I just played a round of golf — a member/member tournament at my club — and it was a disaster.
Not because I played poorly — (which I did!) but because I totally “blanked out” on some essential golf etiquette that not only put my golf partner’s teeth on edge, but because these mistakes were so dumb, they just added to my poor performance. The thing is, I know better!
Blame it on the fact I got little to no sleep last night, or my shoulder aches and my swing is in the toilet. But no excuses. There are a few “rules” every golfer should obey when they finally reach the green. And because I don’t want you to make the same stupid mistakes I did today, I’m going to share these with you. Use the comment section after this post to add your own “laws” if you want, or comment on these…
5 Mistakes to Avoid…
- Don’t talk! Keep Your Mouth Shut! unless it’s essential. Don’t start chit chatting about your last hit, or “Wasn’t that a great chip I just played…” Don’t ask anyone how many strokes you’ve played. You should know without asking. Be silent – Fermez la bouche! (French, for those who care.) Talking or asking questions kills concentration. So just be still and quiet and wait till everyone has putted before you speak.
- Don’t stand on or walk across someone else’s putting line. That means both from in front and in back of the hole. Walking across a line can change the lie of the grass, and standing directly opposite someone, or even to the side can be distracting for someone putting.
- Don’t move or make unnecessary sounds when someone else is putting. Make like you’re a tree and stay planted in place. If your shadow falls across or near the hole, step out of the way. If you can’t avoid your shadow falling in an awkward spot, stay as still as you can. Golfers have to deal with distracting shadows all the time. As long as you don’t move, you should be ok.
- Don’t ignore your ball mark. If your ball leaves a mark on the green as it lands, you should fix the dent. Even if a mark is not yours, it’s good practice to fix what you find to help keep the greens in good shape. But use the right tool in the right way. Do it the wrong way and you could do more damage to the green. If you aren’t sure the right way to fix a divot on the green, watch this short video.
- Don’t forget about the flag. If you’re the golfer who removes the flag from the hole once everyone is ready to putt, be sure to place it on the ground far enough away from the hole where it is not likely to be hit by someone’s putt. If you’re the first one in the hole, the courteous thing to do is to go stand by the flag on the ground, wait till all the other golfers in your party have putted out, and then pick up the flag and return it to the hole.
Today I was the golfer learning from my mistakes and I was lucky to be playing with a very good player who wasn’t bashful about telling me to Fermez la bouche! Better that than have her fuming for the rest of the round. And I appreciated her honesty. I did.
Bottom Line: Play Consciously. Be aware of your fellow competitors and how you may or may not be affecting their play. And if it’s you that’s feeling distracted ??? …. Don’t be afraid to tell your golf buddies to step out of your line of vision, mark a ball, or move a ballmark a club head off your putting line, stop walking, or stop talking for that matter. Don’t be fanatical about it. Just simply ask. It’s all part of the game. Golf is a single person game most often played with others. Just be aware of the people you are playing with.
Share this info with your golfing buddies, especially if they drive you crazy sometimes. And add your comment in the space below. Do you agree?