19th Hole

Jared Danford
Palm Valley Golf Club
Goodyear, AZ

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The Unwritten Courtesies of Golf

Get Golf Ready, Tee It Forward and many other PGA programs are doing wonderful things to expand golf to new levels and new clientele. More and more people are coming daily to the course to learn and play. Golf books about the golf swing are everywhere and everyone knows the best new golf advice from this month’s Golf Digest article. One thing however is missing, the understanding and application of golf courtesies. The unwritten rules and familiarity of golf courtesies, allowing a faster group of people to play through, fixing your own and others divots, repairing ball marks on the greens and playing “ready golf” are just a few of the basic courtesies that I often see ignored. In the past, these courtesies were handed down from father to son or from golfer to golfer. Now these golf courtesies are truly becoming a thing of the past. No one group is at fault, but they are vital to the game. They help maintain course conditions, they keep round times down and above all, they work together to help ensure that golfers have an enjoyable experience at the course.

The question therefore becomes how are we to ensure that these unwritten courtesies are not lost on the new generation of golfers?  Let’s start with the juniors. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, all golfers that respect the game, you must become the example on the course. Help the juniors understand and learn these courtesies. If a junior sees you allowing faster golfers to play through, fixing ball marks on the green and replacing divots, then they too will model these courtesies while they grow in golf. Second, promote these unwritten rules to new golfers and seasoned golfers. Again, model them to your friends, people that you’re paired with on the course, basically anyone and everyone. Encourage your local PGA professional to write a short golf courtesies lesson on the course website or monthly newsletter. Get the word out. The more golfers that practice these unwritten rules the better.

Above all, the next time you go out to the course remember to apply them to yourself, teach by example and help promote them to the next generation of golfers. Help to ensure that these great unwritten courtesies continue and remain a part of the game.