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In this issue I thought we would skip highlighting specific courses and focus on the game instead. Between all of us at Golf Up North, we have over 100 years playing on courses throughout northern Michigan. One of us is a relatively new golfer having taken up the game just 7 years ago.
Thinking about what information I would want to read I thought about what has been pounded in my head the last 7 years. Golf Etiquette!
Many Mothers Days were spent at the local golf course’s driving range while Dad and the kids hit balls and Mom (me) would sit on a bench relaxing and reading a book. I thought it was perfect! Every once in a while, I would be asked if I wanted to try, I usually declined because I was convinced, I would hate it (regret thinking now).
Finally in 2014 I begrudgingly agreed to learn to golf, pissing and moaning the entire drive to the course. We had put together a bag of men’s clubs laying around for me to play with. I was sure this was going to be a disaster; I was so very wrong!
At the first hole I teed up and with this very long and heavy driver took a swing. I drove that ball about 100 yards, but it stayed in the fairway. Okay, maybe I can do this I thought. We proceeded to play 9 holes. During this time, we allowed many groups to play through because obviously we were not keeping up with pace of play. I ended up losing several balls (water and the heron were not my friend) but had the BEST time. I loved the game! My score for 9 holes was 84 and when I told my kids about my first-time golfing, I did not mention it was for 9 holes. Of course, they knew better.
That first year I golfed in a couple of outings all while using those beat up men’s clubs and still had a blast regardless of my score. Since it was clear I was now a golfer, we bought a set of used women’s clubs the following year and the lighter weight, more flexible shaft and shorter club shaved several strokes off my game. Now I was really hooked and in year 3 bought a brand-new set of clubs and was ready to be sponsored in senior tournaments. Haha!
This long story leads to golf etiquette. That first year being a respectful golfer was stressed over and over again.
Here is what I was told is proper behavior when golfing:
- Pace of play – if you are playing slow and holding people up let them play through.
- Don’t hit up on the players in front of you – If you are able to hit that far, don’t hit until area is free of the players in front of you.
- Be quiet when someone is hitting the ball.
- Make your cart invisible – To me this meant don’t pull up directly behind someone’s cart at a tee box, give them some space and if you are playing music TURN IT OFF!
- Keep your cart within the designated cart area. That means you do not drive onto the green. (I never did that).
- Don’t be a baby – I think that was meant so I wouldn’t whine about a shot or inconsiderate players.
- You have 3 minutes to find your ball, or it is lost, and you take the penalty.
- Repair your damage – fix divots, ball marks, etc.
- Always rake the bunker upon exiting.
- Do NOT walk in front of someone’s ball on the green. Thought he was going to have a stroke 😊
- Always wear collared shirts (women can have sleeveless).
- Clean up your trash – tees, cans, etc.
The best etiquette lesson I learned that year was to mark your ball on the green. If you choose not to and someone off the green makes the ultimate chip shot and it hits your ball off the green and then sends their ball into the cup for a birdie, the birdie counts! I graciously didn’t penalize him. LOL
I am now an avid golfer and am on a course as often as I can. My score has improved considerably in the last 7 year and although I rarely break 100, I am having the time of my life!
What are some of the golf etiquette rules you live by? Join the discussion on our Golf Up North Facebook Group.
R&A and USGA Golf Etiquette
Finding concise rules of etiquette online was not easy. Neither the USGA nor PGA have a place on their website that provides the simple list. Etiquette seems to be a part of the rules of golf that I found on randa.org. R&A along with USGA governs the sport of golf worldwide. I have pulled the etiquette rules out of the 208 pages of the Rules of Golf and you can read them here.
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