Hi everyone, welcome back to part 2 of this golf series! Now that you know the basics, I want to talk about some golf etiquette tips that will ensure that you leave a golf outing having respected both the course and your partners.
In the professional world, golf is a great way to talk to someone outside the confines of the office. Golf is also a game that can be very difficult to master. It takes a lot of practice, so even if you will not be the next Phil Mickelson or Nelly Korda, follow these tips to get a better sense of the game.
- Keep pace: What does this mean? 18 holes on the golf course can take a couple of hours so you want to make sure you are respecting others’ time. As a player, I always heard the phrase “Play ready golf!” After you hit, you should mentally be thinking about what club you will need for your next shot. You can take a practice swing or two, but you don’t want to be making those around you wait to finish up every hole. This will also ensure that the group behind you isn’t waiting behind you forever. Make sure to be cognizant of your time and try to prepare as you walk up to your ball where you want to play the ball.
- Repair the ground: You will inevitably make a divot when you play golf. This is when you kick up grass from your swing. If this happens, grab the missing piece and place it back and do your best to repair it. If you hit your ball into the sand, rake the bunker (and do a good job!) A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself before you leave the bunker, Would I be upset if I had to play from that spot?
- Enter the bunker from the low side: if you’re like me, your golf ball may be a magnet to the bunker (sand). When approaching, make sure to enter on the lowest side and avoid walking on the steepest part of the bunker unless absolutely necessary.
- Stand still and silent when your partner is hitting: golf is a very mental game. It can be frustrating at times, but this also means that it is easy to be distracted. When your partner is teeing off, stand behind them and don’t speak. When you’re on the green, make sure your shadow is not in their line. The easiest way to do this, again, try and stand out of their way. Bonus if you ask them if they want the flag in or out while putting.
- Help out: another great way to show your attentiveness is to help look for lost balls. Better yet, you can watch and track their shots so they don’t turn into lost balls. This will show your partner how helpful you are, speeds up the pace of play, and makes for a more enjoyable round.
There are hundreds of etiquette tips for the game of golf. If I had one overarching tip, it would be to follow the lead of those you are playing with. If they are taking mulligans on holes, you may follow. If they are laughing and having a beer, you should join if you would like. The bottom line is that golf is a game of respect so make sure you are on your best behavior and try and have fun! No one likes playing sports with a sore loser.
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