About 3 years ago I came up with five things that I believe every golfer should follow or at least be aware of to improve their (and others) enjoyment on the golf course. I am bringing them up again because I believe they are important and should be taught to beginners as a first step towards understanding that golf is more than just hitting a ball into a hole.
These guidelines below should not be new to you if you have been playing golf for awhile. They are not meant to be preachy, but advice from an experienced golfer who tries to make the most of every round of golf.
Fix more divots and ball marks than I make. This is an important rule for the care of any golf course. I try to fix mine plus one other to help the maintenance team keep the course in great playing shape. It is common courtesy for players to take a few seconds to fix divots and ball marks.
Rake the bunker. Obviously with COVID-19 affecting all aspects of the golf course, raking a bunker (if you are still playing them) is limited to smoothing out our foot prints and club contact as best we can. However for the future, Raking a bunker is not difficult is a skill every player should master. It is the right thing to do!
Know were to stand on the green. Again, COVID-19 seems to have changed this simple etiquette fundamental. Unfortunately, I will call myself on this one because I have become lax on where I stand. Well, I am fixing that immediately. Many amateurs do not understand that making any movement within the field of vision of the person playing is very distracting. I make a point, especially in competition to stay to the back of the player and far enough away so they cannot see me at all. It only takes a moment to walk to this position and it ensures that you are not a distraction.
Play ready golf. I understand that many amateurs think it is important to wait their turn; it is the polite thing to do. However, if you not on the green, then get on with your shot. I do not suggest that anyone races down the fairway, but it is important to get ready to play your shot. On the green, playing in succession is important, but prolonging the time on the green should be avoided. Brian Penn from All About Golf suggested that ‘ready golf’ is an advanced concept for most beginners, yet I think if we teach beginners early, they will pick up the concept in short order. It is all about politely guiding new (and more experienced) players.
Be a grateful golfer. Playing golf is meant to be fun. It is a game. I find that if I am grateful when playing, everything about my round is better. I appreciate being out in the sun, looping the course, and breathing deeply. I take pleasure in looking around at the what mother nature provides. Additionally, I enjoy the social aspect of golf and enjoy chatting about anything when walking with my golfing friends. Being a grateful golfer does help my golf score, but mostly hit helps me keep a positive mental attitude.
You can see that my revisited (and slightly revised) guidelines are nothing complex or challenging. I believe that all golfers, new and experienced, should understand this concepts and practice them every time they hit the links. Golf is a great game and by adopting the above five points, I think you will the enjoy your time looping the course even more; golf is meant to be enjoyed!
Do you have any points to add?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
4 thoughts on “Time To Revisit Some Playing Guidelines”
Jim, good points! Will add to your third one: I was on the practice green working on my putting and the fellow one cup away was blaring Running With The Devil on his cell. Now, I like Van Halen as much as the next guy, but folks need to be courteous and honor the serenity of the golf course. Please keep you musical distractions to yourself and use ear pods.
I completely agree. I do not like hearing music when I am playing or practicing. He should have had ear buds in for sure! I do not like it on the course either when players ride their cart up to the tee box, while I am waiting, and their music is playing….very distracting.
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Nothing to add. You covered it well. But I do have news. I ordered a new putter over the weekend and it got here today. I found a “new” Odyssey Stroke Lab R-Ball, a 2019 design on the Calloway pre-owned site. So I have some more practice to add to my schedule. It’s working great on the carpet, but I’m sure I’ll need to do some work to dial in distance control with it as it’s heavier and has more mass than my blade.
I’m not sure switching putters is the right move since I’m putting pretty good at the moment, but I’ve always found a mallet to be easier to align. The only issue has been the added weight/mass. Unlike my old Bobby Grace mallet, this one is hollow. It’s lighter and should be easier to control my distances with. Wish me luck with it.
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Changing putters is not always a bad thing. I think that if you have a good putting stroke, you will putt well with either a blade or a mallet. Which ever club gives you the most confidence, it is the one to use.