Bad etiquette spoiling your round?

Bad etiquette on the golf course is one of the main annoyances for golfers. Even more so when bad manners are being displayed within your own team!

One of our readers pointed out that when it comes to golf etiquette, it is mostly factors "outside" your own foursome that get talked about: slow play from the group in front, being hit into by the group behind, walking up to a bunker that was left full of foot prints..., but rarely the bad habits that may be displayed by your fellow team members.

It turns out that precisely the behaviour of the people closest around us during a round of golf is the source of many pet peeves!

So for all you sufferers of rounds spoiled time and again by the people you play with, here are a few vital rules on etiquette to share with them. Although some may seem obvious, they are often overlooked.

A few do's and don'ts to keep the peace:

On the tee box

  • If you get annoyed by others talking on the tee box just when you're ready to hit, chances are they get annoyed by it as well when it's their turn. When you're on the tee box, stop the conversation for a few seconds. You have 9 or 18 holes of walking left to do which gives you plenty of time for a chat.

  • Pick the right spot to stand: to either side of the teeing ground, facing the player or standing behind her back. Standing at the back of the tee box not only may annoy your partner for standing in her line of sight, it also may put you in danger of being hit by the club on the back swing!

  • Follow shots from others and indicate where the ball went. This will limit the time spent during the round looking for wayward balls. If this is done consistently, you'll keep moving swiftly and won't have to worry about pace.

Tee to green
  • Be ready to hit when you get to your ball. Unless your team mate is taking umpteen practice swings, trying every club in the bag before playing the shot, there is no reason to badger her into hitting before she's ready because of supposedly slow play. Chances are she'll actually get on with it faster if you just stay quiet for 30 seconds.

  • Hand in hand with the previous item comes unsollicited advice. If your partner really is dragging out the pre-shot routine, make some suggestions to limit it after the round.

  • A little banter or gamesmanship is quite alright and can add to the merriment, but don't let it escalate to the point where it becomes detrimental to your partner's game. It spoils the mood and the pace. A round of golf is supposed to be fun, not an exercise in trying to humiliate your friends!

On the green
  • The number one grievance between golfers on the green is stepping on the line of putting. When walking up to the green, have a quick glance around to locate all balls and pick your route accordingly.

  • Share the workload: fix pitch marks, tend the pin for the player furthest away and allow short puts to be played out.

Applying these simple principles will get rid of any bad etiquette and hopefully increase your enjoyment!

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