New golfers will undoubtedly find themselves surrounded by unfamiliar and sometimes subtle rules, or worse, be the brunt of a seasoned golfer’s anger when the new golfer is not aware of one of those subtle rules. Very often the reason a new golfer lacks knowledge of these rules is because so much emphasis is put on silence, and how to properly swing the club, but nothing else.
We’ve all watched Happy Gilmore. We all know that Happy was the rebel of the golf course asking the crowd to cheer, and how it was frowned upon by the professional golfers.
It’s not that being quiet is not important; in fact it’s very important. At the green or on the tee, unless you’re the person swinging the golf club, quiet is incredibly significant. Much of the game is short bursts of action and focus. When you’re taking your shots you should be focused on doing just that.
At all times please avoid slow play! In case your group isn’t keeping up with the group facing you attempt to walk at a faster speed between shots. It also helps to begin planning your next shot as you approach your ball, take direction and the power of the wind into consideration. Check the lie as you get to your ball, visualize your shot and then use as little time as possible to take your shot to maintain the appropriate speed of play. The entire process of picking a club to taking a shot should not take more than 45 seconds. It is helpful to remember when you’re practicing or on the driving range to keep this procedure under 45 seconds. If for some reason you’re not prepared when it’s your move to play allow another player take their turn.
- Avoid distracting or disturbing competition or your fellow players.
Appropriate behavior must be displayed, no matter how extreme the game is. Prevent making noise when a player, whether with your group or just nearby, is taking a shot. In addition, ensure that your telephone or electronic device doesn’t go off, thus distracting others. Golf takes lots of focus; be sure you value people that are concentrating on their play.
- Remain where you need to be.
When on the green ensure you do not throw a shadow over it or do not step in another player’s line. The golfer furthest from the hole has the first shot. If any other members of your group are not displaying proper golf etiquette it is OK to point that out once no one is taking a shot.
- Make safety a priority before, during and following the game.
Safety should always be of high importance, including during a game of golf. When you make a practice or real swing, make sure that nobody is close enough to be hit by your ball, club or debris from the shot. Every player should wait until her or his fellow players are out of range. In case you see the ball is flying toward someone else, promptly yell “fore”, the recognized word of warning in golf.
- “Play the ball as it lies.”
It is a well-known quotation that underlies golf etiquette and it means just what it says. Play the ball from the spot it landed. Do not move or touch it. There are exceptions to this on the putting green when you’re able to pick up the ball (particularly if it’s in the line of someone’s shot ) after you have marked it, but you do not pick up a ball and reposition it to satisfy your edge, even if it landed in a bunker.
- Keep a consistent speed of play.
Slow play keeps the group behind you from moving forward in exactly the same way it keeps you from moving forward if the group in front of you is moving at a turtle’s pace. If you find that your group just can’t keep up the pace then allow the group behind you to pass.
- On the green, never step between a player and his line of site
This refers to the imaginary line between his ball and the hole. Volunteer to move your ball and place a marker if your ball is in the player’s ball’s path to the hole.
- Be considerate to other players
Don’t make an excessive amount of motion or gestures while they’re taking their shots. A golfer can be distracted by commotion in their peripheral vision.
- Always do your part in taking good care of the golf course.
Replace any divots. Rake your footsteps from the place you played from if you’re in the bunker. Fix any pitch marks you might have caused from hitting the ball on the green. You can do this after your put.
- Be pleasant to caddies.
You are helping shape future players of the sport. Plus they are able to give you hints so that you can better understand the layout of the course. There is a good chance they know the course better than you do.
- Congratulate everyone for a good game. Take your losses and victories humbly.
How does this relate to the business world? Well if you haven’t figured it out yet then allow me to explain. A golfer that kicks his ball onto the fairway from the rough to give himself the advantage is showing you that he/she is willing to take shortcuts at the expense of others.
A golfer who doesn’t replace divots or do his best to maintain the beauty and integrity of the golf course is simply inconsiderate to others that come after him, and to the owners of the golf course.
If someone is being loud or distractive while others are taking their shots, whether in your group or another nearby group then that person is not going to be considerate of your business. They will not do their best to ensure that your business does not suffer because of their actions.
And humility? Do I really have to explain it?
If you’re unsure whether or not you want to be in business with someone then take them to the golf course to see how they ‘behave’. It’s not how well they play the game, but how they play the game.
Come to one of our many events around the state, and bring that potential business partner to see if it will be a match, or if you need someone else to play golf with. Visit backninenetworking.com for more information.