. Beat the yips.
27. Smoke a stogie with Miguel Angel Jimenez. Tough one, we admit. Announce your intentions by bringing him a box of Cubans to a Champions tour event.
28. Have sex on a golf course. (Hey, according to our polling, one in 10 of you already have!)
29. Have sex while watching Caddyshack.
30. Introduce someone to golf.
31. Play alternate shot.
32. Play the tips.
33. Better yet: Play the forward tees.
34. Sneak onto a Top 100 private course.
35. Compete in a tournament. It’s get your heart racing and give you a whole new appreciation for how hard golf is when you can’t take mulligans, roll the ball over and scoop up four-footers.
36. Really, truly trust your swing.
37. Really, truly don’t worry about results. Relax. Smile. This is supposed to be fun.