ParGazer golf gifts and golf horoscopes

golf horoscopes


Golf Gifts
Partners
Golf Instruction
Women's Golf
Golf Reference
Course Guides
Golf Equipment
Golf Travel
Golf Real Estate
Miscellaneous Golf

Golf Humor

Par's Cure for Slow Play, or
Golf Etiquette for Dummies & the 10 Commandments of Proper Golf Etiquette

A Golf Manifesto

Our wonderful game is in jeopardy of falling victim to a significant increase in the dreaded condition known as "slow play". The five hour round is the national average and that is way to long to play 18 regulation holes. Something must be done. Therefore, these words are put forth to help perpetuate the awareness of proper golf etiquette and to exploit the cause and effect relationship that offenses in etiquette have on the pace of play. We will prove here without a shadow of a doubt that by practicing proper behavior on the links, the curse of bad etiquette, slow play, can be, if not eliminated, at least kept in check.

With all of the new players entering the game, slow play could easily become even more of an epidemic than it already is if allowed to proceed at the present rate. We urge new players as well as veterans to welcome the responsibility of learning and accepting the rules of proper etiquette as well as learning the game itself. Swing mechanics and getting the ball in the hole are only part of the game. A movement must be launched and we advocate education on a global scale. Consider Par's Idea of the Century: Let's make slow play politically incorrect. That way we will be guaranteed a three and a half hour round almost every time! Club members found guilty of fostering slow play would be forced by the media and their peers to resign in shame. Public golfers would be set upon by packs of screaming do-gooders who would picket golf course parking lots and throw fertilizer onto the logoed shirt of any golfer suspected of poor etiquette. In political correctness circles, awareness rules!

At this crucial time in our golfing lives it has become politically incorrect to enforce the few rules in place that were enacted to keep play moving. Just try to imagine being in the Footjoys of the poor rules guy telling a PGA Pro he is on the clock, or worse, being assessed a two stroke penalty for getting behind! You might as well try telling God that his commandments should be ignored in favor of a modernized translation, softening the tone of "thou shalt not kill"; you would get the same blank stare. Constitutional amendments should be written and passed into law because after all, the rules of etiquette are "toothless"; there are no penalties in the amateur ranks for breaking them. Who is going to abide by rules if there are no repercussions? Think of our highways without our boys in blue to enforce the speed limit, can you imagine the slaughter?!

The TV networks need to contribute to the cause as well. They have a responsibility to point out that what the Pro'../directory/golf-equipment.htm">putterhead over an imaginary line, spends 45 seconds in a pre-shot routine, etc, Lanny Wadkins or somebody needs to say "Don't try this at home folks".

Sound far-fetched? Maybe, maybe not. We all know that golf etiquette is a touchy subject with most golfers because they think they already know everything needed to know about what is considered "correct" behavior on the course. Those guidelines were written for other people anyway. Thankfully, most golfers we know are pretty conscientious about how they conduct themselves on the links and go out of their way to maintain a good pace because, let's face it folks, poor golf etiquette is the leading cause of slow play. It is also the underlying reason why, when a round of golf has all the elements of being a relaxing outing with your friends, it turns instead into a good walk (ride) spoiled. I can think of nothing else in the game that can single-handedly manage to turn a pleasant day of golf into the round from hell. The good news is: we can make this situation a lot better just by focusing on doing the right thing ourselves; lead by example is my motto.

Somebody Take Some Responsibility—Please

When we are out driving our car it's always the other guy that cuts us off at the intersection and on the course it's the other foursome who is responsible for the slow pace of play that drives us all nuts. When it comes to honestly evaluating our own shortcomings on the subject of driving or our behavior on the links we all tend to ignore or lightly dismiss anything we have done that could possibly be considered a faux paus behind the wheel or on the course. Without pointing our fingers at any particular personality type or group we need to keep educating ourselves as to what is acceptable behavior and what is not. (We used the bad driver analogy to make a point, however, that is not a subject we wish to discuss further here - one issue at a time please!) The hope is that someday, maybe enough people will pay attention to our cause so that we can make some progress with this problem—everyone is entitled to enjoy the game without having to wait on every shot. With that in mind, this is written for those other people out there (you know who you are) that are the ones causing all the problems. It's a group of individuals that is difficult to identify because if it isn't me and it isn't you, just who is it that ran the light in front of us yesterday or kept us out on the course last Saturday for almost six lousy hours?

In golf, the idea that there is a certain type of behavior that should come naturally (versus learned) to good mannered and courteous folks like you and me is a concept that conflicts with what actually takes place on the course sometimes. There are a certain few selfish morons who ruin the game for everyone by not caring about anyone but themselves, whether it's on the course, on the road, or anywhere else. This is obviously a small group of individuals who just don't seem to get it – and it' high time somebody calls them to task. Don't be a BEE ("bad etiquette enabler"), regardless of the relationship with that person, the next time you see them demonstrate bad form on the course – call them on it! (There are, of course, exceptions to this suggestion: your boss, your wife, rich uncle, somebody bigger than you, etc.)

The 90/10 Rule

Is it just me or does anyone else happen to agree that proper golf course etiquette is 90% a result of plain old common courtesy and only 10% of issues directly related to behavior or situations you find on the golf course? From what I have seen in my thirty plus years of playing a few more of us could stand some lessons in courtesy before we talk to a pro about lessons on golf. I have another theory on why that is and it has to do with our hurried pace of life (more on that later).

