The basic rules of etiquette are ingrained in most people, especially in the South. Common courtesy and Southern hospitality include fundamental protocols, like saying please, thank you, and holding the door open for the person behind you. However, some of the worst etiquette faux pas aren't so readily obvious, especially when playing golf. In the past, we touched on proper etiquette on the putting green. To expand on that, here are six other mistakes to avoid on the golf course.
Playing when it's someone else's turn
Playing out of turn means a player attempts to play their ball when it's not their turn to do so. This violates the order in which strokes are played. In certain forms of golf, such as match play, playing out of turn is highly frowned upon, so pay close attention, and play only when it's your turn.
Violating the basic dress code
Avoid embarrassment by wearing proper garb on the golf course. Most clubs stipulate that men wear collared shirts and women wear modest-looking ones, usually with collared tops. Refrain from wearing t-shirts, denim, backward caps, or cargo shorts. If you're unsure about the dress code, call the Pro Shop ahead of time to find out for sure.
Walking in a player's line
Walking into someone's line is not only distracting, but it's also disrespectful. And while there may be no physical effect on the putt your fellow player is about to make (unless the greens are spongy and impressionable), it's just plain rude. Avoid the act. It'll show you care about others and their success at play.
Giving unsolicited advice
Giving your golf partners unsolicited advice is generally considered a "no-no." However, if you're playing with a friend or family member who is a beginner golfer, it may be ok. In those rare instances, be thoughtful in your delivery and avoid coming across as condescending. Overall, it's best only to give advice when asked. It's not worth the social risk.
Failing at fixes
The golden rule of golf is, "Always leave the course in better condition than you found it." Why? It's polite and common courtesy for the players behind you. What's more, it's the right thing to do for the turf. At the very least, fix your own pitch marks and replace divots. After hitting your shot out of a bunker, rake the sand until it's smooth. If you come across toppled stakes, downed ropes, or overturned tee markers, take a moment to put them back. Your kindness will likely be rewarded with good karma.
Hitting a ball into the group ahead of you
Never hit a ball when there's a group ahead of you and within your distance. It's always best to err on the side of caution. However, if you or someone in your group happens to hit a shot that could potentially hit another golfer, always yell, "Fore!" That way, golfers can duck and take cover to avoid getting hit or injured.
When you're at the golf course, you want to have fun – just like everyone else. So in your interactions with other players, think about how you'd like to be treated and be friendly and personable with others. Show that you care by helping tend to the course too. Good golf etiquette equates to a better playing experience for everyone, including yourself. So see for yourself and book your tee time at Harbor Club today.