Just cuz most of us in the ol’ US of A aren’t out on the course right now, doesn’t mean that now’s the time to stop thinking about golf. Who’d want to do that?! So let’s take this winter break time and have a quick refresher course(ha, get it!) on your basic golf etiquette. This’ll hopefully keep all of us Rock Heads out of hot water come spring!
Etiquette is a word often associated with golf and not often with cavemen. I’ve never quite mastered that napkin thing; in my day we just used pelts. ANYWAY, what is golf etiquette? Etiquette guidelines are in place for the game to keep safety, pace and quality of the sport and its facilities. All golfers need to know the basic guidelines before you step foot on the fairway unless you what to hear some choice four letter words from other golfers.
- When swinging your club: Check your grip, and make sure there are no fellow golfers in your trajectory, or behind you. This will help avoid a bump or two (this goes for practice swings too).
- Make sure the group ahead of you is out of range before hitting the ball, and don’t forget to yell Fore if someone is in the path of the ball.
- If you decide to rent a cart, make sure you follow the suggested guidelines and take caution before you start your reverse spins.
- And above all, NEVER Swing or throw you’re club out of anger. Not only do you look like a child, but you could harm yourself or others
- Take your shot when its your turn. Don’t make groups wait for you, you never know when a golfer is gaining on you who has had a bad day.
- The player Away (who’s ball lies furthers from the hole) should shoot first, but if you are in a friendly match, you can play as ready.
- You are allowed 5 minutes to look for a lost ball, but if you REALLY want to take this time, allow the group behind you to play through before you take your penalty, because I doubt you will find it.
- If you are riding a car, be sure to bring a few clubs with you as you approach your shot, this will prevent you from having to walk back to the cart if you grabbed the wrong one.
- Always leave the putting green as soon as you have finished.
Maintaining the course :
- Observe the cart rules of the course. Don’t go driving all over, unless you absolutely are sure you can jump the sand trap (wheels can damage the sensitive areas of the green and fairway)Repair your divot marks, and ball marks on the fairway and green.
- Rake Sand Bunkers to erase your footsteps and ball marks
- Try to avoid making a divot on practice swings
A few other side notes:
- Don’t speak or yell while someone is trying to swing. They could lose concentration and a club may find its way into yer mouth. Have fun explainin’ that one to the ER nurse.
- Try your best to contain yer emotions after a shot, even though your golfin’ buddies might not mind, you may startle someone who is within ear shot.
- Be careful when casting a shadow, the difference in sunlight may alter the way grass stands, and alter a someone’s putt. Just pretend yer that groundhog and spring is comin’ early…so you know..no shadow.