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New York is in the top five golf-playing states, as per research compiled by Ryan Plank. It is also a pet-loving state, with New Yorkers owning an estimated one million pets, 600,000 of which are dogs. If nothing de-stresses you more than heading for your favorite greens to hit a few rounds and you’d like to bring your pooch along, read on to discover a few handy tips.

More Courses are Becoming DogFriendly

Golf 365’s Jordan Fuller notes that more golf courses are accepting dogs onto the greens, for one important reason: there is currently a large supply of golf courses in the US. Of course, gold will never lose its appeal, especially for lovers of the outdoors. What other sport allows you to aim your shots while contemplating beautiful scenery and walking through carefully manicured greens? Golf is a traditional sport that allows you to meet new people and actually spend time talking to them and bonding with them as you walk from hole to hole. This is why the game has seen tremendous growth, especially with players aged 13 to 34. Making a golf course dog-friendly increases the attractiveness of the sport for pet owners. Being able to take your dog enables you to avoid feeling guilty about leaving Fido at home. It also allows you to bring your kids along, since they can entertain themselves and Fido while you plan your best shot. Finally, having a dog along can improve your temperament when you hit wayward shots, as dogs are known to have a stress-busting effect on athletes.

Call the Golf Resort First

Many golf resorts in the US allow you to bring one dog along with you, but you should always call first to make sure this is the case. In New York, one resort that is particularly well-known for its dog-friendliness is Bluff Point, and states like California and Washington have numerous courses that accept canine company. Most require you to keep your dog on a leash at all times. This rule exists to prevent pooches from bothering other players while they are concentrating. It also keeps your dog safe from wayward balls and stops them from getting lost or getting distracted by other pooches. Some courses do not have leash requirements, but this is rarer.

Prioritize Good Behavior

Before spending a day out on the greens with your dog, invest in behavioral training if possible. Before spending a day on an off-leash course, your dog should have excellent recall skills and should interact well with other dogs. If your dog is a puppy, start as soon as your veterinarian approves. Dogs that spend time with other dogs from their youth learn vital social cues that can be more difficult to teach them once they are set in their ways.

Maintain Good Hygiene

The number one reason why some courses do not permit pets is hygiene and aesthetics. In order for the human-canine golf experience to work well, golfers need to be assiduous about cleaning up after their pet. They should also ideally bring a bottle of water to pour over grass if their pooch urinates on it. This will help keep the grass in good condition by reducing the concentration of urine.

If you love nothing more than playing golf and spending time with your dog, why not combine these two activities? Do your research and make a few calls, choosing courses that prioritize dog and player safety. Make sure your dog is happy to be on leash for a few hours, and after play, make sure your dog has time off-leash so it can stretch, run, and play games like fetch as a reward for good behavior.

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