Last summer Michelle Wie made a golfing faux pas: she left the green before her competitors had finished putting. Though she later apologized, via Twitter, and explained it was unintentional, it does bring to light that golfing etiquette is important for everyone playing the game. Mistakes are noticed, whether it’s on national TV or the people you’re playing with. We’ve gathered up a few refreshers for you, or if you’re new to golf, a few lessons you need to take with you to the green. Remember these and you’re golden.
- Safety: it sounds like common sense, but the human race isn’t known for being logical 100% of the time (America’s Funniest Videos is still airing new episodes). Always check before you swing. Is anyone in range of your club? What about the hazard of being hit by loose debris when you swing? Always check.
- Don’t swing if there is anyone within range! If you swing first, and then realize someone is within range, shout “Fore”!
- When another golfer is playing, keep noise and movement to a minimum, and don’t tee your ball until it’s your turn.
- Don’t be on top or too close to the hole when someone is about to putt.
- Unlike Wie’s mistake, you should always remain on or near the putting green until everyone else you’re with has holed out.
- If your group is lagging and holding others up, you should invite the group behind you to play through. If someone’s lost a golf ball, then you should play a provisional to keep things moving.
- If you’re playing a longer round than the group before you, you can pass them.
- Divots or any sort damage to the green should be filled/fixed before you walk away. It’s advised you even avoid leaning on your club to avoid indentations or a hole.
Golfing is a sport that has revolved around etiquette. It’s a sport that allows people to relax and to think, which is made possible by everyone respecting the rules of etiquette. You know how annoying it is when that one person talks on the phone in a movie theater? It ruins the experience for everyone. The same is true for any activity that involves other people; etiquette—being mindful of it—is what allows us to enjoy the same activities alongside one another.
So don’t pull a Wie or be that guy on his cell phone—know the rules, respect the etiquette, and reap the benefits of this true gentlemen’s sport…once the snow melts, that is.