The list of etiquette rules in golf can be painfully long – but there are some simple ones that we think are worth posting, because if just one person learns something from this, the golfing world will be a better place.
1. Stand. There seems to be a lot of confusion about where you should stand when someone else is teeing off. Our opinion is that you are safest if you are directly in front of or behind the golfer – in other words, on the sides of the tee box. The golfer will be looking down at the ball, so you won’t enter his field of vision at all. If you stand at the back of the tee box (to the right of a right-handed golfer), there’s a chance that he’ll catch a glimpse of you in the periphery and wind up topping the ball 3 feet. Which just means that you’ll have to keep still even longer and watch his painful set-up process again.
2. Me and My Shadow. Some folks are surprisingly unaware of where their shadow lies, which becomes particularly problematic in the early morning or late afternoon, when shadows are at their longest. There’s nothing more distracting than seeing someone’s shadow bobbing back and forth right over the hole when you’re trying to putt. Try and stand so that the other golfer is between you and the sun, so your shadow can’t get in the way. If you’re caught on the wrong side, the simplest solution is to just kneel down, which usually takes care of the problem.
3. Careless Whisper. Golf is a social game, and interacting with your friends is part of what draws us to play. But learning to properly time the telling of a story can be the difference between whether you get invited to play with the group again or not. Start the story AFTER everyone has teed off. If you realize that you’re talking while someone is about to hit, remember that suddenly switching to a whisper is really no less distracting than if you just kept on blathering at a regular volume…either way, you have some apologies to make.
4. Marky Mark. This one drives me absolutely nuts. If you miss a putt, it’s your option as to whether you hole out or wait until after everyone who is farther out has gone. If you are going to wait, please please PLEASE just mark your ball. You’re wondering whether the ball will distract me? Let’s not find out! Just take the 2 seconds to put down a ball mark. There’s really no excuse for not having a ball mark. They give them away FOR FREE at most courses. Or you can use a coin. Not to mention the fact that almost all golf gloves have on snapped on to the glove near the strap. No, I’m not PLANNING on jacking my putt past the hole, hitting your ball, and incurring a 2-stroke penalty. But let’s make that an impossibility.
5. The Far Side. If a fellow player is in a bunker, do not stand directly opposite him on the other side of the green, even if you are 50 yards away. Almost all amateur golfers stink out of the bunker, and adding one more thing for them to think about (“If I blade this, my shot will very likely strike him in the forehead and kill him instantly”) isn’t very kind.
We look forward to hearing whether there are other things that drive you batty…Post a comment below (keep in mind that this is a family establishment!).