Golf etiquette is not limited to on the course. Many golf courses have practice areas designed to help players improve their game. These areas are as vital to the course as they are to all the golfers. Respecting and protecting these practice areas goes a long way to ensuring that Superintendent can easily keep the training areas in top notch conditions. There are many different ways to aid the maintenance staff, but I want to focus on three because they are simple, easy to follow and have a tremendous impact on the entire facility.
I want to present a video that covers all three areas where practice etiquette is important. This is not an all inclusive video, yet hits the highlights of a great place to start.
I have discussed the divot patter in the past. It does take some getting used to because some divots are deeper than others. Yet, once we adopt to this new way of hitting balls on the range, it offers other helpful hints when swinging your club. The first is the ability to aim properly because it helps align your body and understand your body position in relation to the target chosen. Additionally, this divot pattern helps train our swing to be repetitive on the same swing plane. There are others, but I think you get the point. Lastly, the maintenance staff will appreciate us helping them help us.
Following the signs on where to chip and putt seems obvious. However, I have noticed that some golfers ignore these directions because they do not want to walk over to a different practice area. This selfish attitude harms the putting green because of all the pitch marks left in the well manicured surface. Personally, I think a separate chipping/putting green is a great idea because it allows golfers to focus on a specific area of their short game without worrying about interfering with another’s practice time.
The last tip about a towel is a new one. I never thought of that, but I can see how standing in one specific spot for an extended period of time could harm the putting surface. I generally do not spend that much time in one location because of my favourite practice drill, but the point is well taken. The Star Drill has helped my short game considerably. I am going to start using this drill with my new hickory stick putter, but that is a story for another day.
Golf etiquette in the practice area is just as important as on the course itself. Many golfers overlook how their actions impact the bigger picture with respect to maintaining and using training areas. Therefore, the next time you carve out some practice time, take a second or two to implement the three practice etiquette tips I mentioned today. You might be surprised how your practice time is positively affected.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!