Golf course etiquette is a big deal! If you’ve ever played, you understand that there are written rules and then there are unwritten rules that everyone is expected to abide by. Just in case you’re unfamiliar, let’s talk about our top ten golf pet peeves:
- Cell Phones – The golf course is not the place for you to conduct business on your phone or walk along chatting with your buddies. If you wouldn’t take out your phone while dining or during a movie, you shouldn’t take it out on the course either. It’s considered rude and disruptive.
- Slow Play – We’ve all been stuck behind the slow group. The polite thing to do is let the faster players go ahead of you. But it’s not required, so sometimes that means getting stuck. Some courses like Angel Park Golf Club in Las Vegas are working to avoid this dilemma by offering express lanes. The first 5-10 tee times are reserved for the fastest players.
- Ball Marks on Greens – No one likes to see ball marks on the green. Keep one of those handy little fork type tools in your pocket and use it! For best results, pry the grass inward to the indentation to seal the hole and then tap it gently with your putter and voila – problem solved. The grass will actually regrow very quickly.
- Cheaters and Braggers – No likes cheaters and braggers. It’s one thing if you’re going to cheat and not mark down all your shots. That in itself is rather annoying. But if you’re going to cheat, don’t then brag about your score. You’ll probably enjoy the game even more if you play to your true handicap.
- Poorly Spaced Tee Times – Golf courses want to make money. One way they can make more money is by decreasing the time between tee reservations. But this is not a win for golfers. It leads to frustrating and slow play. Tee times should be spaced at least 9-10 minutes apart to allow ample time between golfers.
- Pokémon Go – The latest summer craze has taken golf courses by storm, much to the chagrin of most golfers. Golf courses are scrambling to address the issue and perhaps find some common ground between golfers and Pokémon seekers.
- Unraked Bunkers – If you have to walk into the sand, don’t leave footprints behind. Take the time to rake the bunker back to its pristine condition. If you don’t and the next player’s ball lands in your footprint, they are left with some bad choices – either play as it lies or break the rules and take a free drop. Neither of which are desirable.
- Bad Sports – No one likes a poor sport. If you’re having a bad day or a bad shot, don’t be a bad sport. Don’t curse, don’t throw your club, and don’t let your attitude permeate the game for everyone else. Golf is a game of strategy and patience. If you have a hard time controlling your temper, maybe it’s not the game for you.
- Birds – No, not birdies – birds. Golf courses are one of the most appealing nesting and snacking sites available to birds like Canadian Geese and American Coots. But if you have to dodge bird droppings with every step, it can take the joy right out of the game.
- Untrained Maintenance Workers – Course maintenance has to happen and it can’t all happen overnight. But workers should be trained in how to do their jobs in the least disruptive manner to players.
Golf course etiquette should be the first thing players are taught. Perhaps if everyone had a refresher course, we’d have fewer pet peeves!