Here are 10 “Unwritten Rules” in Golf – How many do you know?
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There are certainly more than 10 “Unwritten Rules” in golf, but these will do for a start. For those of you who are learning the game, these etiquette tips are invaluable. You also want to learn some of the basic rules. The USGA puts out a beginner’s guide to the rules of golf. Check on the USGA website. Thanks to Andrew Tursky of Golf Wrx for this interesting list!
Golf Course Etiquette.
There is certain etiquette all golfers are taught when first learning to play the game, such as not to step in another person’s line on the green and not to talk while another person is hitting. Those are the basics, but not what I’m talking about here. Instead, there are underlying rules of etiquette, ones that you may never even know existed.
You see, the mind of a golfer is very fragile and often irrational. But, it’s understandable since there’s a constant battle going on inside of it — juggling swing thoughts, demons, highs, and lows. At any point, a golfer’s patience can snap, and the last thing he or she needs is a push from a playing partner.
When you’re in a group with another golfer, your job is to be respectful, helpful, enjoyable, and sometimes just stay out of the way. Of course, you don’t want to unknowingly aggravate a player in your group (unless you’re playing match play, maybe), but that’s another discussion entirely.
Here’s a list of 10 unwritten, unspoken rules of golf etiquette.
10. Don’t talk to someone else’s golf ball.
I know; you’re only being polite. But when golfers spray a shot, and it’s heading for the water, you can bet they know it’s heading for the water. They don’t need you yelling at it or begging for it to stay dry. If they want to instruct their golf ball to behave a certain way, leave it up to them.
The last thing you want is for them to say GO as their ball flies toward a fairway bunker while you’re telling it to SIT… only to see it land in the sand. Awkward.
Your pleads to another’s golf ball can also come across as insincere or even disrespectful. For example, if the ball is clearly hooking left into the trees, and you yell, “spit it!” you’re basically saying that the golfer just hit a shot that needs to get extremely lucky. Surely the player doesn’t need to hear your confirmation that he or she just hit a terrible shot.
It’s their golf ball; they paid for it, they hit it, and they know best where it’s going. When in doubt, silence is always the best approach.
9. If you say “nice shot,” make sure it was a nice shot.
“Nice shot” is undoubtedly the most overused compliment in golf, so make sure to use it correctly.
Imagine you’re a scratch golfer, and your ball is in the fairway about 100 yards out, your favorite number. The pin is tucked back-right, but you’re eyeing it up and looking to attack in hopes of making birdie. You ended up tugging it and didn’t catch it cleanly either, so you let your hand off the club in disappointment. The ball lands on the front left portion of the green for an outside chance at birdie, and you’re heated. You slam the club back in your bag, upset at the missed opportunity, and another player in the group gives you a half-hearted nice shot.
Now, not only did the compliment go unappreciated, but the scratch golfer may now be thinking, “Are their standards so low of my golf game that they think that’s a nice shot?”
And this goes for any level of golfer. No one wants to hear nice shot when it was below their standards. So the point is, compliment a player on hitting a good one but make sure the player agrees with you.
8. Show some love.
On the flip side, if your playing partner is faced with a difficult shot — maybe they need to hit a towering shot over a tree to a green guarded by water — and they pull it off, make sure to say something more than “nice shot.” Especially if you’re the one who said “nice shot” when that same player hit a semi-chunk from 100 yards on the hole before.
Since a golfer’s mind is fragile, it doesn’t hurt to stroke their ego a bit when they hit an amazing shot.
Pictures: Golf Wrx
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