Thursday, July 26, 2007

Golf Etiquette

Golf is a game rich in culture and age-old tradition. There are strict rules of etiquette to be followed in playing a game of golf -- including your choice of attire. Most golfers respect and happily comply with the rules of etiquette, and so are welcome to play at proper golf courses.

On the other hand, golfers who shun the rules and consider the etiquette to be too stodgy will have to settle with a golf course that meets their lower level of standards.

Most private and public golf courses enforce etiquette rules to some degree, and nearly all have restrictions on golf apparel. Wearing proper attire is considered to be one of the most important areas of golf etiquette, and respectful players will happily oblige. The most common requirements of golf course dress codes are proper golf shoes, collared shirts and long pants (not jeans). These guidelines are followed on the links and in the clubhouse.

Arriving promptly for your tee time is one of the primary rules of golf etiquette. Plan on being at the course at least twenty to thirty minutes before you will tee off. This will give you plenty of time to park the car, get changed, buy extra balls, get a cart, practice and warm up. Don't expect to be able to arrive five minutes before tee time and immediately hit the driving range.

Modern times have brought about another important rule of golf etiquette. Your cell phone or pager is not welcome on the links. Leave your electronic gizmos in the car or keep them in your locker. If you absolutely must bring the phone along to check for emergency calls, turn the ringer off and tuck it into your bag.

Being mindful of other players is what golf etiquette is all about. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of how the other players in your group want to play. For example, ask if the first ready golfer should tee off first, or whether the golfer with the best score on the proceeding hole should lead the play. You'd be surprised at how easily you can offend a stranger if you join their group and don't play by their rules.

Golf requires precision and a great deal of concentration, so you must respect the other golfers' need for a quiet place to play. Golfers can be unforgiving if they think you've blown their big shot. Following golf etiquette requires your ability to keep quiet and stay out of the other golfers' direct line of vision. This can be a hard rule to follow, especially when you're having fun with your buddies, but it is golf etiquette in its most rudimentary form.

To you, golf may be a fun game. Others, however, see it as a showcase of their good breeding and even an opportunity to climb the social ladder. It's serious stuff. If you enjoy playing a game of golf, you've got to respect the fact that there's more to golf etiquette than just a persnickety dress code. These rules are part of a culture and tradition that have been observed by generations of golfers. Press your collared shirt, put on your long-legged chinos and lace up your golf shoes. Tee off with due respect.

About the Author:
Author Emery Deiryme writes for numerous well-known web sites, on leisure and travel leisure golf topics.

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