Golf etiquette is not optional – avoid committing these faux pas!
Golf etiquette is complicated, but good manners are not optional on the golf course. To the contrary, etiquette transgressions can lead to an untimely DQ. Your grandmother’s admonition to mind your manners carries as much weight on the links as it does at a tea party, if there are still such things as tea parties.
Ours is a game that values courtesy, consideration of others, and self-discipline, perhaps even above skill. We teach these values to every aspiring young golfer who comes to the golf course. And most junior golf programs teach values alongside skills.
I love the junior golfers at my home course. They fall over each other scrambling to hold the clubhouse door for me, something that doesn’t happen at the local WalMart. The college team with whom I often share the range and practice green are even more fun. They sometimes give me tips when we’re all rolling balls and they occasionally ask my advice.
Across the spectrum youth who tee it up are learning and practicing invaluable life lessons that will serve them well. One need not play golf to have good manners, be polite and respectful to one’s elders, be considerate of others. But the game, properly played, exercises and tests and refines those social skills.
Occasionally we crusty veteran golfers and some who are newly learning the game suffer lapses in our etiquette. Yet, in the spirit of a game played largely without umpires and referees, we remain individually responsible for ensuring that our behavior doesn’t interfere with the play of others and that we don’t endanger the safely of others.
Even if we can’t cite chapter and verse in the Rules of Golf, we can always and we should always use courtesy and safety as our guiding principles.