What makes for a great golfer? While many may suggest that it has to do with skill, focus, instinct, discipline and training I think that sportsmanship and etiquette make for the best golfing partners. While it may seem silly or perhaps contrite, I firmly believe that the respect that a player does or does not exhibit is a true measure of his or her ability. Of course it’s always good to play with someone who is better than you to force you to improve your game, I would much rather spend a day on the green with someone who respects the game and is perhaps slightly less talented than be around someone who shows extreme disregard for the sport and the players. So what is it then that makes for this “good player”? I believe that exhibiting etiquette, good for and integrity are all key. A few notable ways to practice good etiquette are below:
Be mindful of your golf cart
While golf carts are now an inevitable part of playing the game, don’t allow these vehicles to be a source of disruptions and discontent for other players getting ready to make their shot. Try to be as unobtrusive and inconspicuous as possible. You don’t want the sound or the speed to interrupt any game play. Furthermore, you should be conscious of causing any damage to the green. Ensure that you’re not leaving a path behind you. Be sure to repair any damages left by your vehicle. In addition to being conscious of what you are leaving behind, try to avoid following the same heavily trodden path. This will lead to an even bigger problem for the turf – and more importantly the caretaker. Make sure that golf-cart traffic is dispersed throughout the green.
Turn off Your Phone
While it can be tempting to play on your phone or make a call on your phone during downtime…just don’t. Most people are looking to get away from the distractions of everyday life and instead focus on their game when they step onto the green. Phone conversations and constant pingings, and dings, and vibrating ring tones can absolutely distract other players and be absolutely awful. If you have to make or receive a call, do it, but be brief and be quiet…no one wants to hear it.
Play it Cool
While making an error, losing or just not playing your best game can be extremely frustrating, don’t let it show. While you many have the urge to throw your club, sulk for a bit or let the profanity pour right out of your mouth, don’t succumb! You don’t want to foul up everyone else’s time, just because things aren’t going your way. Instead of screaming the worst things you can think of, try to get your frustration out in another way. Channel it for the next shot! And remember you can always curse into your pillow when you get home.