There is a famous quote attributed to Mark Twain that says “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” Well your dog would definitely disagree and say “Golf is an excellent opportunity for extra walkies!” Just think how far you could go if you were playing 18 holes. Golf is actually the 3rd most popular sport in America - according to the National Golf Foundation, 24.3 million people play regularly. If your golf course allows it, taking your dog can be a good training opportunity and a fun way to exercise, and as long as your dog is fairly calm, they can be a wonderful golfing companion.

Doggy essentials

Make sure that you only take your dog onto the golf course if it is a relatively cool day. Most golf courses have little or no shade, and you don’t want your dog to get too hot in the sun. In your golf bag, always take a canister of water and some food/treats for your dog. Taking a leash is an absolute essential too, you don’t want to take a chance that your dog will run off, or get in the middle of someone else’s game. A top tip is to keep one end of the leash tied to your caddy bag. Make sure that you take bags for dog poop too, it is your responsibility as a dog owner to keep the green pristine.

Keeping your dog calm

If you have a dog that loves to chase and retrieve balls, such as a Labrador,  they will probably get very excited on the golf course. Hitting the golf ball with a long stick will seem like a very fun game to them, so you will need to take a distraction. A tennis ball is a good option, or something interesting to chew, such as an antler. Some people find that having their dog with them when playing golf helps to calm their own nerves. If you are feeling the pressure when playing golf, and you find it affecting your score card, having regular social games without the stress of competition can help. You can then concentrate on improving your playing technique without worrying if you are over par.

In the golf cart

If you are taking your dog in the golf cart, it is advisable to use a dog harness that attaches to the seat belt of the cart. This will stop your dog from jumping out when you are moving at speed. Simply having your dog on the leash isn’t secure enough, as there is the risk that the leash could get tangled in the golf cart wheels. Using a golf cart that has doors is also a good idea. If you have a small dog, bringing a bed or blanket in the cart may encourage them to sit and rest whilst you play your game.

Dogs can be great companions when you are playing golf. They will certainly appreciate going for a lovely, long walk on some nice, soft grass.