Golf Digest asked Arnold Palmer for his definition of “Golf Etiquette”. Arnold Palmer responded by breaking the subject up into 10 categories. They are:
Play “ready golf”, (hit when ready, even if you aren’t away) until you reach the green. Be prepared to play when it’s your turn. Never search for a lost ball for more than 5 minutes.
Keep Your Temper and Stay Under Control
We all have moments of frustration. The trick here is to vent in an inoffensive way. Arnold Palmer said, he would often hit his tee shot after a bad hole just a little bit harder-for better or worse.
Always make your tee times and show up for your lesson with the pro a few minutes early.
Repair The Ground You Play On
Fix your ball marks, replace the divots and rake the bunkers as if you were to use them next.
Stand still from the time a player sets himself until the ball has left the club face. Never walk in some’s line of play- the area around the hole is sacred ground. The first thing to note when you walk onto a green is the location of every ball in your group, then steer clear of their lines to the hole.
Make Your Golf Cart “Invisible”
Leave no trace you were there. Golfers tend to play “follow the leader” and drive in single file. It’s usually better to “scatter”-everyone take a different route-so cart traffic is spread out.
Your appearance speaks volumes about you, and the neatly appointed golfer, like a businessman or someone headed to church, gives the impression he thinks the golf course and the people there are special.
Turn The Cell Phone OFF
Arnold Palmer goes on to say that he doesn’t know all the gadgets and settings on those phones, but do whatever you have to do to keep it quiet. If you absolutely have to make a call, move away from the other players and keep it brief. Such that, they don’t even know you made it.
It’s easy to help out fellow golfers. Assist in looking for lost balls, watch for errant shots and pick up that extra club left on the fridge or headcover dropped next to the tree. Telling those in your group “Nice Shot!” is good sportsmanship.
Learn The Little Things
Arnold Palmer indicates there are hundred bits of etiquette he had not mentioned, like laying the flagstick down carefully, leveling foot marks on the green, letting faster groups play through, and so on. But he does say, golf has a way of returning favors, and every piece of etiquette you practice will be repaid tenfold.