Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WTF is Golf Etiquette?

 Simply put, golf etiquette has to do with manners or knowing how to act. It is through good manners we confirm to other golfers that we convey our respect for them and display how important we think they are. Golf requires a lot of focus. If you are ready to putt or place a tee shot over a water hazard, it will be way more difficult if someone is talking, laughing, rattling coins, and tees in their pocket, or placing their shadow in your line of sight.

Greg D'Andrea, of From the Rough blog left this comment on a previous post of mine:

"You know, for new players, I think the idea of teaching etiquette before teaching all the rules is a good start. Explain to them about "ready golf" before you teach them they have to walk back to re-tee if they hit one OB. If they end up liking golf, they will learn the other rules on their own, but first and foremost should be etiquette. Of course, the teachers may be slow pokes themselves, in which case you're screwed"   Well said, don't your think?
 I guess it could boil down to 2 areas: Golfers who honestly do not know the expected behaviors and golfers who know the etiquette principals and still commit these egregious faux pas just to get under your skin or make us miss a shot. There is no room for these folks in my foursome. What are some of the etiquette violations that bother you the most? Leave your answers in the comment section below.


Cynthia Cronk said...

I totally agree. We've gotten some new members at our course in the past few years and many of them don't know the rules of golf or golf etiquette. There is nothing more irritating when you've got a good round going. I've had people walk on my line, drive ahead of me, and even have an ex-husband who used to think nothing of talking in my backswing (gee no wonder he's an EX). It's about respect for the sport and your fellow players. Some do it on purpose as a power move in competition, others are just oblivious. We all make the occasional mistake, and some don't know and some don't care. I think it is the responsibility of the club's pro to sit down with new members or first time outers on public courses and review course rules and etiquette rules before newbies go on the course. There should be a little booklet provided - even if it's a photocopied pamphlet.

Bill Sferro said...

I agree, this type of ignorant behavior is grounds for divorce. Be glad all this is in your rear view mirror.

Vince Spence said...

In my experience (and in my humble opinion), the greater majority of the problems we are discussing are results in ignorance of the basic rules of golf and ignorance of basic etiquette. My favorite saying is, "You don't know what you don't know".

If the golf professional or the starter took 60 seconds and forced each group to listen to the 'pace of play policy', advice where to park carts and other tips, a large amount of these problems would be minimized. Very few people would ever admit to not knowing the rules or would admit to being a slow player. But they simply do not know what they do not know.

Heather said...

I think etiquette and rules go hand-in-hand. It's certainly important that golfers know both and respect the game. Respecting the land and course is equally important.

Having said that, we don't want to scare new golfers off by overwhelming them on their first golf outing. The only way to learn both is by playing with folks who know them and learning them hands-on. IMHO.

I know my kids are taught with fun quizzes and games. There must be a fun way to teach adults too—in an non-intimidating fashion. If I had to sit down to formal classroom instruction on etiquette and rules before I picked up a club, I may have skipped golf all together.

We also need to learn to give new folks a break every now and then. I always try to fix an extra mark or two on the green to help out a bit.

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