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Golf Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts

Written by  on Thursday, 16 August 2012

Mark Twain famously said "golf is a good walk spoiled". Follow our guide and maybe you can enjoy the walk and the golf.

Everyone knows that finding a calm and collected golfer while they're having the worst round of their life is almost impossible. Even the most balanced and well-rounded human beings can transform into an explosive putter-snapping maniac at the drop of a hat.

Notwithstanding extremes such as that though, navigating golf etiquette in general is somewhat of an art-form. Here are a few tips to help make a day on the golf course a pleasant(ish) experience for you and everyone around you.

Golfing Dos

• Always replace divots you have made in the fairway. Bunkers are to be raked after use also. Golf courses are beautiful places but only if the groundskeeper sees you playing his game too.

• Shout 'FORE' loudly if your ball is heading towards another player. Even non- English speaking players will understand this warning - that includes Americans.

• Wait until the player ahead of you is out of range in order to avoid the previous situation completely.

• Do make sure you keep up a good pace, as better golfers will catch up quite quickly. If they do get too close, let them pass.

• Drive your cart as carefully as you can. Avoid driving on the short grass as much as possible.

• Leave the putting green as soon as you have completed the hole - do not dawdle by discussing how well you're swinging today.

• Do repair your ball marks on the green. It sounds laborious but it is worth it not to have some awful person call you back to do this simple job.

• Do be polite and courteous to those around you. It always helps to smile. But don't if you have just witnessed an intensely awful drive as this has a tendency to wind golfers up.

• Read the instructions on the golf cart before use. Reversing over the club captain is never a good way to start your golfing career. It has happened.

• Do wear appropriate clothing for golfing and spiked golf shoes. Skinny jeans, a Ramones t-shirt and a pair of crocs do not constitute satisfactory sportswear.

Golfing Don'ts

• Never swing a golf club while anyone is in your vicinity. This is clearly very dangerous and you will look like an amateur as well.

• If a ball is lost, and one or more will be, do not spend a long time looking as impatient golfers behind you may not be so polite.

• Don't re-create Happy Gilmore's signature run-up drive, no matter how hilarious you think it is. It's childish, won't help your swing and you'll look incredibly silly. I SHOULD KNOW!

• Try your best not to over-react to a bad shot and snap a club. Although tempting in the heat of the moment, people will do their best to avoid you and will complain to the clubhouse quickly.

• Stand still and be quiet when your partner is taking a shot - that includes not taking a call from the office or your girlfriend.

• Never walk over a player's line of putt. Making another golfer miss a vital putt is a cardinal sin out on the golf course.

• Never be impatient. Have respect for other players and their abilities. If you're patient with them, they may even be patient with you.

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Tim Pettifer

Tim takes overall responsibility for running The Oxfordshire Golf Club and Hotel. Tim was invited to become the General Manager at The Oxfordshire by Paul Gibbons after being scouted out by one of Paul's working associates.

He is a valuable, hardworking member of the Leaderboard team, who enjoys his role and takes great pride in the growth of the brand.

On a personal level, Tim finds particular satisfaction in seeing the hotel becoming busier and enjoys engaging with the members, while ensuring they get the best possible service during their time at the Oxfordshire.

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