11 October 2011

    Respect your fellow golfers

    Golfing etiquette is important. Here are some of the most important rules to respecting your fellow golfers:
    • You hit a shocker, it happens- keep the toys in the pram. Do not swear, test the flight capabilities of your club or appeal loudly to mystical bodies. Your partners are trying to enjoy their day, even if you aren't. Losing your cool means losing the game.
    • Do not scream and do a lap of honour if you play a career shot - others may be concentrating on doing the same near by.
    • If your group falls more than one hole behind the group in front and there is another group behind, you must let them play through. Two-ball groups have priority on the course over all others. If you are holding them up then let them through - someone will return the favour to you one day.
    • If you are looking for a lost ball you have 5 minutes to find it. If there is a group behind, wave them through while you are looking rather than hold them up.
    • If you are holding up a group playing in an official club match or competition and you are not, you should let them through regardless of the situation in front.
    • If you are being held up, do not hit your ball into the group in front to speed them up, even if they deserve it. Lawyers are doing well enough these days without defending your next personal liability case.
    • If playing in a fourball better ball game it is usual to change the order of teeing off between you and your partner at the 10th tee.
    • When playing foursomes, the non-playing partner should walk ahead in anticipation of the playing partner's shot. It is meant to be a quick game so get moving!
    • After your round, shake hands with your partners, "Well played, Better luck next time, etc..", and doff your hat as you do so. It's what golf is all about.

    6 October 2011

    Etiquette for watching golf

    Natalie Gulbis stretching
    Get in the hole!

    • Do not take your camera to tournaments. If your trigger finger cannot survive a day without a lens, some tournaments have cameras at the practice ground for you to take pictures of the players.
    • Turn your mobile phone off - you are out watching golf and nothing should interrupt something as enjoyable as that!
    • Do not make any noise when players are setting up to play or making a stroke.
    • Appreciate good play not bad play. If they yip it from two feet then sympathise rather than celebrate.
    • Think of the people watching behind you. Kneel down if you are at the front and keep an umbrella low if you are using one.
    • Wait until all the players have completed a hole before moving to the next tee to watch them hit. Tiger will still be there when you arrive.

    1 October 2011

    Course Management Tips

    • Know how far you hit each club. I can't go any further here if you don't! Go to a flat practice ground on a calm day, hit 20 balls, pace out the distance, remove the best two and the worst two and work out the average distance. If this is not possible, play a course with a yardage chart and note how far you hit the ball with each club as you play.
    • Play within your yardage limits. Even Tiger does not hit his Sunday best every time. Give yourself a margin for error by taking a club that you know will get you there, even if not hit 100%. It will reduce the pressure on the shot too.
    • Plan how you will play the hole before you play it. If the bunkers are in range from the tee, take a club that will not reach them. If the trouble is at the front of the green, take enough clubs to get you at least to the middle, even if you miss-hit it.
    • Leave yourself an uphill putt where possible.
    • Judge your own game. Everyone has off days and on days. Decide which one you are on before attempting a glorious shot. If it is an off day, leave yourself a margin for error by going for the widest part of the fairway or the middle of the green.
    • If you hit a ball into the rough, pick a spot on line with that point where you last saw the ball and walk directly to it. Hopefully you will find it more easily and it will also speed up your game.