Feeling & looking Confident 1st time out…
It’s coming up 10 years that I’ve been a member of Kingston Heath Golf Club and I still remember my 1st 18 holes. Terrified is a word that comes to mind, sweaty palms, dry mouth, shaking hands and I hadn’t even hit off the 1st tee yet !!!
I think it’s really important when you are starting out to know some basic rules and etiquette, it will give you confidence and relax your thought process. It can be a very daunting place when you are playing with members who are very experienced and you are feeling a little unsure of yourself, although I don’t know where I’d be today if it wasn’t for all the wonderful lady members who have taught me everything I know.
Every little bit helps and keeps you in your happy place.
Avoid Slow play:
- When your group is not keeping up with the pace of play of the group in front of you:
- Walk at a reasonable speed between shots.
- Begin planning your next shot as you approach the ball by studying the strength and direction of the wind.
- When you reach your ball, check the lie, select your club, visualize your swing and shot, and then play your shot.
- From the time you select your club until you actually hit your shot, you should take no more than 30 to 45 seconds.
- If you aren’t ready to play when it is your turn, encourage one of your fellow players to play.
On the green, remember:
- Try & avoid stepping on your fellow players putting lines — the imaginary line that connects the ball to the hole.
- If your ball is on a player’s line, volunteer to mark the ball.
- Stand still & clear of where you might distract a fellow player.
- Keep any noise to a minimum when your fellow player is preparing to putt.
- Tending the flagstick, make sure you aren’t standing on anyone’s line.
- Hold the flagstick at arm’s length so the flag doesn’t flutter in the breeze, and make sure your shadow doesn’t fall across the hole or line. Loosen the bottom of the flagstick so it doesn’t stick when you try and remove it by pulling it straight up after the other player has putted. The flagstick should be removed right after the player has hit the ball.
- If you lay down the flagstick, lay it off the green to prevent doing any damage to the green.
- Generally, the player closest to the hole will tend the flagstick.
- After everyone has putted out, immediately walk to the next tee.
- If you hit a tee shot into the rough and suspect that it might be either lost or out-of-bounds, the Rules of Golf allow you to play a second or provisional ball.
- You then have five minutes from the time you reach the spot where you suspect the ball landed to find the ball. If it is not found within that five-minute period, you must declare it lost and play your provisional ball with a one-stroke penalty
- If, however, you play the provisional ball and subsequently find your original ball in-bounds, you must pick up your provisional and continue to play the original ball, in-bounds.
- For safety’s sake, never hit when there’s a chance you might be able to reach the group ahead of you, and anytime you hit a shot that you think even has remote chance of hitting any other players, yell “fore” immediately, and make a point of apologizing to any players your ball lands near.
- Displays of frustration are one thing, but outbursts of temper are quite another. Yelling, screaming, throwing clubs or otherwise making a fool of yourself are unacceptable and, in some cases, dangerous to yourself and others.
- As a player, you also have a responsibility to learn and understand the Rules of Golf.
- Five of the most common Rules are those deal with Out of Bounds, Lost balls, Unplayable lies, cart paths and water hazards.
- Finally, at the end of the day, the great pleasure of the game is the time you get to spend with your friends whether old friends or new friends you just made through the game.
For a complete discussion of the Rules of Golf, visit the http://www.randa.org/RulesEquipment/Rules/QuickGuide/Start