With the New Year upon us I thought it would be at least a little helpful to share a video on Golf Etiquette.
I’ve been playing for almost 20 years now and I learned early on that a great way to gain respect on the course, particularly for young players, is to have an understanding of best practices of golf etiquette.
When I was in my late teens, during the Pre-Tiger Era it was practically impossible to find younger players to play with and I commonly found myself on the course with players at least 3 times my age.
A Game of Tradition
The guys I played with had been playing since the 40’s and 50’s and I was grateful for all I learned from them.
Golf is a game loaded with tradition, tradition that goes back hundreds of years. While our courses are now always in pristine condition, the ball is now perfectly round and clubs are now precision engineered devices made of metals we can’t even pronounce, those traditions are still alive and well.
Today we have organizations like The First Tee, these organizations are run by dedicated people who have pledged to uphold the traditions of golf so we can see golf in all its glory move into the future.
The R and A or the Royal and Ancient Golf Club was founded in 1754 and works hand in hand with the USGA to set the rules of golf and to set a standard around the golf universe when it comes to etiquette.
Here is a video produced by the R and A which covers basic golf etiquette:
One of the reasons I feel it is important to make young players aware of these basic guidelines surrounding etiquette is this.
Over the last few years we have lost some players, estimates put the loss around 1,000,000 players, I wrote about this early last year. This comes even as we have an aging population.
The future of golf here in the United States is dependent upon Young Players engaging in the sport. The unfortunate side effect of all this great tradition dating back hundreds of years is that many young players would love to get out on the course but, they feel intimidated.
The idea of being paired up with people they don’t know is enough to scare many young kids.
The dreaded ranger, constantly prowling and looking over their shoulder is another obstacle in their path.
Dressing properly can even be a deterrent.
Golf Etiquette for the Older Set
When I play with young players I try to make every attempt to make them feel comfortable right away. Just like those older guys did for me back in the day.
A quick tip here and there (but not too many) friendly conversation, simple stuff that makes them feel a little less daunted.
If we remember to make the course a little better place for the next generation, we can allow this game to live on the way it was meant to.
As you may have seen the First Tee Program is on a fund raising mission and it wouldn’t hurt to head on over and make a small donation to the organization. They are raising money for a great cause, they’re planning to reach 10,000,000 young people, many of them from underprivileged families and inner city areas.
You can learn more about the initiative and make a donation here:
Have a great 2012!