If it's your turn…hit the ball!
Upon arriving at the tee, if the way is clear, it's time to hit. The metre's running. It's not a time out, nor is it like changing sides at tennis where the participants sit, sip a drink and rest a spell. Play ready golf.
Mind if I smoke?
Riding in a golf cart should be considered the same as sharing a table. Be considerate of others with smoke, ash and litter.
The blame game
It has been observed that half the people don't care that you had a seven, and the other half wish you had an eight. Trust me. No one wants to hear the excuse, the explanation or the swing analysis, engrossing as you may find it. Of course, we are all guilty to a certain extent, but the blame game gets old fast.
Society may be at fault for your duck hook. We sympathise, of course, but that doesn't mean we need to hear a running monologue. Expressions of grief, joy or despair should be emphatic and brief. Old Tom Morris's epitaph says it best: "modest in victory, generous in defeat."
Some golfers seem to have brake trouble, never coming to a complete stop. They pause, creep, delay, but they don't stop. Stand still, positively, absolutely while someone is playing their shot. Then go.
Don't ask. Immediately mark your ball on the green. If it's not in the way, just leave it. Asking: "Is my ball in the way?" is an necessary distraction. It's not a biggie but it will waste time.
If the glove fits
Some putt with a glove, others don't. Some who take it off could put it back on as they move to the next tee. But they don't. They wait until it's their shot and THEN put it on. Tick. Tick. Tick.
If the hole ahead is open, you are obligated to let golfers play through with the provision that a foursome has the right of way. When the course is crowded and a twosome is sandwiched in, they will just have to hold their place. Playing through is a courtesy extended, not a right assumed. Pressed by a group, it will ease the tension level to say: "We'll let you through when a hole opens up." Of course, rather than slowing down to let them through, the preferred approach is to speed up.
Accentuate the positive
Golfers are quick to note the transgressions. What was said about... if you want to make friends on the golf course, pick up a ball? We should be equally effusive about the small pleasures. When someone does something right when they make the effort to keep play moving, or not stomp all over your line, let them know it's appreciated. Don't take good etiquette for granted. Thank them. We're all in this together.
- Play the course at low tide: weekday and weekend afternoons.
- Par-3 and executive courses won't take all day.
- Call for a tee time and be prompt.
- Call and cancel your tee time if you can't make it.
- Never carry your clubs into the pro shop.