It has been said many times that you can tell a lot about a person by playing 18 holes of golf with them and it is so true; how do they react when they hit a bad shot? Do they calmly take it in stride with a shrug of their shoulders and try to do better on the next one or go ballistic and do their "helicopter" impression with a club? Are they fussy? Always moving around, fooling with their equipment while another player is attempting to hit, do they take waggles and practice swings to extremes? Do they overstate their ability, then chop it around like Harry the Hacker? Do they talk, or worse, whisper, within earshot of another player? Do they take calls on their cell phone, or even more annoying, make calls during a round? Do they cheat by shaving their score or use the "foot" mashie when they think no one is looking? If they do these things or any of the other thousands of gaffes that can drive the etiquettely-correct golfer mad, chances are they do not exhibit much in the way of common courtesy in their everyday life either.

Give ‘em a Break

Most of the time I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially people I don't know very well. But if someone tells me that "Joe never acts like that off the course" and I just witnessed his terrible tantrums on the back nine–forget it! He probably beats his dog and his kids live at CPS! And I don't totally buy into the theory that new golfers should be excused. For some innocent things like stepping on a putting line or leaving a cart 200 yards from the next tee, yes, but throwing clubs, shaving their score, damaging the course or driving a cart onto a green is the mark of a moron, new to golf or not! New players need guidance from us vets, because for some reason even the most simple of tasks need to be explained, for example: new players can't keep their hands off the pin. Why they feel the need to "embrace" the pin is beyond comprehension but my theory is that they think it is the easiest way to "help" you with your game. They want to pull it when you are off the green and tend it when you are five feet away. Using your best politically correct manner, explain to them why this is wrong.

They can't seem to get the hang of how to drive a cart. They may have been driving a car for years but a golf cart is a new animal entirely. Would they drive their car on a 45 degree slope, or into a lake? Would they kick it or hit it with clubs if they were upset about something? I don't think so! New players are a welcome addition to the game; we need them to perpetuate the sport. Help them out; don't just roll your eyes at their weird behavior. When they do something that is obviously a no-no, calmly explain to them why this just isn't done. If they do it again, then you have a problem, however, the good news is that you have just identified the chronic golf moron and have every right to avoid a game with that person. It's not only a right but should be considered a responsibility! They should be tagged in the ear with those things they use to track animals in the wild and then restricted to courses with like-minded individuals.

To Serve and Protect

The rules of golf etiquette were written to protect us from ourselves, to speed up the pace of play (which in this country is shameful) and to protect our golf courses. From the crowded streets of our cities to the hills of our courses we are seeing an incredible amount of anger resulting in the all-too-familiar hand gesture out the car window or the total lack of courtesy to others on the course. Whatever happened to the golden rule? Yes, I heard the one about "Do unto others before they do it to you first" but that's not the one I am talking about. We are not alone, folks—there are others out there who are deserving of our respect via courteous behavior and if not for the total stranger who is playing behind you, then do it for the guys in your foursome and yourself—because it is the right thing to do.

It Can Happen Anytime, Anywhere

Nearly every time we tee it up these days we see flagrant examples of poor golf etiquette. It doesn't seem to matter if we are playing on a high-end course, a resort track or the local muni. It happens on any given day and can be committed by any skill level. Most etiquette infractions are benign, maddening to be sure, resulting in a back- up of play, for example: mulligans, giving a lesson in the fairway, not being ready to hit when it's your turn, etc. There are other forms of less-benign behavior that can have much worse results than just holding up play, such as: swearing at the top of your lungs, throwing a club, fighting, driving a cart like a maniac, etc. Unfortunately bad etiquette is not limited to those new at the game; frustration can be common theme no matter how long you have been playing. It's the mark of a level-headed player that can recover from a bad shot with grace and style.

We Decided To Do Something

One day we played a resort course where it took a particularly grueling six hours to play a round where we were forced to wait on almost every shot. After more than a few beers in the clubhouse where we collapsed in exhaustion after play, the members of my regular foursome and I put our heads together and decided to write a fantasy account of the perfect round of golf—not a round where every shot was perfect, but a round that clearly demonstrated how every act was perfect. Now, from a practical standpoint, we know that this is just about as possible as eliminating the drug problem or any other complicated social issue, just like it's impossible to drive to work on any given day and not see some act of lunacy from another driver. But if you don't at least try to do something about this yourself, no matter how insignificant, you are in danger of becoming fossilized in your tracks someday. Consider it a war of attrition, just keep chipping away at a problem until someone takes notice and decides to turn it into a cause.

We tried to think of every scenario that we have encountered in our golfing lives that could be considered an inappropriate thing to do on the course, (each of which will contribute to causing slow play) because a) it might harm you or someone else; b) it might be damaging to the course; or c) it might just be downright rude or discourteous. Now, I don't want you to get the idea that we are all angels. A couple of us have been known to exhibit a temper from time to time, usually as a result of a bad swing but it does not affect others on the course or the course itself and is usually followed by a sheepish apology. We also have been playing together long enough so that there is a lot of good-natured needling going on. However, these little digs are never meant to wound or indignify, never spoken in anger, never during a person's swing and we know when to just shut up. If Joe is having a bad day with a certain aspect of his swing, no matter how hilarious it would be for us to verbalize it, we don't go there.

Continued:
A Day at Emily Post Golf & Country Club >
The 10 Commandments of Proper Golf Etiquette >