2014 is here. Hopefully it is a year of many great times on the course and many satisfying rounds of golf. At the first of each year golfers often post their New Year’s golf resolutions. Here are a few suggestions which are not personal score or game related, but very beneficial to all of us golfers. EVERY one of these resolutions is attainable with little effort. That little effort, multiplied by each hole and each player, makes golf exponentially better for everyone.
Slow play is one of the reasons the golf industry is struggling. It takes too long. Help yourself and all the golfers around you by playing as quickly as you can. That doesn’t mean to hurry. Simply play when ready. Keep up with the group in front of you and politely let faster groups through if you are holding them up. Tell your stories and engage in your conversations when walking or riding to the next shot, not in your pre-shot routine.
Fix Five Ball Marks Per Green
Another way to help yourself and others around you, as well as establish good standing with the golf gods, is to fix many ball marks. Pack your favorite divot tool of choice and set a goal of fixing FIVE ball marks per green. I always do at least five and sometimes 10. The golf gods will love you and let you make some long putts if you do.
Care for the Course
All golfers should do their best to care for the courses they play on. Try to leave the course in as good or even better condition than when you found it.
Replace your divots. Tap down your spike marks (after the hole has been completed of course). Sand divots if sand is provided.
There are rakes in sand traps/bunkers for a reason. Rake your tracks and divot in the bunker, and smooth out a few others while you’re at it. Nothing quite as un-thrilling as ending up in the heel print of a 300 pound golfer who didn’t rake the bunker.
Use Good Manners
Keep quiet on the golf course. Turn your cell phone off, or at least put it in silent mode.
Don’t walk in someone’s line on the putting green.
Don’t stand in someone’s peripheral vision in front or behind when they are hitting shots.
Don’t move around or make noise when someone is hitting a shot. That goes for you “change jigglers” on the putting green too. We know what you’re doing.
Obey Local Rules
Keep carts on cart paths if asked. Stay out of ground under repair and sensitive areas.
Tip Your Caddie Well
If you use a caddie, tip him/her well.
Do Not CHEAT
Cheating doesn’t help anyone. Leave the foot-wedge in the garage.
Sandbaggers are CHEATERS. Play to an honest handicap and punch in all your rounds to insure it is accurate.
Donate Your Old Golf Clubs
How many clubs do you have in the garage? I collect my extras a couple of times a year and donate them to my course’s junior golf organization.
Don’t be late for your tee time! Get there early to keep your playing partners and the golf course on schedule! Plus, you’ll probably play better anyway if you don’t rush from the parking lot to the tee.