I played the other day with a teenage golfer just beginning to learn the game and she asked me what etiquette meant in golf. It made me realise that these things are passed down almost as folk lore unless they are formally explained to beginner golfers. So we got the ideas down on paper and here’s what we came up with. It was good to pass something on to the next generation.
It’s about respect – first respect people’s time so that slow play never becomes an issue. Arrive for your tee time and any lessons early so that you have time to warm up and be ready for action. Dress properly for golf. Turn your phone off the entire time you are at the course. Shake hands at the start of the round and wishthe other player good luck, at the end do so again, thanking them for the game. Congratulate good shots and good scores.
On the course be ready to play when it is your turn and only take up to fuve minutes to search for a lost ball. If someone else loses their ball, help look for it. Allow faster groups to play through.
Repair the ground you play on. Fix ball marks, replace divots, rake bunkers properly.
Stand still from the time the other player sets himself until the ball has left the club. Dont walk on the line of a putt or stand so you cast a shadow on the line of putt. On the tee position yourself directly across from the other player. On the green lay the flagstick carefully. Repair all ball marks on the green with a tee. Be careful not to damage the green when removing the flagstick f you prefer to play with it out of the hole.
Always shout fore if your ball has any chance of hitting anyone. If you hear this duck and cover your head.
Play in a courteous and considerate way for fellow competitors by not moving, talking or making unecessary noise while they are playing their shot, Players shouldn’t stand close to or directly behind the ball or behind the hole on the green. Most of all record your score as you leave the green, properly, without alteration. Trollies shouldn’t be pulle up to the tees or greens, they should be left well to the side. Bags shouldnt be placed on the teeing ground of the green.
Golf has a spirit based on integrity, most of the time on the golf course there is no referee so repsect other players by abiding by the Rules of Golf, know the 2019 version.
Talking about the spirit of integrity I mentioned to her about Arnold Palmer playing in the 1961 Open at Royal Birkdale. He had a seven at one hole, where everyone watching thought he had a six. As he had prepared to recover from a bunker Palmer’s all moved fractionally. Only he was aware of it but knowing that it was a penalty stroke he called it immediately. A not insignificant thing to do because he was rewarded when he won his forst Open Championship by a stroke.
That’s what we came up with, and she said it was a relief to know what not to do as like most teenagers she had a fear of being told off and a fear of making mistakes!