Books advise on golf etiquette; videos demonstrate golf training products; travel magazines advertise golf schools; and computers offer online golf training. But, for beginners who join a foursome for the first time, it all becomes a blurr as anxiety lurks.
To remove stress is to address what can be controlled. A few basic golf rules will attract sympathy, encouragement, and respect of fellow players, no matter the level of play. Besides, although a hole-in-one golf insurance is not tip #1, not to be underestimated is the luck factor.
Tee-time Punctuality is Tip #1 at all Golf Courses
Recommendation is to be around at least ten minutes ahead. An early introduction to fellow-players removes some of the nervous excitement of shaking hands just before teeing-off. And even golf professionals practice at the driving range, or on the putting green before getting to the tee.
Proper Golf Equipment is Tip #2
Beginner golfers might not own a full set of golf clubs, yet should never ask to borrow other players’ clubs, unless in a practice setting. The minimum equipment usually is:
- A wood as a driver (unless the play is on a par-three or “executive” course)
- A few irons from a 5-iron to a 9-iron
- A pitching wedge, replaceable with a 9-iron
- A sand wedge, replaceable with a pitching wedge
- A putter
A player must carry enough golf balls to complete a round, as well as tees, markers, and a divot repair tool. A ball retriever is not essential and can acceptably be borrowed. A spare golf ball must always be readily available to replace a lost ball, or as a provisional ball.
Focus on all Golf Balls is Tip #3
Focus does not only mean to keep the eyes on one’s ball. What will bring underlying annoyance is the lack of readiness. A round of golf must be played within reasonable time, therefore each player must help keep up with the foursome ahead:
- Don’t stand ahead of other golfers, or in their line of play
- Carry several clubs to the ball when in doubt
- Be ready to hit the ball at the appropriate turn
- Move the golf cart forward when partner/driver falls behind
- Pick-up the ball after up to ten strokes on the fairway
- Keep proper track of your strokes unless playing in a scramble
Remembering Golf Training is Tip #4
It might be easier said than done, but trying to mentally recreate a golf lesson setting can help. The most common mistake is to try to hit the ball too hard. A slow pendulum motion while keeping the eyes on the ball often bring decent results. Eventually, players realize that the smoother the swing, the easier the ball flies off.
Proper Approach to the Putting Green is Tip #5
When a ball is picked up from the fairway to prevent delay, in an informal setting, or with permission of other players, it may be dropped around the green for “practice-play” as long as the player keeps up with pace.
Etiquette around the green is for the player with the closest ball to the hole to remove the flag, and to place it away from line of play. It is thoughtful to ask if the flag should be tended, in view of a particularly long putt. Although soft spikes have replaced metal cleats, it is still golf etiquette not to walk on the line between a ball and the hole. Unless otherwise advised, a player should wait for the order of play. Finally, talking or moving around is improper when someone is putting.