Following the game etiquette matters in golf, as much as following the game rules. Golf etiquette refers to the optimal behavior of a golfer on the field and the way he behaves with and treats his fellow golfers. This was one area that I was very eager to master when I started to learn about golf. After all, golf is a social game. I often play this with my friends or family, and there I found it more and more relevant to follow the etiquette of the game. It helped me strengthen my rapport with them and with the other golfers on the course. This also made my games more enjoyable and enriching, thanks to all the valuable conversations I could strike with my fellow players ever since I started following golf etiquette.
So then, are you ready to learn the rules? Most of these are rules that players follow without explicitly stating them. Most of them are not concretely laid in any golf books. These are some general etiquettes that I have formed, based on the general practices on the field.
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Each hole’s best score is taken, and the highest scorer tees off first at the next hole in the case of stroke play. For the match play, there might be pairs or individuals playing. The player that wins has the advantage in the next tee.
The above are some good practices to follow when you are waiting for your turn.
Here are some etiquette’s to abide by while taking your shot.
Ideally, you should not stand in the line of someone’s ball. Check whether any golfer is standing in your line before you take the strike. If you hit the ball and then notice that there is a player on the possible trajectory, then send out a verbal warning by yelling ‘Fore’ to the player. In windy areas, it is difficult to hear another player on the field. So, I also raise my arm as I shout at the top of my voice to give a double warning hoping that the player would get the signal on time.
Besides the individual rules that apply in your game, you should also know about the practices to follow when it comes to conversing with other players on the field. I firmly accept the fact that golf is a social game, and it has tremendously helped me extend my network. The game is fun, but it can also be frustrating when your shot doesn’t go as planned. When this happens, do not swear on the field or show any extreme physical reactions on the ground. Every player’s mood affects that of the others on the field. Most people choose this game as a leisure time activity that helps them wind down after a tiresome week. Your agitation should not affect another player’s composure. Here are some of the conversing and communication etiquette I recommend following with your fellow golfers:-
While playing the alternate shot in golf which is also called foursome, you advance as your partner takes his shot. This will avoid unnecessary delays in the game.
You do not always get to play your hole right on time. Sometimes you might be trailing by more than one hole. In this case, there might also be groups that are awaiting their turn after yours. You can let them pass rather than holding them up which would be pointless in the game. Most of the cases honor a higher priority if there is a two-ball group.
4-ball, best-ball or 4BBB is one common type of golf tournament that many golfers play. You would be reversing the teeing off order with your partner once you have reached the 10th tee in line.
Letting a group through is also applicable if hold-ups happen to you because of a lost ball. As you search for the ball, the group behind you doesn’t have to wait unnecessarily.
Controlling your expression of emotions is also essential when you happen to take a great shot.
If the group in front seems to be taking all the time they can, control your reaction and allow them to complete their game. Hurrying them might make them get tensed and further delay their shot.
Before I started playing golf myself, I didn’t realize that there is so much difference between a pro golfer watching a game and an outsider doing it. Even when you do not happen to be part of that particular match in the tournament, you might still find valuable insights from the game.
You do not want your mobile phone ringtone to disturb everyone out there. So turn off the phone or put it in silent mode so that you do not distract the players and the onlookers.
Whether it is to motivate a player or to shout out some tips on altering his shots, do not ever shout out to someone on the field. This is not a game where you loudly cheer and create noise in the audience ring.
Moving from one tee to another to watch a player take a shot might appear tempting. But hold your fort till the player has taken his shot. Do not make distracting movements that can affect the player’s concentration.
Do not obstruct the visibility of the others watching the game behind you.
Learn to discern between good game practices and the bad ones.
Following these rules will make you a better player and also create a strong impression among your fellow golfers. I hope you enjoyed learning about Golf etiquette, don’t just read it, go put it into practice in your game.
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