I found this article in the latest Golf Digest magazine and it caught my eye as there are so many things he lists that I have been talking about for years. I will list them in order and summarize Arnold Palmers suggestions to good golf etiquette.
1. Don’t be the slowest player – This is one of my pet peeves as many who are slow players never see themselves as a slow player. They seem to be in their own world or into their own game that nothing else matters. Arnold suggests that players should evaluate their pace of play and if they are consistently slow they should recognize themselves as a slow player. Encourage everyone to move quickly and keep right behind the group ahead of you. Always remember to play “ready golf” and the pace of play should improve.
2. Keep your temper under control – Arnold mentions that when he was 17 playing in a tournament, he let his putter fly after missing a putt. He won the match but when he got in the car with his family there was no congratulations just silence. His father finally said, “If I ever see you throw a club again, you will never play in another golf tournament.” Arnold said he never did as it was a wake-up call and never threw a club again. What gets to me is when a player makes a bad shot they sulk and pout plus kicking dirt on the way back to their cart. Making it miserable for the other players, we all can make mistakes but forgetting it is the best policy.
3. Respect other people’s time – Whenever you make a tee time make sure you arrive in plenty of time. Let people know that you will be there if late.
4. Repair the ground you play on – Repair ball marks on the green, add sand and feed to divots in the fairway. Rake all bunkers leaving it in good shape for others.
5. Be a silent partner – When other players are taking a shot, do not be in their line of vision or taking practice swings. Keep quite on the putting green while others are putting. Never stand on the line of play of any ball on the green
6. Make your golf cart invisible – Golf carts are very much a part of golf courses but we should be more aware of where and when we drive to our ball. Abide by all rules of your course on golf cart etiquette.
7. Always look your best – This one I was surprised about as Arnold mentions well dressed golfers such as Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Tiger Woods that are meticulous about their appearance. Your appearance speaks volumes about you as a person.
8. Turn off the cell phones –Arnold mentioned that if he had his way cell phones should be turned off while on the course. Most clubs tolerate them but Arnold suggests that if you have to make a call go off by yourself and not disturb others.
9. Lend a hand when you can – This is only courtesy that when a player has lost their ball, help hunt with them. He also suggests a better way of watching every player when they hit to see where their ball goes. Another is to help pick up extra clubs left on the green so play can move on with haste.
10. Learn the little things – Arnold mentions there are hundreds of little etiquette things that would help the speed of play. Laying the flag stick down carefully to not ruin the green. Letting faster players to move through your group. Arnold closes with that every piece of etiquette you practice will be repaid tenfold.
I think all of these tips on etiquette around the golf course should be posted in every golf locker room or bulletin board. Many people observe these rules but this is a reminder for those who have been lax during their round of golf. Especially to those who seem oblivious to their play and how it affects other players. Think good etiquette.