“If you invite a business client to golf and you’re playing a lot better than him, do you fudge a few shots so that you don’t embarrass him, or do you play your best to impress him?”
Golf Etiquette has a long history and is an integral part of the game. Traditionally, etiquette on the golf course is a learned behavior from simply being around the game for many years. I haven’t seen too many books or instructional videos on the concept.
I define etiquette on the golf course as a behavior that respects yourself, the golf course, your fellow players, and the history of the game. Like any sport, the game of golf is always attracting new players. Most beginning golfers, and even some who have been around the game for a while, never had the opportunity to learn the unwritten rules of etiquette that most seasoned players expect on the course. Most golf or pro shops don’t teach you etiquette when you buy a set of golf clubs for the first time. So, if you are new to the sport, take the time to learn the basics about golf etiquette before you hit the links.
Here are a few basics to golf etiquette
Before teeing off:
• Turn off the ringer on your cell phone or don’t bring it onto the course.
• If you do bring your phone, be mindful of talking, texting, taking pictures and tweeting, which can annoy and break the concentration of your fellow players.
• Remind yourself to play by the rules. Golf has a lot of them, so become familiar with at least the basic rules of play.
At the tee box:
Play by who has the honor system. Whoever has the honor gets to tee off first and the next lowest score goes second and so on.
In the fairway and approaching the green:
• Drive the golf carts in intended areas only; follow the signs!
• Replace your divots.
• Watch where you stand when a fellow player is about to play a shot. It is best to give them space and stand behind their plane of view.
• Do not talk, shout, yell or clap while a fellow player is hitting a shot.
• Keep up a steady pace. Don’t backup the course; keep play moving.
• If your ball travels to an unknown destination or towards another player- for their safety and your wallet - yell FOUR!
In a bunker:
• Rake the sand traps after hitting your shot.
• Knock the sand off of your shoes after hitting your bunker shot and before walking onto the green.
On the green:
• If your ball landed hard on the green, fix your ball mark. There are right and wrong ways to fix the mark. The best way is to insert your repair tool at the edge of the mark and pull toward its center to try to lift up the depressed turf, then tap down on the repaired area with your putter to make the putting surface even.
• Do not walk across the putting line of your fellow players on the green.
• If it’s a sunny day, be mindful of your shadow, not letting it fall across the putting line of your fellow players.
• Remember to tend the flag if requested, if asked or pull the flag when you fellow player is on the green.
After the round:
• After the round you should remove your hat, look your fellow players in the eye and shake their hands.
• If you used a caddie, it is customary to shake their hand as well.
Please leave a comment with some other golf etiquette tips.