Golf Etiquette…Your behavior on the golf course!

Everywhere we go it seems that we are expected to behave in a certain manner. It began in our homes as children and carried over to school. If our conduct didn’t meet muster we knew our next stop was to see dad or the principal. Thank goodness golf isn’t so severe! But a level of respect must be given to others because we are not the only golfers on the golf course. Picture this if you will. You are traveling along on a highway and all of the sudden you come to a complete stop. That can only mean one thing, something happened to slow the pace of the traffic down. Golfers on the golf course experience the same thing. If one group slows down, every group behind them slows down too. If the lead dog can’t run, neither can the rest of the team. So let’s get started on how you can increase your pace of play!

Are you a beginner? If so, welcome to the great game of golf. It is the one sport you can do all your life and enjoy in so many different places. Let us help you on how to get on the golf course and actually play.

Your group will determine the pace of play for all the other groups behind you. A normal round of golf is 4 hrs and 15 min on most golf courses. That means each nine holes you play will be paced at 2 hrs and 7½ min. The best way to go about this is to do your best to keep up with the group ahead of you. If you fall behind, instead of hitting tee shots on the next hole, go to the 150 yard marker and play in from there. Continue until you catch up to the group ahead of you. Don’t look at this as not getting your monies worth, you are learning how to play golf on the golf course and learning “pace of play” takes time.

Play ready golf. That means instead of watching your partner play their shot, get ready to play yours even if you have to walk a little ways to your ball. The idea is to cut down the amount of time it takes you to play your golf and this is a great way to do it.

Limit yourself to a number of strokes per hole. Again, don’t look at this as not getting your monies worth. This is a way to set a goal and establish it. Acquiring goals feels good and that is the big story in golf. Breaking 100 for the first time is a big deal. So should your pace of play and your score for each hole.

When can you play is a great question. Our recommendation is to not go with plans to play on a Saturday morning unless you are well versed in pace of play. Experience the golf course when there is less traffic and you will enjoy your round so much more. So will the groups behind you.

If you have any questions, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Ball Marks. Even if your ball doesn’t hit the green, fix at least two ball marks. This is damage on the golf course that no one should ever see. Ball marks affect the roll of the ball and the health of the turf. When you fix a ball mark, use a tee or divot tool and do it by lifting up the back of the ball mark first. It is easy to see because it is the part of the ball mark or “divot” that has the turf pressed against it. Lift that up first and work the sides of the divot to the center. Tap down with your putter and it will heal completely in seven days! Undone and it will take over 30 days. Big difference!

Sand Traps. Never leave a sand trap or better known as a “bunker” without using the rake that is provided for you. When you rake the bunker, please smooth over all your footsteps and divot area. Think of it this way. The group behind you may be having a match and the United States Golf Association Rules of Golf state that a club cannot be grounded and the ball must be played as it lies in a hazard. Don’t allow your footprint to cause someone else to lose a match. The common theme about playing golf on the golf course is respecting the fact that others are on the course too. Remember the Boy Scouts of America motto when the pack goes camping, “Leave No Trace!”

Using Golf Carts. No question they make it easier to play especially on hot summer days. But there is a right way and a wrong way to use one. Never allow a child to drive a golf cart. Besides insurance companies and liability issues, it is very dangerous. It seems like a fun thing to do upfront but golf carts are designed for adults to drive. We use the back of the seat for leverage to operate the pedals, a child has to use the steering wheel and virtually stand up in an awkward position to drive. There are over 10,000 golf cart accidents a year on golf courses. Don’t let your child be one of them.

Sometimes carts have to stay on the paths due to weather or agronomic practices. Please adhere to the cart rule of the day. If you take a golf cart over turf that is too wet, it can take months to heal after a maintenance crew has done the best they can to repair it. So please respect the cart rules of the day so our golf course is enjoyable to play tomorrow as well.

Never park a golf cart on the slopes of tees or greens. In fact, there is never an award given for the “Closest to the Pin with a Golf Cart,” so stay on the paths around all tees and greens. Driving carts on the slopes helps to compact the soil that can cause disease and poor turf conditions. Driving on the slopes actually tears off the leaf blades harming the health of the plant. Good thing to remember is to stay on the paths around all tees and greens.

Stopping At The Turn. This simply means stopping at Bogey’s Grill after the ninth hole. Take only five minutes and proceed to the tenth tee. It is important for your group to stay behind the same group you have been following. Again, think of it this way. If you were in line of a traffic jam and decided to leave your position where do you fit in now without upsetting someone? Because you did this, it slows down the pace of play because not only have you given up your spot, you are now expecting to create a new one. You have essentially taken twice the amount of time and now every one behind you now has to wait. So take only five minutes at the turn okay!

Juniors On The Golf Course. Boy do we love to see that….our game of golf growing one junior at a time! Many of us got our start in the game as a junior and we remember how difficult it was to begin. When your child first comes to the golf course, ignore the tees on the tee boxes for them. That’s right, ignore them! If they are 6 to 8 years old have them play the par 4 holes from the 150 yard marker, par 5 holes from the 200 yard marker and the par 3 holes from the ladies tees. Their scores will be lower and they can sense the need to have better scores sooner. Plus the group behind you will appreciate it as well. Remember it is about pace of play on the golf course.

We hope these golf tips will be useful for your game. If you have any questions, please email Karl Kimball. We look forward to hearing from you!