Golf is the most challenging and fun game that you will ever play. It is governed by rules and etiquette that must be followed strictly. The combination of rules and etiquette abided by makes a round of golf pleasant, peaceful, enjoyable, refined and exciting! It is a gentleman’s game, indeed.
Just to make it clear, I call this gentleman’s game, because it constitutes a set of rules and etiquette that are obligatory to follow. It does not literally mean that only “men” can play this game. All types of genders and all ages can definitely play. Mind you, this article will only cover the more important etiquette part of the game. You can find more information at the PGA or USGA websites.
Going back, you will find players who rampantly break the rules, very unethical, and complain all the time. These types of players think they own the course, including the work force. These are self-centered personalities who ought to learn more about etiquette.
The “Golden Rule” states “do unto others what you want others do unto you”. The formula is so simple that many people, or players for that matter, ignore it! In fact, the golden rule is exactly the same as a good or bad karma. What goes around comes around. Therefore, be good.
When you go play on the course, carry with you happy thoughts, a kind and honest heart, fun attitude, and set aside egos. This will make your game better than expected, thus enjoying it even more. When you are tuned in to more positive thoughts and feelings, good things will come to you instantly. I suppose, better shots, too!
Be on the golf course at least 45 minutes earlier than your tee-time. This will allow you to take your time and keep a good pace before you start the first hole. Besides, you don’t really want your flight mates to wait for you and cause delay on a scheduled flight.
Keep up with a good pace of play and avoid undue delay. Avoid unnecessary text messaging, phone calls, and excessive amount of practice swings. A long wait for your flight mate normally disrupts your focus, good moods and often triggers impatience. It also eventually delays the pace of play the flight behind.
While waiting on the tee-box, it is most appropriate to wait on the rear-end side of your flight mate (a few yards away at least) while making the shot. At the same time, keep still; avoid conversing and making unnecessary sounds. Never stay on the ball-to-target line side because you will be visible at the corner of the player’s eye. It will make it more difficult for the player to concentrate in making the shot and easily lose focus. The same etiquette applies when putting on the green.
In the event that you are driving a golf cart, never drive the cart inside the fairway when it states, “golf carts on cart path only”. Existing signs are normally visible about 20 to 30 yards before the green and must be followed by all means. Most important, NEVER drive your golf cart inside the green! The green is the most difficult to maintain.
Greenside sand bunkers and fairway bunkers are always raked evenly in a certain manner. After making a shot from inside the bunker, please rake the spot from which you made the shot from, including the footprints you’ve made. You can ask your caddy to do it for you, if you have one. It will greatly reduce the level of annoyance when another player’s ball winds up on a better lie.
When on the green, never step on another player’s line of putt. You can mark your golf balls when you need to and fix your ball marks. Please remind your caddy to do so if you don’t have the feel for it. Similarly, fill in your own divots! Better yet, fill in other’s divots that you may see around the area where you made your shot. It is nice to make the course playable for everyone.
It is unethical to give unsolicited advice. When given an unsolicited advice, it alters the mindset and some psychological factors of the player. If you want to mess up another player’s game, then do so. I am just kidding!
When you see some litter around like candy wrappers, plastic bottles and anything alike, please pick them up and throw them in the trashcan. It is delightful to see a clean playing environment.
Be respectful and courteous to your caddies, especially to your lady caddies. You won’t really like your daughter, sister or your wife be treated otherwise.
These basic etiquette calls for a true gentleman that you are, whoever you are.