Golf Etiquette

The Ten Guys You Don't Want to Be

Welcome to Golf Etiquette

Proper Golf Etiquette requires that the game of golf is policed by its players when it comes to the actual Golf Rules that govern play, but also when it comes to the manner in which we engage with other players in our group and on the course.

The Golden Rule of Life“Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You” should be all we need to know to understand how to behave on the golf course. But then again . . . when dealing with the vast array of individual personalities nothing in life is ever that simple.

So, in the interest of “having a little fun” we decided to come at the issue of Golf Rules Etiquette from another perspective. We could have given you all the etiquette rules that you should consider following to ensure you get invited back for another round, but instead we decided to discuss all "The Guys You Just Don’t Want To Be".

Don’t be These Golf Etiquette Failures

~ Mr. Late Show

Don’t be the guy who is consistently late for your scheduled tee time. You should actually arrive with enough of a time cushion to get checked in and warmed up and discuss the terms of any “Side Games” you may agree to play during your round. Scrambling to the tee box while others wait on your arrival is disrespectful to your partners, the groups playing behind you, and the staff of the course trying to adhere to their schedule of players. Being late is annoying, so . . . 

Don’t be THAT Guy!!

Golf Swing Sketch

~ Mr. Lurker golf etiquette

Don’t be the guy who lurks too close to or creeps on others while they are addressing their next shot or standing over a putt. Standing directly behind a player, too close to them, or in their peripheral vision, or creeping with small steps while they get ready to hit is disrespectful and annoying, so . . . 

Don’t be THAT Guy!!

~ Mr. Clueless golf etiquette

Don’t be the guy who has no idea what’s going on around him. You’re playing golf with others, even if you just met them after heading out as a single, so be there with them and aware of the game you’re playing and who is doing what. The time for Golf Jokes and other conversations is while riding in the cart or walking to your ball, or while sharing a cold draft at the 19th hole – not while people are teeing off or standing over a putt – and cell phones are never acceptable!! Having no idea what’s happening around you can be annoying to your playing partners, so . . . 

Don’t be THAT Guy!!

~ Mr. Slow Poke golf etiquette

Don’t be the guy who is never ready to play. “Ready Golf” is acceptable and can help to increase the pace of play among amateurs playing in their weekly Nassau, but at worst, be ready to hit when it IS your turn. You should already know your yardage or have a pretty good idea of your putting line, so have the club in your hand and be ready to hit. Pace of play makes the day more enjoyable for everyone and never being ready when it’s your turn is annoying, so . . . 

Don’t be THAT Guy!!

~ Mr. Rules Cop golf etiquette

Don’t be the guy that constantly quotes the USGA Rules of Golf – especially if someone is already playing their 3rd shot after incurring a lost-ball penalty. If you’re not trying to qualify for the U.S. Open then just relax! We are amateur golfers and under just about any circumstances where we find ourselves playing with and even competing against our “friends”, the Ten Golden Rules of Golf will suffice to govern our play with adequate efficiency. There is no need to draw out some obscure passage from deep within the 34 rules, 122 sections, and 106 subsections of the 126 page book of golf rules. We’re all doing the best that we can to uphold the integrity of the game and having a rules cop point out every minor infraction can get real annoying, so . . . 

Don’t be THAT Guy!!

~ Mr. Big Pockets golf etiquette

Don’t be the guy who flashes the depth of his wallet by baiting other players into games they can not afford. On the golf course no one really cares that your hedge fund hit the jackpot, or that your dot com daughter is funding your retirement. I think we all know the side bets on the golf course are really just for bragging rights and the joy of watching your buddies open their wallets at the 19th hole. It’s not the time to clean out your friend’s kid’s college fund. Bragging on your wealth is annoying, so . . . 

Don’t be THAT Guy!!

~ Mr. Ego Stroker golf etiquette

Don’t be the guy who spends the whole round stroking your opponent’s, or even your partner’s ego. And this stroking comes in two forms: Either constantly praising anyone unless they actually do something extraordinary, or proffering praise when someone is faced with a potentially difficult shot. Telling someone that the dog-leg par four sets up perfectly for their “natural” ball flight, or that they never miss a four-footer when faced with one to close out the front nine Nassau is just a cruel and intentional attempt to get in their kitchen while they’re cooking the meal. Too much praise and/or subtle mind games are annoying, so . . . 

Don’t be THAT Guy!!

~ Mr. Whiner golf etiquette

Don’t be the guy who complains about anything let alone EVERYTHING!! We are amateur golfers and some days we just take the clubs out, but leave the swing right there in the trunk. It’s gonna happen!! Statistically speaking, the USGA says you should shoot to your index only about once every five rounds, so don’t expect to light it up every time you tee it up. A quick and quiet grumble of dissatisfaction is tolerable, but cursing, pouting, and club throwing is unacceptable. Leave the tantrums to the toddlers and be an adult on the course. Whiners are annoying, so . . . 

Don’t be THAT Guy!!

~ Mr. No Dead Presidents golf etiquette

Don’t be the guy who shows up with no cash, either to pay for your round, or to settle any bets that might play out on the course. In the event you do end up borrowing any money from a friend, be prepared at the very next meeting to make good on your debt and then buy that friend a post-round beer or two. Cheapskates are annoying, so . . . 

Don’t be THAT Guy!!

~ Mr. Know-It-All

Don’t be the guy who has every answer and knows everything – especially when it come to advice on the golf course – they say the worst “vice” to have is the compelling need to give unsolicited “advice”. It’s bad enough that you have the answers to cure both cancer and the failing economy, but if you could actually cure my golf swing woes then you’d be a teaching professional and know that the time for you to give a lesson is not during this round. There might be nothing more annoying on the course than getting unsolicited advice from anyone, so . . . 

Don’t be THAT Guy!!

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The Nassau

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