The game of golf can sometimes be very complicated.
The actual swing may take a few years to master and the efficiency with which you manage the golf course can take countless rounds.
The top professionals in the world are constantly working with coaches, managers, therapists, psychologists and nutrionists to perfect their trade.
As casual golfers, we may need to enlist the advice of an etiquette coach to help us become comfortable in the golf course surroundings. This coach will aid with rules, procedures, policies and most importantly, enjoyment.
Although golf is generally an individual sport, the majority of the time you will be participating in a small group of two to four people on a golf course which could possibly have another 150 to 200 people playing and another 30 to 40 employees present.
As your etiquette advisor for this column, we want to make each and every golfers’ day extremely desirable. You will encounter a wide spectrum of golfers on your journey from the most competitive to the most leisurely.
I recommend playing with people you are comfortable with to start.
Your friends will also be there to answer any inquiries you may have. Golf is a “gentlemens or ladies’ game” and everyone should be treated as such. Some quick reminders include being quiet while your partners are hitting, always stand out of your partner’s visual, preferably well behind or off to the side, and when you are on your green be careful to not step on your partner’s line (the imaginary line between the hole and golf ball that the ball must travel).
These simple tips will help you get from tee to green. Remember, this exception to the quiet tip — you must shout “Fore” if any of your own or your playing partners’ golf shots head in the direction of another golfer.
Pace of play etiquette is also very important. With guidelines set out by each individual golf course we must adhere to these as best as we can. The enjoyment of golf definitely has a timeline and by playing in the allotted time or quicker allows the other 200 participants to enjoy their day on the links as well.
I have talked about playing “ready golf” before and to do your part, each golfer should have his/her club in hand and be ready to hit when it is his/her turn, always take a few clubs with you if you are unsure which one you might need, try to employ continuous putting wherever possible and read your putt while others are making theirs.
Always play a provisional ball (a second ball played from the same spot as the original ball in case you have lost the original one) and be ready to hit your shot once the group in front of you is safely out of the way.
Golf is a sport that also contains gamesmanship and a little bit of chirping. We ask that you please pick your spots wisely. Tease your partners for enjoyment and only if they can receive it as well as dish it out.
I once heard a man tease his opponent in a very important match on the first tee. His opponent did not laugh and proceeded to finish the jokester in 12 holes.
A little fun is always recommended while you play and when you are in the company of willing combatants, drop the odd, “Wow, these greens are fast today” or “Oh my Marty, you are pounding the ball today” or “I have no chance against this superior ball striking” lines on them and watch the hair on the back of their necks stand up.
But if you do win that battle of attrition on Saturday morning, always remember the most important etiquette rule . . . You must buy that first round of libations in the clubhouse.
Jeff Mancini is director of golf at the North Bay Golf & Country Club
By Jeff Mancini FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012 06:29 PM EDTlay.aspx?e=3569725