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cameron 2020 270Golf is a game. It can be played competitively, socially, or just for the fun of getting out for some fresh air and exercise.

Every season I introduce dozens of new players to the game of golf. In addition to teaching players how to play the game, I always like to emphasize the importance of etiquette and the role that it has on everyone’s game.

Etiquette is simply behaving properly on the golf course so that you can ensure that everyone that you play with has an enjoyable round and a positive experience on the golf course. Etiquette also involves using common sense and considering the effect that your behaviour might have on other players.

This season it is important to follow some new points of etiquette to ensure the safety of all golfers. Maintaining a safe social distance is important, and not touching the flag-stick will help protect golfers from any person-to-person contact. Finally, pick up your tees after each tee shot and don’t leave them on the ground. This will also help greenskeepers when it comes time to cut the tee deck. You would like to think that all golfers follow proper etiquette on the golf course and are considerate of their fellow playing partners, but not all golfers follow proper etiquette on the golf course.

Distractions during a round of golf can mean the difference between a good score and a bad one. It can also have an effect on how much everyone enjoys both their round and the social experience.

The following are the top ten bad habits or behaviours that some golfers exhibit during a round of golf. Realize that although these behaviours are not distracting to all players they can be unsettling to others.

  1. Talking while other players are preparing to swing or are in the process of hitting a shot

  2. Making or taking phone calls during a round of golf

  3. Slow play and not allowing faster golfers to play through

  4. Standing down the line of a player while they are swinging or putting

  5. Not repairing ball marks on the green

  6. Failing to repair divots on the tee or fairway

  7. Marking your score on the green, rather than on the next tee

  8. Casting shadows over the hole while others are putting

  9. Driving power carts too close to greens or on tees

  10. Stepping directly in another player’s line before they putt

These types of behaviours and distractions can be both annoying and upsetting to other golfers. If golfers take the time to think about and are considerate of others then everyone’s round of golf will be a positive experience. Not only will your group enjoy their round, but also the group behind you!

Next Week: Sharpening Your Short Game

Cameron Burechails (Teaching Professional), The Georgian Bay Golf Academy, baygolfacademy@bell.net, or www.baygolfacademy.com.