One of the reasons that golf is such a great game is the etiquette that players show each other as well as the golf course. Ryder Cup histrionics aside, you won't see any serious golfer spike his ball after holing a long putt or trash-talking after a good drive. In a world full of Joe Horns and Terrell Owenses, the sportsmanship of golf is a breath of fresh air. This is a review of the basic golf etiquette that all golfers need to remember.
When another player in your group is getting ready to hit a shot there a few things to remember:
Be far enough away that you won't get hit by their swing
Be behind the player, but at an angle so they can see where you are
There are a couple of things that you can do that will help your whole group play faster:
If you're farthest from the hole, remember you are going to hit first.
Don't daydream! Be ready to hit when it's your turn. Know your yardage and what club to hit, take one practice swing, and get in position to hit while the other player in your group is hitting.
Once everyone in your group has finished the hole, add up the scores on the next tee box.
Place your golf bags on the way to the next tee, not in front of the green your putting on.
Keep an eye on the group in front of you. If you start falling behind them, pick up the pace a bit so you don't hold up the next group.
The greens are the best part of the golf course and the hardest to maintain. Here are a few tips that will keep the greens looking good:
Find your ball mark and repair it. This will keep the green rolling flat.
Don't drag your feet.
Watch other players putting line and go around them.
Never use your putter to take the ball out of the hole, use your hand.
Lay the flagstick down gently, hopefully on the fringe and away from other players putting lines.
Lastly, remember these two things after completing a shot.
Replace your divots or fill the hole with sand or seed mix.
Rake the bunkers.
If all players remember these simple things, the course will stay well-kept, and everyone's round will move along at a nice pace.
November 11, 2008