Monday, July 20, 2009

The Lost Art of Etiquette

Have you ever played a round of golf with a new golfer and

felt like you spent your whole day teaching them etiquette?

I hear from so many players about the problems with etiquette, but I hear so little from them on how to fix the problems. What if each player spent five minutes before each round, on the range, on the putting green or in the restaurant talking to new golfers about where to walk on the green, how to fix a divot or how to fix a ball mark? What kind of new golfers would we be bringing into the fold?

When I was working in Belgium in the early 90’s I was a member of the British Golf Association and before you were allowed to play the course, you had to establish a handicap of 30 or less and play a practice round with a board member to ensure your handicap and your knowledge of rules and etiquette. That is not practical these days, but we can take something from it, and that is how important etiquette is in this grand old game.

How about posting monthly rules and etiquette columns in both locker rooms, the pro shop and send them out in newsletters. What more can we do?

As avid golfers, if we introduce new golfers to the right way of playing this great game, they will in turn introduce more new golfers.
What better way to keep the traditions of golf alive and growing?

1 comment:

thecoach said...

Scott - One of your links is to my website, Duffy Mac Golf. which is all about what you discussed on basic etiquette. As you said, introducing new golfers the proper way early will keep the tradition going. And, when you teach another, you reinforce those same principles in yourself.

Through my etiquette DVD and manual, newcomers can learn both by reading the fun manual and visually on film. If you visit my website,, under "The Golf Course", you can see a 2:30 second vignette on Green Etiquette (it includes fixing a ball mark). Soon, I'd love to have posters for courses about pace of play, raking traps, fixing any damage - which the course must then enforce . I'm disappointed that the USGA and other golf powers fail to get the message out. Easily, on broadcasts for example, golf etiquette tips could be 1 minute. Showing the basics of proper entry and exit from sand traps isn't complex. Carts - cart path only and 90 degrees are simple if shown properly. Until they catch on we need to reinforce it as much as possible on our own. And i'm not certain if golf courses care much these days. The feedback I've gotten has been "No". It' clearly an area I feel strongly about!