Maybe you only play once or twice a year, and you pick up the clubs to play a round with business associates or potential clients. Or maybe you play regularly but you want to include a friend or co-worker who doesn't have a lot of experience on the course, and you want to make sure they know the most important etiquette.
With more than 4 million people beginning the game or playing again after a break, it's important to know what to do to make golf more enjoyable for you and your playing partners. If you're new to the game or only play occasionally for business purposes, here are three simple things you can do on the course to make a good impression and give people a good feeling about playing with you.
1. Be ready to play when it's your turn.
This can keep the round going at a good pace and help you to look aware and on top of things. It's your turn when:
- On the first tee, when the others in your group are ready to go. You can take your turn whenever you're ready and another player is not.
- On subsequent tees, the person who had the best score on the previous hole goes first, unless he or she tells you to go ahead. You should have your glove on (if you wear one) and your ball and tee in hand as quickly as possible after you arrive at the tee box.
- In the fairway, whoever is furthest from the hole plays. As long as you're not in anyone else's way or visible from the corner of their eye as they play their shot, you should walk up to your ball, choose a club and get mentally ready to hit.
- On the green, the person with the longest putt goes first. Size up your putt and be ready to go while others finish up.
Knowing when it's your turn and being ready to play can help you avoid awkwardness and move the round along without delays.
2. Repair any damage you do.
You may want to fix your divots and ball marks, but not be sure exactly how to do it.
On most tees, there's a bucket or box with sand and grass seed. (If you play off the forward tees, note that this may be located back at a more popular tee.) After you hit, take a small scoop of this sandy mixture and sprinkle it into the hole you created. If there's no damage to the grass, or barely any, don't worry about it.
If you take a chunk of grass, called a divot, out of the fairway, then look for it and put it back in place. Lightly step on it to make it even with the rest of the fairway. Ideally, the roots will begin to grow again.
Finally, on the green, look for any depression that your ball made when it hit. Using a ball mark repair tool or a golf tee, and angling the prongs in from the side, push up from underneath the hole so that the green will be smooth.
3. Look like you're having fun.
No one wants to play with another person who curses, groans, complains and makes excuses. If you play only occasionally, you can't expect to have skills akin to a low handicapper, so resolve to be moderately pleasant and not to apologize for your play.
Along with this, if you compliment your playing partners' shots -- on occasion, for a good shot and never for every shot -- you'll show that you're aware of what others are doing.
Golf can be a fun sport even if you don't play it all the time. Just brush up on your on-course social skills and you'll have a good time and make a good impression. For more information, reach out to a company like Sterling Golf Services.