Golf has always been known as a gentleman’s sport. It is governed by a set of unwritten rules outside of the official guidelines. These unofficial rules should be strictly observed to maintain the value of the sport. Here are some tips on what you need to know about proper golfing etiquette.
1. Avoid causing distractions. Golf requires a certain degree of concentration so any kind of distraction would be rude. Avoid bringing electronic devices along that would cause noise such as cellular phones or beepers. If totally necessary, you may bring them along but put them in silent mode. If you need to take a call, make sure that the ones playing will not hear even a whisper of your conversation. Refrain from distracting the person who is taking his turn especially those who are quite serious with their game. Keep gestures to a minimum. You may talk to the player once he finishes his swing. You must even avoid talking or whispering to another person as this can also destroy his concentration. Better refrain from giving side comments too. After all, this isn’t baseball. Even warnings such as what to watch out for in the next hole would not really be appreciated, as some golfers like the challenge of figuring out how to go through a certain hole. Give advice only when it is being asked from you.
2. Do not stand too near the one taking his turn. Not only could you serve as a big distraction, you could be hit with a golf club. And that could end the game.
3. Relax. Golf was never meant to be a tense game. So keep your pace slow and easy, and don’t be anxious in moving ahead. Even if the group ahead of you is slow, resist the urge to “overtake” as this would look very rude.
4. You may use golf carts but make sure you only use them in areas where they are allowed, specifically the carpets as they are soft and can be prone to damage. Also, do not get the golf carts in another player’s way. Golf carts tend to be a bit noisy too so make sure you’re not bothering anybody with it.
5. Avoid running or stomping your feet, or doing anything of that sort. As said earlier, the greens are quite soft and causing dents in the carpet could affect where the ball would roll to.
6. Make sure you are dressed for golf. You may call the golf country club or administration ahead of time to ask what the proper dress code for them is and make sure that you comply.
7. Make sure you arrive at the golf course on time. Tee-off schedules are very tight and so it is only proper to start on time as there are others who also wish to play. If someone in your group will be late, inform the one who does the scheduling so he can make the necessary adjustments.
8. Limit your practice swings to only one or two. Since there are other players waiting for their turn, and even other groups waiting to play at the hole where you are playing, it would be inconsiderate if you took a long time practicing your swing. Besides, that’s what driving ranges are for. Also, if you take too long practicing your swing, your body would more likely tense up, making your swing more awkward, instead of improving it.
9. If you accidentally remove a patch of dirt, make sure you replace or repair it or get it back somehow.
10. If, upon swinging, you feel that your ball can cause damage to others due to the swing’s projectile and force, do not be shy to shout “Fore!” After all, golf balls, regardless of its small size, can cause serious harm or injury to the body.
11. Laslty, never ever lose your cool. Behavior on the golf course is strongly associated with your general behavior. Send your golf clubs flying and you can say goodbye to potential personal or even business relationships.