Etiquette: Golf requires manners and concern for others. It asks a player to give opponents courtesy, compliments and all the freedom to do their best. It requires concern for the environment in which the golfer plays, replacing divots, fixing ball marks, spike marks, and raking sand traps so the players behind have a better opportunity.
Golf demands a player stand still, being polite and quiet, when others are playing their shots and make an effort to be out of eyesight for others.
Rules: In golf generally there is no referee or monitor. The game requires a player to monitor his or her own adherence to the rules because the real measure of one’s morality is what he or she would do if no one would find out.
Children see it on TV all the time, PGA players calling penalties on themselves. I never saw in baseball, for example, a player run to first, hear the pop of the ball in the first baseman’s glove before his foot touched the bag, and on being called safe, say to the umpire, “Sorry the throw beat me. I was out.” Or in football: “Hey ref, you didn’t see where I was holding. I need a 15-yard penalty.”
But the spirit of this wonderful game demands just that. Youths will come to learn that this is the way to gain respect from others and from themselves. To play by the rules! After all, isn’t that the message we want them to learn? Gee, imagine your children studying rules? What a treat.
Dress codes: Golf courses have dress codes that don’t allow inappropriate clothing. Children tend to follow their peers. Wouldn’t it be nice if their peers dressed sensibly?
Competition: In golf the biggest competition is against oneself, to do better than one did before even in tournament play, because in golf one has no control over how opponents will do. The onus is on each player. Sound nice?
In the 1929 U.S. Open, Bobby Jones was tied for the lead going down the 72nd hole. He emerged from the rough and called a one-stroke penalty on himself. He said when he addressed the ball it moved slightly. He finished second, one shot out of the lead. Some tournament officials lavished praise on him for his amazing honesty. He replied, “Praising me for that is like praising me for not robbing a bank!”
A player who had a club that suffered damage during a round may repair the club during his round. True or False?
Answer to last column’s teaser:
In match play a player played a shot from the bunker. His opponent was on the putting green but farther from the hole. Before replaying his shot he raked the bunker. Ruling? No penalty.
Take away that tension
Thu, Oct 27, 2011
Why golf is a good game for children
Fri, Sep 30, 2011
Annual Olympic Bike Adventure set
Thu, Aug 11, 2011
Recalling Hogan’s words of wisdom
Thu, Aug 11, 2011
What’s in your bag?
Wed, Jun 22, 2011
Feel the swing, don’t build it
Wed, Jun 8, 2011
Get straight for super shots
Thu, May 26, 2011
A golfer’s personal contract
Wed, Mar 16, 2011
Using your senses
Wed, Feb 9, 2011
Posture a priority in putting practice
Tue, Jan 25, 2011
An important links lesson: Learn to spin
Thu, Jan 13, 2011
Short game work goes a long way
Wed, Dec 15, 2010
See the ball, be the ball
Wed, Nov 24, 2010
Let go of that pesky slice
Tue, Oct 26, 2010
Why golf is a 'gentleman's sport'
Wed, Sep 22, 2010
Posture before irons
Wed, Sep 8, 2010
Wed, Aug 25, 2010
Get serious about your short game
Wed, Aug 11, 2010
Drills can 'step up' your game
Wed, Jul 28, 2010